Monday, September 7, 2015

Review and Giveaway: Cinderella Six Feet Under

Cinderella Six Feet Under (Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery - Book 2) by Maia Chance

Publication Date: 09/01/2015
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Maia Chance on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery
1. Snow White Red-handed 
2. Cinderella Six Feet Under 

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.


This Cinderella goes from ashes to ashes in the new Victorian-era Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery by the author of Snow White Red-Handed . . .

Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax’s plan to reunite her friend Prue with her estranged—and allegedly wealthy—mother, Henrietta, is met with a grim surprise. Not only is the marquise’s Paris mansion a mouse-infested ruin, but Henrietta has inexplicably vanished, leaving behind an evasive husband, two sinister stepsisters, and a bullet-riddled corpse in the pumpkin patch decked out in a ball gown and one glass slipper—a corpse that also happens to be a dead ringer for Prue. 

Strangely, no one at 15 rue Garenne seems concerned about who plugged this luckless Cinderella or why, so the investigation is left to Ophelia and Prue. It takes them through the labyrinthine maze of the Paris Opera, down the trail of a legendary fairy tale relic, into the confidence of a wily prince charmless, and makes them vulnerable to the secrets of a mysterious couturière with designs of her own on Prue’s ever-twisting family history.


Cinderella Six Feet Under is the second book in Maia Chance's Fairy Tale Fatal mystery series. This series is very unique in a genre that is saturated with a lot of the same kinds of stories. Chance makes the reader take a look at fairy tales as though they are real. She uses historical background and context to bring the reader a mystery that is steeped in history and lore. Who didn't hear fairy tales when they were growing up? It's a perfect hook!

What I liked:

I liked just about everything in this book. First and foremost the premise of the series. Cinderella Six Feet Under takes up the mantle  of fairy tale truth following Snow White Red Handed. This book takes the fairy tale of Cinderella and interprets it in such a distinctive way. Readers have to suspend their belief in reality a bit for this series, because the characters and the world building of the series, assumes that fairy tales were real, not just stories or even legends, but real happenings that can be traced and followed. Gabriel, one of the main characters is a professor that is obsessed with fairy tales and proving their existence. It is just a rare and unusual premise. I love it!

I have to admit that Cinderella was always one of those fairy tales that I felt was a little trite and predictable. The way Maia Chance tells it is totally different from the abused step daughter meeting her prince and it involves a murder... who knew! One of the things that stands out is the historical aspect of the story. It is set in 1867. I loved the references to Paris of the day and how the culture and prevailing thoughts of the times were incorporated into the story. Historical cozies are becoming really popular and I hope it is a trend that continues, but this book and series take it in a whole new direction. 

The re-occurring characters of Gabriel, Prue and Ophelia are back once again in this one. Gabriel, the professor, has this fascination with fairy tales and really his perspective is what makes the series work. I loved Prue and that this book had a lot to do with her and her family. She comes off as a bit of a blond at times but I found that kind of endearing in a way. Ophelia is the sensible one, the stubborn one, and the one that has the most trouble believing the significance of fairy tales. She was skeptical but open minded enough to see where the clues were leading. Loved all three of them in this book and found so much more about them that will probably be explored in future books.

What I Didn't Like:

The mystery was really clever. But there were a lot of characters to keep up with. A lot of big long names and a lot of references to the previous case these three worked on. It was on the confusing side. If you read Snow White Red Handed, that will help, but it doesn't completely alleviate the disorientation you might feel in the first few chapters of the book. It's one of those stories that may have been served better to have had less characters carrying the story. 

Bottom Line:

There is so much potential for this series. I love the history, the mystery and the premise is out of this world. The light fantasy type feel to the book is fun for all of us readers who enjoy a bit of the paranormal, but it will still speak to those who don't want to go too far in that direction. This book has Cinderella like you've never seen her before and of course a murder and a victim that looks just like Prue. Not mention wicked step sister who won't let Prue in the house and a missing mother... oh my!

Cinderella Six Feet Under is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

The author of the Fairy Tale Fatal Mysteries, including Snow White Red-Handed, and 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 Cinderella Six Feet Under by Maia Chance.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 26th.

1. Please leave a comment. What's your favorite fairy tale that would make a good murder mystery?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

I've not a clue, really, but how about "The Lazy Spinner" by Brothers Grimm?

cyn209 said...

I'm sure Hansel & Gretel would make a great mystery with a surprising twist!!!

Anonymous said...

vera wilson said,

What about The Gingerbread Boy

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

Sue Farrell said...

Pinochio would be fun as a mystery.

Unknown said...

I think Hansel and Gretel would be a great fairy tale made into a mystery. You have the old crone witch and two mischievous children. What a great start to a good mystery.

Unknown said...

I always thought Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks would translate well into a more modern mystery. Cinderella has always seemed more like a fantasy romance so I'd love to read this book.

Unknown said...

I always thought Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks would translate well into a more modern mystery. Cinderella has always seemed more like a fantasy romance so I'd love to read this book.

Rita Wray said...

Hansel and Gretel, my favorite.

Nancy said...

How about Little Red Riding Hood.

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

The Boy Who Cried Wolf...he could be murdered for telling a tale that was way too close to the truth.

Unknown said...

Sleeping Beauty could easily be converted to a murder mystery, as could Rapunzel.

holdenj said...

I think Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, even Beauty and the Beast all have elements that would transfer well to a mystery! I read the first one this summer, am looking forward to this next installment! Thanks!

Natasha said...

One of my favorites is Beauty and the Beast.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I have to agree with other and think Hansel and Gretal would be a good mystery

bn100 said...


Martha Lawson said...

No clue really!

Ashley said...

One of my favorites is Beauty and the Beast...I think that could be turned into a murder mystery

Wendy Newcomb said...

Ohhh, what an interesting twist!!!!!

wfnren at aol dot com

Grandma Cootie said...

Interesting question. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale but somehow I can't picture it as a mystery.