Now to round up all these Tattered Slippers posts, I have an interview with someone who has serious, painful trouble with her shoes.
The Midnight Show by Sarah Pennington is a fairytale mystery set in the Jazz age. Not our Jazz age though, a fantasy one. It’s probably not a book I would have been quick to pick up if I didn’t already know Sarah and love her other books, but I’ve enjoyed as far as I’ve read. (Yes, I’m starting multiple books because I don’t have time to read them all sequentially.)
Due to time zone shenanigans and me running late on things, I was half asleep when it came time to interview Dayo, so I handed the job over to my character Aydel. She, at least, is better at starting conversations with strangers than I am.
Aydel: “Hi, I’m Aydel! Who are you? You don’t look like a typical inhabitant of fairytale land.”
Dayo: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Aydel. I’m Dayo Temitrope — you may have heard of me, or heard my singing on the radio. ‘City of Stars,’ ‘Small Mercies’ — those are mine. I’m not sure what you mean about that last part, though. I’m from Innsjøby, in the northern part of Solorele.”
“Okay?” Aydel frowns for a moment then shakes her head. It’s best to just roll with all these unexpected new concepts. “Tell me about Innsjøby. Is it a big place?”
Dayo looks surprised by the question. “What, you haven’t heard of it? It’s one of the biggest cities in the country, and the best for culture. If you’re looking for music, theater, culture, anything of that sort, or if you’re like me and you want to sing — or act, or anything else with the arts — professionally, it’s the place to be. It’s not as peaceful as where I grew up, I’ll give you that, but it’s a lot more interesting.”
Aydel smiles. “There’s a lot of places I haven’t heard of, but I’m sure you haven’t heard of my home either. Was it hard to make the move? How did you start out as a singer?”
Dayo shrugs. “Oh, not too hard. My family helped make sure I had a good start — they knew I wanted to sing, and they knew this was where I needed to be to do it. As far as how I got started singing, well, it’s always been something I enjoyed. I started performing in small things in my hometown in my teens, and when I decided I wanted to do it professionally, I moved, like I said, and a family friend gave me the names of a few people who might be willing to take on new talent. I found my manager, Mr. Olvirrson, through her, and he set me up with my first shows — little things in small clubs — and things just moved on from there. And now here I am, with a few records in shops, some songs on the radio, and three floor shows in different clubs. Up until the last few months, I’ll admit, life was pretty much the berries. It’s still the berries, really.”
“A few months ago. That’s when something strange started happening to you, right? Are you okay to talk about that? I promise no one will find out from us.”
Dayo’s smile grows strained for a moment, and she gives a little laugh. “Oh, yes. I was reassured of that before I started this interview. Yes, that’s when something strange started happening — just out of the blue, one morning, I wake up with my feet aching like I’d danced the two-hop all night and my favorite shoes worn straight through. Then it happened again the next night, and the next, and it’s kept on ever since. I hoped it would stop on its own, but so far, no luck. And, you know, I love shoe shopping, but repairing and replacing so many is getting expensive! Not to mention, it’s hard to perform when your feet hurt so much you can hardly think straight. I manage, though.”
“I hope you find a way of solving it. It must be really hard. Dancing is supposed to be fun, not torturous. Thank you so much for being willing to talk. I would love to visit your city someday and go to a concert or dance the night away.”
“I appreciate that.” Dayo smiles. “If you ever do make it to Innsjøby, you should look up one of my shows. I hope to see you in the audience someday!”
About the Book
This mystery is the case of his dreams — and her nightmares.
By day, Dayo Temitrope is a swinging singer, an up-and-coming star with a shining career ahead of her. By night, she’s . . . well, she’s not sure, but whatever she does leaves her every morning with sore feet and worn-out shoes. And after six months, she’s had enough.
Enter Bastian Dennell, a private investigator just trying to get by. When Dayo hires him to find out where she goes at night, he’s sure it’s his big break: his chance to establish himself and get the funds to pay off his family’s debt. Plus, he gets to work with his favorite singer, even if she isn’t exactly what he expected. What could be better?
But first he has to solve the case — which means navigating a tangled web of strange dreams, fair folk schemes, and show business. It will take all Bastian’s wits, along with the shining talents of Dayo herself, to figure out the truth before the curtains close for good on Dayo’s career.
A jazz-age-inspired twist on the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the author of Blood in the Snow.
About the Author
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list. Find her online at:
I will see you people around and I will have news, probably not the sort you were expecting, but it’s not to say I’ve given up on writing, so don’t be worried.