(Amazon US/UK Covers with links)
Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood is officially released in the US this week. I'm not sure what kind of planning resulted in this week being fairy tale mystery week with this and Snow White Red-Handed (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) as new releases, but sometimes its fun to wonder.
The hero of the book is expert on fairy tales which is fun!
Actually, the book is not new, new since it was released in May 2013 in the UK--see Path of Needles--but this week is its official US debut.
Book description for US edition:
When an expert on fairy tales is called in to consult on the investigation of bizarre murders, her premonition and insight causes suspicion; she must solve the case--and fast--to prove her innocence.
Alice Hyland is an expert on fairy tales--lecturing on the well-known stories and their lesser-known variants--and the natural choice for Police Constable Cate Corbin to consult when a dead girl is found in the woods dressed up as Snow White. Especially when the girl's grieving mother receives a parcel containing a glass bottle of blood stoppered with the dead girl's toe. Cate's boss, Detective Superintendent Heath, isn't convinced of the connection to folklore until a second girl is found, this time dressed as Red Riding Hood and with claw marks gouged into her flesh, like a wolf had been at her.
As she dives deeper into the case, Alice beings to sense a supernatural pull connecting her to the murders. A series of uncanny events seem to be pointing her in the right direction, but she's not the only one noticing; By the time a third girl is found in the local castle, Heath begins to wonder if their fairy tale expert knows too much, and Alice finds herself no longer an asset, but a suspect. But she can't stop following the clues, and her determination to solve the mystery herself and prove her innocence may lead her somewhere she can't return from.
Book description for UK edition:
Some fairy tales are born of dreams... and some are born of nightmares.
A murderer is on the loose, but the gruesome way in which the bodies are being posed has the police at a loss. Until, on a hunch, Alice Hyland, an expert in fairy tales is called in. And it is Alice who finds the connection between the body of Chrissie Farrell and an obscure Italian version of Snow White.
Then, when a second body is found, Alice is dragged further into the investigation - until she herself becomes a suspect.
Now Alice must fight, not just to prove her innocence, but to protect herself: because it's looking like she might well be next.