Book Review: Snow White Red-Handed

snow white red handed by maia chanceWhile I love the speculative fiction genre, I have my occasional dives into mystery–usually because I’m needing a relaxing read that doesn’t require me to ponder the science behind FTL travel or telepathic dragons.

I started out reading this series backwards as Maia Chance is my critique partner. I read the 2nd book, Cinderella Six-Feet-Under, before I read Snow White Red-Handed. Maia isn’t as well read in the speculative fiction genre, but her mysteries certainly dip their toes into the genre. The Fairy Tale Fatal series dives headlong into history of fairy tales and certainly qualifies as cross-genre.

Since I just recently read this book, it was time for a book review.

My favorite part of this series is the strong female characters with a biting sense of humor, particularly Ophelia. Maia Chance does an excellent job of layering her characters, yet giving them a touch of modernism that makes the reader able to identify with them.

Ophelia and Prue find themselves out of work and end up working in a castle in the Black Forest out of desperation. The plot centers around whether remains found in a small hut are those from a fairy tale, particularly Snow White, and all the while, murder and mayhem occur. Maia Chance weaves historical fiction and fairy tale quite deftly, making her settings very solid and realistic.

My only criticism would be my own frustration with why Ophelia would tie herself to Prue. I’m hoping that as we go through the series, more of their backstory comes out to explain this. Through her naivety and lack of worldly knowledge, Prue manages to believe the best of people and the world–to a flaw. Ophelia is constantly digging her out of trouble. I’d have left Prue hanging myself.

I hope we get to see Prue’s development as a character as she wises up in addition to Ophelia’s growth.

Overall, a solid read and a good fantasy-slanted mystery. (And book two gets even better!) 😉