Post number thirty-seven is for the first book in Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm series, The Fairy-Tale Detectives. I was glad to have an excuse to read this book, as I’ve been dithering over whether or not it was something the kids at the school where I work would enjoy. I think they would, as they tend to enjoy fairy tales quite a bit, and these books do to them what Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books did to Greek Mythology; the books are set in the modern world.
Brief spoilery thoughts follow.
So the sisters in the book are Sabrina and Daphne, whose parents have gone missing. The girls have subsequently been put in foster care and their nasty caseworker, Ms. Smirt, has been trying for nearly two years to shunt them onto one family or another (all of which are horrid). The book opens with the girls on a train ride to their grandmother’s house, who has just been uncovered and who Sabrina is positive is a fake, since their father told the girls she had died when he was young. Of course, it comes out that the woman is not lying, and that the reason their father said she was dead is that he wanted to distance his girls from the family business: solving fairy tale crimes.
This book moved pretty quickly, although much of it is devoted to setting up the world and introducing various characters. Sabrina also spends the majority of the first half being openly defiant of her grandmother and trying to come up with various ways to escape with Daphne. (Truth be told, she was starting to get on my nerves about it, although it’s certainly fair to think that a woman who talks as if the fairy tale stories are real might indeed be barmy.) However, once her grandmother is abducted by a troll, things definitely pick up and the book turns more action-oriented. All in all it was a really quick read when it was all said and done.
The book made me think more about the new NBC show coming out in October called Grimm, which seems to be built on the same premise. A NY detective realizes he’s part of the Grimm family, and has to set about solving supernatural crimes. I wonder if Michael Buckley is getting any kind of royalties for his idea? Might be cause for a lawsuit if not.