Mirror, Mirror by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and R.C. Ryan
J.D. Robb uses “Hansel and Gretel” as her inspiration for “Taken in Death”. Eve Dallas responds to the murder of a nanny. The twins she cared for were kidnapped at the same time. Fortunately the boy happened have a forbidden child’s internet toy that he is able to use to broadcast a message. Unfortunately, the toy’s range is only for a couple blocks here in the city. Dallas’ team has only a day or two to find the twins before the battery in the toy dies. “Taken in Death” is a tight, first-rate short mystery. For those of us who have read all the books, it’s a good addition and a brief glimpse of one of Dallas’ cases.
“If Wishes Were Horses” by Mary Blayney has the undertones of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. Blonde housemaid Martha works in Craig’s Hill Castle. She’s looking for a place that feels right to her. The son and heir comes to the family’s country home to recover from his injuries in the Napoleonic wars. His sergeant, Jack, accompanies his major. Once the major is settled, Jack plans to leave the military and resettle in Canada. Perhaps Jack and Martha can both have their wishes granted.
When she was a child Cassandra saw a house on the news that caught her attention. Now, as an adult, she is able to purchase the house. What she doesn’t know in Elaine Fox’s “Beauty, Sleeping” is that a ghost occupies the house. Michael annoyed a fairy and she turned him into a ghost in his own home. Now there is only a short time before his ghost dissolves forever. Michael hopes he can get Cassandra’s attention so she can pull him back into the real world before he dissolves. In this story, “Sleeping Beauty” is a man needing rescue from a woman.
Both “The Little Match Girl” and “The Star Money” influence “The Christmas Comet” by Mary Kay McComas. Natalie is a lab technician at a hospital as her vocation. But her worthwhile work comes in helping the homeless in her town. One local policeman detests her and what she does and arrests her for every small infraction. Miles, another policeman, helps her whenever possible. Natalie’s wages go to the homeless or the people she rescues more than to herself. At the moment she is about three months behind on her rent, gave up her cell phone because of the cost, and can’t afford to get her car repaired. Even so, she has a woman and her three children living with her while waiting for a place in a family shelter to open up for them. Natalie feeds them and keeps them hidden. Miles is always there in the background, lending a hand when she needs it. Natalie would like there to be more with Miles, but she is too busy, nor does she want to ruin their friendship.
The final story, “Stroke of Midnight” by R.C. Ryan, is based on Cinderella. Sydney ignores her complaining stepmother and takes a vacation in Ireland. On the plane she meets Cullen. He happens to live in the town where her father grew up, the town she plans to visit. Cullen offers to be her travel guide. Sydney quickly falls in love with the small town and with Cullen. But can she trust him? He has charm, good looks, and wit, but does he have any money or permanent home?
Mirror, Mirror is a cozy collection of romance stories and one mystery (J.D. Robb’s romance is the ongoing story of Dallas and Roarke). There’s a bit of magic, a bit of philanthropy, a bit of escape, and a good bit of entertainment. Mirror, Mirror is a pleasant way to while away a few hours.
Notice: Strong sexual content, Strong language