Cinderella Six Feet Under
by Maia Chance
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: September 1, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
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 and down the trail of a legendary fairy tale relic.
Cinderella Six Feet Under is a historical mystery set in 1867 in Paris. This is the second book in the series. You don't need to read the first book to understand this one, but you might understand Penrose's interest in Ophelia better if you read them in order. (They don't exactly get along in this book because Ophelia has trouble accepting his help.) This novel didn't spoil the previous whodunit.
Ophelia was a master of disguise with only some greasepaint, a wig, padding, and her acting skills. While there was some humor, the interactions between the main characters weren't as enjoyable as in the first book. Some of the relationship tensions felt forced to get a certain result. And though we're given a specific date for these events, the date appears to have no significance to the events in the book. It could as easily been set "sometime in the Victorian era."
The mystery was clue-based and guess-able. I got much of it figured out before Ophelia, but the mystery aspect still held my interest until the end. There was no sex. There was a minor amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel to those who'd enjoy the fairy tale tie-in.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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