This is a festive holiday book, featuring a play-within-a-book: the Plummergen village production of “Cinderella”, starring some of our favorite characters. Set in verse, the ingenious villagers’ presentation (a fundraiser for the church organ) offers plenty of entertainment. Mr. Jesyp and Dr. Knight as the Ugly Sisters Injecta and Instructa are not to be missed. Those are just two examples of cross-dressing in the cast, another being Maureen from the George and Dragon as Prince Charming, chosen not for her histrionic ability (onions can be used to induce tears when needed) but because of her excellent legs (in the Prince’s tights). Plummergen is very practical in its casting: Emmeline Putts has the title role because she owns a lovely long blonde wig. Miss Seeton’s roles are set designer and prompter.
But of course, there are always the bad guys, this time two different gangs robbing banks. Add the discovery of valuable Roman artifacts, the temptation of the cash receipts from the production. and of course Miss Seeton’s restless fingers creating still another enigmatic cartoon. The message is that appearances are deceiving, and some things (and people) are not what they seem.
The gangsters are dealt with in thoroughly Miss Seeton manner, leaving the village free to enjoy a Yuletide visitation from the traditional Mummers. All in all, a delight–a tasty sugarplum to savor.
As always, my thanks to author, publisher and NetGalley for providing an advance copy for me to read and review.