Monday, August 8, 2016

MMGM: Once Upon a Crime

 In my personal ranking of ‘fantasy series you really should read’, The Sisters Grimm is right up there with The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. I adore these books, and Once Upon a Crime is one of the best of them all.

 Here’s the setup: After their parents mysteriously disappear, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are forced to move to Ferryport Landing, a podunk town in upstate New York overrun by fairy tale characters. In Once Upon a Crime, they, their grandmother, the ex-Sheriff, and Mr. Canis, and old man acting as a human vessel of the Big Bad Wolf, travel to New York City. They’re searching for the kingdom of Faerie, in order to help Sabrina's sometimes friend/mostly enemy, Puck. He was injured protecting Sabrina, and only his family can heal him.

 Unfortunately, Puck’s family is even more dysfunctional than the Grimms. Before long they’re roped into solving a murder. Sabrina struggles to protect Daphne while consulting psychics and chasing suspects in a stolen subway car, but her sister is more independent than she’d like to believe. They share an extremely sarcastic, slightly mean-spirited sense of humor, which is--let’s be honest--my favorite type of humor.

“Daphne was still sound asleep, so Sabrina shook her until the little girl opened her eyes.
‘Whazzabigidea?’ Daphne grumbled.
‘Get up, we’re going to jail,’ Sabrina said, helping her out of the car.”

These books have a bit of a Roald-Dahl-type vibe to them--halfway through their murder case Sabrina and Daphne are kidnapped by pirates, then picked up by Social Services, then fostered by a just-paroled serial killer. It’d be awfully grim if it weren’t so funny, and by the end Sabrina’s more than earned her happy ending. Still, I can’t wait to read her next adventure.

What are some of your favorite middle grade books?

MMGM is hosted by Shannon Messenger.