cover image Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and R.C. Ryan. Jove, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-0-515-15407-8

Returning novella contributors Robb, Blayney, McComas, and Ryan (The Unquiet) are joined by newcomer Fox in this interesting collection of fairy-tale–inspired stories of romance and intrigue. Robb’s Eve Dallas must track down a pair of missing twins in a Hansel and Gretel police procedural, “Taken in Death.” Blayney’s wish-granting coin entwines a pair of lonely adventure seekers in romance beyond their lives as a servant and a sergeant in her charming 1816 fantasy, “If Wishes Were Horses,” which gives a nod to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Fox introduces a charming ghostly television reporter to the woman who buys his haunted house in “Beauty, Sleeping,” a clever, turned-on-its-head version of Sleeping Beauty. McComas’s phenomenal modern retelling of “The Little Match Girl” gives a too-generous activist and the cop who thinks he’s too old for her a chance at love in “The Christmas Comet.” In Ryan’s Cinderella tale, “Stroke of Midnight,” a teacher travels to her father’s hometown in Ireland, falls in love, and nearly lets her wicked stepmother ruin everything before an improbable conclusion. Though varying dramatically in approaches to the theme, each novella successfully captures the spirit of magic and happy endings. (Oct.)