Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Red Queen Dies by Frankie Y. Bailey

I chanced upon this book in the library and decided to pick it up because the idea of an Alice in Wonderland themed serial killer was way too intriguing to pass over. While this book, set in a futuristic and slightly alternate universe was good, it didn't have as strong Alice in Wonderland vibes that I wanted (I will admit that Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock basically lifted my expectations because that book really had the vibes)

Anyway, The Red Queen Dies takes place in 2019. It's a futuristic America, with illegal drugs like "Lullaby" wiping out traumatic memories, people talking on ORBS and well, robots as extremely capable housemaids (and the robot is named Rosalind aka Rosie). Interestingly, in this version of America, there has been a woman president in the recent past, but as far as I know, the book was published in 2013, so I guess the writer was very prescient.

There are a few mysteries in this case, like a witness who takes Lullaby and ends up unable to testify, some guy who got beat up and (the main mystery), a serial killer whose third victim once starred as Alice in Alice in Wonderland. The mysteries all remained very separate, and it seemed like the author was just throwing in things to develop in later books.

While the main mystery was pretty interesting, I didn't really get an Alice in Wonderland vibes from the book (apart from the victim being connected to it and liking the book). Instead, the book seemed to be more focused on presenting a version of America where there are cameras on every street, but not enough money to keep all of them running at the same time. If there were more references, they must have been very cleverly hidden because I couldn't find them.

Overall, this was a decent mystery, though not the one that I had expected. Still, I enjoyed the book and I managed to finish it in two or three sittings, without losing much interest.


  1. It's good to know the connection between Alice and Wonderland wasn't very strong in this mystery. It's an interesting premise though.

    1. Definitely. The premise was so intriguing, but I think they overhyped the connection to Alice.


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