Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a fun premise
Cons: A couple plot points needed to be smoothed out
The Bottom Line:
A corpse with one shoe
More fun and magic
Stiff Penalty for Not Being Home by Midnight
Every so often, I find a cozy series with a hook that I never would have expected. That was certainly the case with the Fairy Tale Fatal Mysteries. Yet having read Cinderella Six Feet Under, the second in the series, I’m left wondering why no one thought to do it sooner.
It’s November of 1867 and Ophelia and Prudence have moved from Germany to France since they’ve gotten word that Prue’s mother is married to a wealthy gentleman in Paris. Ophelia has saved enough money for one ticket back to America, and she is hoping that, after reuniting Prue and her mom, she can sail home on her own. However, when they arrive at the house, they learn that Prue’s mother is missing. Then they find a woman in a ball gown and only one shoe lying dead in the pumpkin patch. The woman is a dead ringer for Prue.
The news story makes it all the way to England, and when Gabriel reads about it, he heads straight for Paris to see what he can do to help his two new friends. But he also has an ulterior motive. He believes that this murder has a direct tie to the story of Cinderella. Is he right? If so, how did that lead to a murder today?
If you haven’t read the first book, you should know that there is a bit of fantasy in this series. The premise is that fairy tales are real, despite what Ophelia wishes. (Believe me, she is a hard skeptic.) These very light fantasy elements are only part of the window trappings of the series.
The mystery is good with many believable suspects and suspicion that bounces around to just about everyone before the killer is finally revealed. I did feel that the plot made a small leap a time or two and that one element’s resolution was a little weak, but these are small points overall.
Unlike many cozy series, we have three viewpoint characters. Ophelia, Prue, and Gabriel take turns as the third person narrator. I actually find this a refreshing change, and since they are often in different places at the same time, it gives us a chance to see all of the story. Author Maia Chance does a great job of using this technique to her full advantage.
It also gives us a chance to really get to know these characters. All three are strong, and with how this book ends, I’m anxious to see where they will all go next. The rest of the cast is just as sharp, making it easy to keep them all straight, which is great since there is a large cast of characters.
And I must go back to the fairy tale theme again. While the allusions to other fairy tales, an element I loved in the first book, isn’t as strong here, the parallels to Cinderella were so much fun to spot. Sometimes they were clues, and sometimes they weren’t, but they always made me smile.
So if you enjoy a dose of fairy dust, be sure to pick up Cinderella Six Feet Under. This cozy series really is magical.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.Enjoy more magical mysteries with the rest of the Fairy Tale Fatal series.