In the 15-year pause between books (The Dark Descends, 1975), Ramsay has lost none of her urban panache, dry humor, and Margaret Millar-like unnerving sensibilities. Here, narrator Maggie Tremayne is clumsily framed for the murder of Nina Lang-lander, who stole her husband years ago when the two, along with Karin and Allie, comprised the Pas de Quatre dance troupe. Warned by homicide cop Tagliaferro that she, for some as-yet-unexplained reason, may be next on the killer's hit list, Maggie is disbelieving--until a stage prop catches fire and almost incinerates her. Then retired-dancer/now-housewife Karin is a hit-and-run victim; dancer-turned-junkie Allie steps out a tenement window; and one of Maggie's dance classes is interrupted by the arrival of a funeral wreath--with her name on it. When the murderer finally corners Maggie, and reveals all in a scene teetering between maudlin and poignant, Maggie saves herself with a grand battement mastered 20 years ago. Marvelous ballet lore, with a well. thought-out plot and a clear, lucid voice. It will be a pity if we have to wait another 15 years for an encore.