The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way


by Frances Metzman

Open Admissions book cover

Publication date: June 2018

THE CHA-CHA BABES OF PELICAN WAY is a fast-paced romp of death, passion, and dark humor. Way too damn much fun!” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Glimpse.

A thoroughly entertaining, lighthearted murder mystery. Kirkus Review

Open Admissions book cover

About the Book

Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

About the Author: Frances Metzman

Frances Metzman is the author of the short story collection The Hungry Heart Stories (2012, Wilderness House Press) and was nominated for a Dzanc Books Best of the Web award in 2009. She is also coauthor of the novel Ugly Cookies (2000, Pella Press). In addition to appearing on panels at various writing conferences such as Philadelphia Stories and Marymount Manhattan College Conference, she has given workshops at Temple University, Bryn Mawr College, Penn State, and many others. At Rosemont College, she taught publishing/writing skills to grad students. She currently teaches creative writing/memoir workshops at Temple University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). As fiction editor for the literary journal Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits submissions.

Her website:

Her Facebook page: Frances Metzman

Her Twitter page: Fran Writes

What People are Saying about Cha-Cha

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way is a fast-paced romp of death,passion, and dark humor. Way too damn much fun!
—   Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Glimpse

Metzman (The Hungry Heart, 2012) offers a mystery novel about a trio of women attempting to solve a string of murders in a Florida retirement community for people 55 and older….Metzman writes with humor and a sharp eye for characterization, as when she describes how Deb’s “rheumatoid arthritis…affected every joint and muscle in her body, except for her acerbic tongue.” The book is a pleasing blend of camp and procedural mystery, playing up the geriatric nature of the setting while also taking the concerns and passions of Celia and her peers seriously. … A thoroughly entertaining, lighthearted murder mystery. Kirkus Review

You will never look at the cha-cha or a fifty-five-plus gated community the same way again. This novel has suspense, murder, laughter, and twists and turns in the story until the very end. Find out about the close calls three friends have. How bad are they really?
—   Gloria Mindock, author of Whiteness of Bone, editor andpublisher for Çervana Barra Press

Frances Metzman has written a compelling, complex tale that blends retirement living with murder, romance, and friendship, reminding us ofThe Golden Girls. The novel is laced with humor, pathos, and sex. It also delves into the lives of three best friends who are residents of the retirement community and met during cha-cha lessons, high- lighting their foibles and achievements as well as their entanglements and challenges—mental and physical illnesses, strained relationships with adult children, and second chances at love. The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way has humor, darkness, and nobility throughout. A real page-turner!
—  JaniceBooker,journalist,teacher,author of PhillyFirsts: The Famous, Infamous,and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, and former host of Philadelphia radio programThe Janice Booker Show

Frances Metzman’sfiction leaps with subtle humor and dynamicsurrealism. Her characters enter your private study to partake in a bit of tea or to casually recount a bawdy joke—depending on mood.The American landscape filleted before you!
—  Ray Greenblatt, teacher at Temple University–OLLI and reviewer for the John Updike Society and the Dylan Thomas Society