Dancer–entertainer Anton Du Beke’s historical extravaganza, Moonlight Over Mayfair, is everything one would expect from this Strictly star turned novelist. It’s a rollicking great read mired in the world of late 1930s’ London.

The sequel to his best-selling One Enchanted Evening, its setting is the Buckingham, a luxurious hotel where the elite rub shoulders with more ordinary folk on the dance floor of the impressive Grand Ballroom. And it’s here that our hero, debonaire demonstator dancer Raymond de Guise, showcases his many talents. With Hollywood beckoning and a secret romance to contend with, Raymond’s life becomes more complicated as he’s caught up in the danger and intrigue of prewar London. Au secours!

As one would expect, the beautiful ballroom features prominently in the book and the sections involving dance are well realised and described. The historical background to the plot is interesting. It is 1937, post Edward VIII’s very dramatic abdication, and tensions are running high politically both at home and abroad, with war a very real prospect on the not-so-distant horizon.

To be frank, I probably would have liked this because I love Strictly, enjoy the entity that is Mr Du Beke and am a tad partial to a meaty historical saga, however, I am delighted to say, with all sincerity, this is a very enjoyable read. It’s good, stylish, with more than a soupçon of charm. Rather like Mr Du Beke himself. Recommended.


Anton Du Beke | Moonlight over Mayfair | Zaffre | paperback | £7.99 | 20 February 2020

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for organising it, and to the publisher for sending a book proof. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other reviews on this tour.

See also: ‘Killing Beauties: there ain’t nothin’ like a she-spy’;  ‘Doug Johnstone’s A Dark Matter’;Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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