Switzerland, 1868. Resolute variety hall actress Ophelia Flax has spent the last several months performing in a traveling circus, settling into the gritty camaraderie of circus life, and—almost, anyway—forgetting all about Professor Penrose, love, enchantment, and bunkum generally. When Ophelia breaks her arm in a trick pony-riding accident under the big top, she is whisked away by a guilt-ridden benefactor to convalesce in the Waldsanatorium, a grand hospital perched high over a valley. Soon after her arrival, she discovers that one of the patients, the young American Imogen Melchor, is trapped in a morbid lethargy from which she cannot be woken and which—so her parents insist—was caused by the prick of an enchanted spindle. Ophelia is not one to twiddle her thumbs, even though she’s discomfited by the sudden reappearance Professor Penrose, whose head is turned by rumors of magical spinning wheels. Inquiring together into Imogen’s plight, they uncover a wicked plot concerning medical theories, a pagan goddess, and a contested will . . . and, along the way, perhaps reawaken their own slumbering hearts.
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Sleeping Beauty, Borrowed Time: A Fairy Tale Fatal Novella based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Awaken to This Concluding Novella One of the many casualties of the cozy mystery purge going on at Berkley right now was the Fairy Tale Fatal series. Since it left the two main characters’ future up in the air, many of us fans didn’t consider that a good thing. Author Maia Chance listened to us, however, and she decided to give us a self-published novella, Sleeping Beauty, Borrowed Time, to wrap things up. The story opens six months after the previous book as Ophelia Flax breaks her arm in a circus accident and finds herself in a fancy hospital in Switzerland to recover. Another patient there is Imogen Melchor, she has been asleep for 8 days. The story this young woman’s parents tell is of her pricking her finger on a spindle while they were touring a nearby monastery. Meanwhile, Professor Gabriel Penrose is using his summer break from teaching at university in England to visit Switzerland. His official purpose is to research local legends. However, he’s really there hoping to track down Ophelia in hopes of convincing her to marry him. What will he make of this modern day Sleeping Beauty? What is really happening with Imogen? And will Ophelia believe that Gabriel didn’t show up because of the local connection to the Sleeping Beauty legend? That’s quite a lot of questions for a novella, so I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you it moves quickly. With only 100 pages or so to tell this story, there isn’t much time for dead weight or many sub-plots. Yet we do get a decent mystery that had me going until the very last page. Meanwhile, it was great to see Ophelia and Gabriel again. I like these two characters, and since the story is told once again from both of their points of view, we get to know them, and what they are currently thinking, very well. On the other hand, the new characters could be better developed. They are developed enough for the story to work, but there just isn’t space for fully realized characters. This is 100 pages, after all. As a final chapter for two characters I love, I thought Sleeping Beauty, Borrowed Time worked perfectly. It provided closure while still giving us an entertaining story. I think other fans of this series will enjoy it just as much.