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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Red Queen Dies by Frankie Y. Bailey

The Red Queen Dies is a futuristic crime novel, set only a few years in the future, in 2019.  This doesn't really seem far enough in the future to account for all of science fiction elements.  The novel is the first in a new series.

Hannah McCabe, the biracial police detective, makes an interesting protagonist.  When two young women are murdered, Hannah catches the cases.  Then an older woman is murdered,  her death doesn't exactly match the pattern of the previous two, but there are plenty of similarities.  Two big differences:  age and celebrity.  The two younger women were attractive young women, but had nothing outstanding in their lives to attract attention.  The third woman, however, was a famous Broadway actress known as the Red Queen for her red hair and her association with Alice in Wonderland.

In addition to the investigation into these three deaths, there is a kind of sub-rosa mystery going on, something elusive; the reader gets a few hints, but not until the end is the idea definitive.

Hannah McCabe makes a good protagonist, and I enjoyed the relationship she has with her father.  The tension between Hannah and her brother---not so much---but perhaps the next in the series will make the brother's inclusion more relevant.  In TRQD, the relationship feels more of a distraction, but seems to be setting up an easier relationship that will be more helpful in future novels.

I look forward to more books featuring Hannah McCabe.

NetGalley/St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books

Mystery.  Sept. 10, 2013.  Print version:  304 pages.

  • ISBN-10: 0312641753


  1. I do like futuristic novels but I typically am used to those that are many years down the road. I wonder if it would feel difficult to believe as 2019 doesn't feel that far off. I'm definitely interested in this one though!

  2. I like the time/setting for this one. This is my first time seeing it. Thank you for your review.
    -Dilettantish Reader

  3. Iliana - I'm not sure that setting in the near future served any great purpose, but it was a pretty good mystery. :)

    Belle Read - I liked the title and the associations with Alice in Wonderland. Just a little perk.