Friday, November 14, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Snow White Red-Handed

Snow White Red-Handed (Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery - Book 1) by Maia Chance

Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0425271625
ISBN-13: 978-0425271629

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Maia Chance on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Snow White Red-Handed, courtesy of the author's website.


Miss Ophelia Flax is a Victorian actress who knows all about making quick changes and even quicker exits. But to solve a fairy-tale crime in the haunted Black Forest, she’ll need more than a bit of charm…
1867: After being fired from her latest variety hall engagement, Ophelia acts her way into a lady’s maid position for a crass American millionaire. But when her new job whisks her off to a foreboding castle straight out of a Grimm tale, she begins to wonder if her fast-talking ways might have been too hasty. The vast grounds contain the suspected remains of Snow White’s cottage, along with a disturbing dwarf skeleton. And when her millionaire boss turns up dead—poisoned by an apple—the fantastic setting turns into a once upon a crime scene.
To keep from rising to the top of the suspect list, Ophelia fights through a bramble of elegant lies, sinister folklore, and priceless treasure, with only a dashing but mysterious scholar as her ally. And as the clock ticks towards midnight, she’ll have to break a cunning killer’s spell before her own time runs out…


What do you get when you combine a cozy mystery with a fairy tale? Snow White Red-Handed the new book from Maia Chance, that's what. The publishing world, as well as, the movie industry and television has been awash with so many fairy tale re-tellings that many readers may not think twice about a new one. But This book is quite different than what we've seen before. It is a historical cozy mystery set in the late 1800's and one that parallels the possible existence of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. With everything from dwarf skeletons to poison apples, this is an interesting way to tell a whodunit.

What I liked:

I felt like this book was extremely unique. Not only is it set in the past in the time period of the original Grimm's fairy tale of Snow White, it is also a clue based mystery. There were so many interesting facts about the Black Forest and the surrounding towns, about the possibility that Snow White really lived and tidbits about the two actresses that end up as ladies maids and sleuths. This was a very creative endeavor by Chance and I truly enjoyed trying to figure it all out. 

Ophelia Flax and her partner in crime Prudence are a great crime duo. They start out seeming to be resourceful young women who end up with jobs a ladies maids to the annoying Mrs. Coop. When they end up in the middle of a murder, it's up to Ophelia to prove not only that Prue is innocent of the crime, but that Snow White's final resting place may have really existed. I loved Ophelia. She was funny and clever and had me rolling with her snarky sense of humor. I am a huge fan of sarcasm and dry wit and she had it to spare. A great new cozy heroine!

All of the details about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were beautifully done. Chance interweaves the fairy tale lore throughout the book and makes it a large part of the mystery itself. Mr. Coop being done in by poison apple was a great touch and I felt like this book was a great nod to the Grimm brothers and their tales. There were so many motives it was a little bit of task to keep them all separate, but it certainly was not predictable. The clues were easy to understand but very hard to pinpoint. I didn't figure this one out until the main characters did and that's somewhat rare for me. But that made it all the more interesting.

Bottom Line:

I thought I had seen just about every kind of cozy mystery theme writers could come up with, but this mash up of a cozy with a fairy tale was brilliant. All of the original Snow White tidbits were fun to read about and to see where they would pop up in the book next.  I loved the main character and found her humor appealing. This one was truly enchanting. 

Snow White Red-Handed is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

A finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, Maia Chance is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington. She is writing her dissertation on nineteenth-century American literature.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Snow White Red-Handed by MaiaC hance.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 29th.

1. Please leave a comment. What do you think about twisted fairy tales and re-tellings of the Brothers Grimm?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

Twisted fairy tales are okay; they can be interesting.

traveler said...

twisted fairy tales are strange ideas. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I have been enjoying the retelling via twisted tales. It breaks he monotony.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I think the dark side of those tales by the Bros. Grimm lend themselves nicely to mystery style mash ups! Looks like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

Michelle F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

Sometimes they can be downright creepy.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

Some of Grimm's Fairy Tales can be kind of scary

lag123 said...

I love the tv series Once Upon ATime. It puts a new spin on the old stories.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

Most of the Grimm's fairy tales are fairly brutal and bloody---a twist on them is fine if they clean them up a bit.

Toni said...

I love the idea of twisted fairy tales. Not the same old same old. Always looking for new stuff

Carol N Wong said...

I think I love the Twisted Tale if I have loved the fairy tale, if not, I probably would not want to read it. This one is one of my favorites and I read it to the neighborhood kids many times.


Karen B said...

I loved when Rocky and Bullwinkle had fractured fairy tales back in the 50s/60s. I think a cozy series based on fairy tales would be terrific, especially since the dark aspect would be eliminated or greatly lighten up.

Debbie S said...

I like twisted fairy tales, I think it's interesting to see a different point of view on them, or how someone else might take the story in a different direction.

Dotty Kelley said...

I've read one other twisted fairytale book and hated it (different author). The historical setting of this one sounds interesting though. Would love to give it a try.
dotkel50 at comcast dot net

Girl with Pen said...

I love them. I think it makes the fairytale more interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

Jeanette G. said...

I love them. I'm always picking up new retellings of fairy tales. I love the old ones too. The politically incorrect ones are hilarious. :)

Unknown said...

I enjoy fairy tales in all their forms; I especially enjoy those that include a strong heroine.

Theresa N. said...

It's sounds like a very interesting twist to the tales.
Theresa N

Martha Lawson said...

I like them! This one sounds great, can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance.

Chelsea B. said...

Love 'em!!

bn100 said...

not a fan of retellings

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I find them very interesting!

Anita Yancey said...

I like fairy tale retellings, but I'm not sure about the twisted part. Thanks for having the giveaway.