100 Dresses

I frankly can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this series before. Susan Maupin Schmid wrote a marvelous debut novel and has continued with a sequel that I love just as much. The 100 Dresses series follows the adventures of Darling Dimple in the enchanted castle as she strives to discover the mysteries surrounding her family past and the royals’ past as well.

In the first book, If the Magic Fits, we are introduced to the orphaned Darling, who has spent her whole life working down in the Under-cellar, dreaming and imagining a better life. When a chance for a “better” life comes along, Darling is shoved into it without much aplomb. Being a Princess’ girl is not very fun, especially when she’s made fun of by the other well-off girls. After being given the task to take care of the Princess’ canary, Darling discovers a magical truth: the deceased Queen’s gowns can turn her into someone else! With the magic power of the dresses and the castle behind her, Darling sets out to discover the secrets of the princess’ mysterious suitors, the castle, and the dragons chained to the towers. Can Darling solve the mystery and save the day?

Ghost of a Chance picks up rather soon after the end of the first book. Darling has discovered a ghost and it’s causing loads of trouble for her and the Princess Mariposa. The dresses aren’t being much more help either. When multiple items go missing and the ghost appears a few more times, Darling starts to get worried. The thief is causing rifts, ruining Princess Mariposa’s life, and making life at the castle unbearable for everyone. And it only gets worse when a stolen pin is found in a fellow girl’s boot – and Darling is blamed. With her mysterious family history already a burden weighing on her, can she find the thief before the ghost finds her?

Susan Maupin Schmid has proved herself to be an excellent writer with this debut series. Her characters, storytelling voice, and plots are well-thought out and entertaining. Every character is memorable and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

Chime Time: In 100 Dresses, Darling can change into anyone she wants when she slips into one of the gowns. If you had a dress that could make you look like anyone, who would you want to look like?

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