Freydont, Shelley 1949-

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Freydont, Shelley 1949-


Born September 28, 1949, in Columbus, GA; daughter of Harry and Letty Noble; married Richard Lenchner, July 17, 1985; children: Nicholas, Emma. Education: University of Utah, B.F.A., M.F.A. (magna cum laude). Hobbies and other interests: History.


Home—Ridgewood, NJ. Agent—Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency, 6 Tristam Pl., Pine Brook, NJ 07058-9445.


Dancer and writer. California State University, Fresno, CA, professor, 1974-76; Louis Falco Dance Company, New York, NY, dancer, 1977-79; Twyla Tharp Dance, New York, NY, dancer, 1979-85; American Ballroom Theater, New York, NY, 1986-90. Has also worked as a choreographer, rehearsal director, and dance teacher and consultant; dance consultant for the television program As the World Turns and the Broadway productions States of Shock and Singing in the Rain; assistant to the choreographer for Milos Forman's Amadeus. Appeared on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) programs Great Performances, Evening at the Pops, and Happy New Year USA.


Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America (Kiss of Death chapter), SincC-New York/Tri-State Chapter.


Named "Woman of the Year" by North Bergen University Women.



Backstage Murder, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.

High Seas Murder, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.

Midsummer Murder, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2001.

Halloween Murder, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

A Merry Little Murder, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2003.


The Sudoku Murder ("Katie McDonald" mystery series), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2007.


Novelist Shelley Freydont, a former professional dancer, toured with New York dance companies and traveled around the world for her many appearances on the PBS television programs Great Performances, Evening at the Pops, and Happy New Year USA. "Sometimes the locations were exotic: historic Spanish opera houses in Mexico or an outdoor theater in an ancient French monastery; sometimes less glamorous lecture demonstrations at a high school gymnasium or a performance in a converted movie house," Freydont noted on her Web site. "But it was always interesting, and the people and places I encountered have given me a wealth of local color and oddball characters with which to fill the pages of the ‘Lindy Haggerty’ series."

Freydont's alter ego, Lindy Haggerty, is the leading lady in her mystery series. Backstage Murder introduces Lindy as a former dancer and a mother with an "empty nest." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that in this first book in the series "Freydont tells a good story, keeps the reader guessing and sets the stage for a return engagement." In a review for Library Journal, Rex E. Klett noted that "this new mystery offers a pleasant behind-the-scenes look at the world of dance, accompanied by a diversity of dancers, conflicts of character, and a leavening of humor."

The second book in the series, High Seas Murder, takes place on a cruise on which Lindy has taken her dance troupe, the Jeremy Ash Dance Company. When dead bodies begin to appear, Lindy is determined to find the murderer. Of this installment in the series, a Publishers Weekly critic observed that Lindy's "creator knows well how to produce an entertaining mystery in the classic tradition." Midsummer Murder follows Lindy's efforts to solve a brutal killing while directing a prestigious summer dance performance.

In Halloween Murder, Lindy agrees to chair the Mischief Night Marathon fundraiser, hosted by a group of at-risk teens designed to save a local landmark. When a series of bizarre pranks—each referring to one of the Seven Deadly Sins—threaten to disrupt the event, suspicion falls on members of the Gospel of Galilee Church, who are protesting the holiday's pagan origins. After a dead body is found hanging from a platform, Lindy springs into action to stop the killer. "While there are plenty of red herrings leaving a surprise or two for the end," remarked Jennifer Monahan Winberry on the Mystery Reader Web site, "Halloween Murder is a perfect backdrop for both the evil pranks and the murders, making this an enjoyable, quick read." Atlantic City is the setting for A Merry Little Murder, the fifth work featuring Freydont's amateur sleuth. While preparing for the International Ballroom Competition, Lindy investigates a murder that may be the result of a dispute between two rival dance companies. "A Merry Little Murder is a fun, quick read with a glamorous setting and a spunky heroine," Winberry noted.

The Sudoku Murder is the first work in Freydont's "Katie McDonald" mystery series. When Professor P.T. Avondale, curator of the Avondale Puzzle Museum, is murdered, mathematician and puzzle-solver extraordinaire Katie McDonald decides to look into her mentor's death. Her only clue is an unfinished Sudoku puzzle found at the professor's desk. "Readers will want to see a lot more of the intelligent and endearing Katie," observed a critic in Publishers Weekly.



Booklist, June 1, 2000, Jenny McLarin, review of High Seas Murder, p. 1863.

Drood Review of Mystery, September 1, 2002, review of Halloween Murder, p. 13.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2002, review of Halloween Murder, p. 995.

Library Journal, August, 1999, Rex E. Klett, review of Backstage Murder, p. 144; July, 2000, Rex E. Klett, review of High Seas Murder, p. 145.

Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1999, review of Backstage Murder, p. 76; July 10, 2000, review of High Seas Murder, p. 48; June 25, 2001, review of Midsummer Murder, p. 52; August 12, 2002, review of Halloween Murder, p. 281; September 8, 2003, review of A Merry Little Murder, p. 60; March 26, 2007, review of The Sudoku Murder, p. 70.


Mystery Reader, (November 18, 2002), Jennifer Monahan Winberry, review of Halloween Murder; (November 25, 2003), Jennifer Monahan Winberry, review of A Merry Little Murder.

Shelley Freydont Home Page, (August 20, 2007).