Book Review: Mirror Mirror, Who’s the Killer?

The Book: Mirror Mirror, Who’s the Killer?

Reviewed by Denika Mead

Talking cats, carnivorous pumpkins, and sassy old ladies.

Mirror Mirror, Who’s the Killer? by Kura Jane Carpenter is a cosy mystery where an old woman and a talking cat who struggles to hold his tongue must work together to uncover the truth.

Ella is a disgraced fairy godmother trying to avoid attention in a kingdom constantly blanketed in snow – Wyld Enchantment Woods. But sometimes, staying hidden isn’t an option. When a henchman, Tom April, is shot and turned into a cat after a foolish mistake, Ella endeavours to find his attacker. Unfortunately, Tom, (now referred to as ‘Tomcat’) has a lot to learn about espionage and keeps forgetting that cats aren’t supposed to be able to talk.

I was instantly drawn into the story by Carpenter’s vivid imagery. She quickly builds an enchanting world, from the snowy landscape – ‘…her voice icy as the snow-covered ridgeline that surrounded her mountaintop castle.’ – to the intriguing and sometimes dangerous beings, like carnivorous pumpkins. ‘The tip curled and uncurled like an index finger beckoning, come, come.’ Within the first few pages, someone fully immersed me in the story.

As Ella and Tom go from clue to clue, getting ever closer to the culprit, I enjoyed their use of inventive phrases and expressions unique to the world. On several occasions, Ella exclaims, ‘magic preserve!’ and clockworks are referred to as ‘cluckworks’.

While I found some of the sentences a little wordy, Carpenter did a wonderful job of quickly and effectively creating fantastic imagery including, ‘He flourished a gloved hand to the darkest recesses of the square where dilapidated gallows lurked like a toad at a swan convention.’

Throughout the novel, I enjoyed uncovering the clues to the mystery as Carpenter drip-fed bits of information about Ella’s past. Ella’s backstory and the people involved slowly become clear as Tomcat gleans more information.

I enjoyed the inclusion of several traditional fairy tale characters, each with a slight twist to their original portrayal, including Goldilocks, (who in this world is a hairdresser) and the unbelievably strong siblings, Hansel and Gretel. It made the world fresh and unique while also playing into the original stories.

I would recommend Mirror Mirror, Who’s the Killer? to anyone who enjoys a light read with an enticing mystery and strong fantasy elements. But remember – be careful what you wish for…

More about this book:

Mirror Mirror, Who’s the Killer? is available on Amazon and is free to read in Kindle
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