Once Upon a Crime by Michael Buckley

grimm4.jpgOne of my favorite young adult series is the Sisters Grimm Fairy Tale Detectives series by Michael Buckley. They are everything I enjoy about YA fiction: creative, funny, nicely packaged and beautifully illustrated.

My wife and I read through the first three books in the series very quickly so we were eagerly anticipating the release of the fourth book, Once Upon a Crime, this month. It didn’t disappoint. It was a great continuation of this entertaining series.

If you will recall from the last book, Puck had his wings ripped off by the Jaberwocky and the Grimms were planing to take him back to the faeries to see if they could heal his wounds. Well, it turns out the faeries are located in New York City – central park to be exact. The plan is to drop Puck off and head back home, but when someone murders King Oberon chaos breaks out and the Grimms are enlisted to help find the murderer.

The subplot involves Sabrina wrestling with learning about a side of her mother that she didn’t know existed. All of the violence, danger and instability, however, has her wishing she could just give up and be a normal girl. As you can probably guess this isn’t very likely any time soon. Grandma Relda respecters her wishes, but there is the small matter of getting out of New York alive to deal with first.

Buckley weaves in another batch of fairy tale characters that aren’t quite what you grew up with – now hanging out in the Big Apple – with the usual adventurous twists and turns, Grimm family squabbles, and the required climatic showdown with a terrifying monster. We learn more about the mysterious Scarlet Hand, and what happened to Sabrina and Daphne’s parents, but there are still enough questions to keep the series going. It is all good clean imaginative fun.

So if you enjoy young adult fiction, or have kids – “tween” I think is the age group – who are looking for reading material, be sure to check out The Sisters Grimm; to use a cliche they are fun for the whole family.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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