Review of "Zo White and the Seven Morphs", by Barbara Silkstone

Zo White is graceful.  She is petite, athletic, limber–great qualities to have for a silk dancer in a circus.  Holding onto those ribbons of fabric while performing aerial feats high in the air takes a lot of strength.

So why does her fellow performer, a young man with twice her muscle mass, plummet to his death during a practice run?  Who put the thorns into the silks that caused his hands to be shredded as he slid down the ribbons?

Zo wakes up in the hospital, seriously wounded in the fall that she takes when she witnesses her partner’s death.  She is surrounded by the Morphs–colorful, acrobatic members of the circus’s ground entertainment.  They are completely hidden in full-body suits, from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes, and known only by the colors they wear.

They inform Zo that her life is in danger.  With no time to ask “why?”, they whisk her out of the hospital and to her sister’s turtle ranch to hide out.

What follows from there is a circus in and of itself, with everyone involved looking for motive, a gangster intent on taking over several properties, a python wrangler and his dog, a Mirror that attracts the interest of more than one murderous individual, and a young man who wears his heart on his sleeve.  Not to mention a drag queen and a familiar nemesis who will stop at nothing to destroy Zo and her Mirror.

 

This was such a fun read.  It is the fourth book in a series the author calls “Fractured Fairy Tales by Silkstone”.  I am planning to read the others at some point, especially “The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters”.

The best part of the whole story was searching for names from the original “Snow White” story.  And there are a lot there–even Doc, who is a psychiatrist that Zo’s sister, Rose (another name!) takes Zo to for help in curing her new issue with vertigo. 

Ms. Silkstone takes an old fairy tale to a new level.  The Morphs are nothing like their height-challenged counterparts, and they do not dig for gems.  But they have their secrets, and those secrets are nothing the reader would have expected.

So many different storylines, but crafted so well that they are seamless.  There is a bit of romance, some third-party jealousy, a murder, espionage, dogs with bone fetishes, horny Lucys in a VW bug–the list could go on all day.  But I think I should stop here and let you drool.  And perhaps pick up a copy of “Zo White” yourself…

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