Series: Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery #2
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Berkley on 1 September 2015
Reading Challenges: 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Prue’s plan to catch up with her mother Henrietta hits a hitch when she and Ophelia arrive in Paris. In a short space of time they discover that her mother has gone missing and her half-sister has been murdered in the pumpkin patch. Prue’s step-sisters (who are descended from Cinderella’s step-sisters) are fairly nasty and there are rats running around the gloomy mansion. Ick!
Reading this was a bit of a slog as I had to re-read sections to try to understand what was going on and couldn’t just pick it up from where I left off. I only finished it out of sheer stubbornness.
The good bits
Cinderella is my favourite fairytale although I favour the Grimm Brothers’ Ashenputtel over Perrault’s Cendrillon. Chance’s Cinderella has a touch of Ashenputtel about her as she took charge of her own destiny courtesy of a magic object rather than waiting passively like Cendrillon. I enjoyed the glimpses of Cinderella that we got throughout the book but it would have been awesome if there had been stronger parallels between how the tale had played out and the mystery that Ophelia, Prue and Gabriel got embroiled in.
The not so good bits
Prue is still so incredibly dense and helpless. I can’t fathom how she has managed to survive for so long given her propensity for being kidnapped by unsavoury people. She didn’t value-add to the story and just sort of faffed about.
Ophelia, Gabriel and Prue rarely talked to each other in detail about the case so often worked at cross purposes. It was difficult to keep track of who knew what and who was concealing what information. The book was stuffed to the gills with disparate plot threads and a really awkward romance. The sub-plot involving fairytale collectors could have been axed without really affecting the main story. Ditto with the step-father’s creepiness and the companion’s hijinks.
The ending was a bit hard to swallow. I worked out who the guilty party was and had a good guess at why but the reason behind the automatons was bizarre.
This book simply didn’t work for me. I’ve read some really positive reviews about it on Goodreads so it obviously struck a chord with others though. I suggest you try the first in the series if you are interested before diving into this one.