Once Upon a Crime (The Sisters Grimm, Book 4) - This book makes me want to break out into that song from Annie, "N Y C..."

Once Upon a Crime - Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson

My reviews of The Fairy Tale Detectives, The Unusual Suspects, and The Problem Child.


I've personally enjoyed the Grimm family solving crimes in the confined spaces of Ferryport Landing. Readers of mystery series will know that often times the small towns, the enclosed areas give the writer a fertile place to grow mysteries. There is something about seeing the same people caught up in situations that makes them more compelling and connectable, I think.


Now though, Sabrina, Daphne, and Granny Relda with their companion Mr. Canis and additional friends Hamstead (one of the famed Three Little Pigs) and Puck are taking on the Big Apple!


NYC, hold on to your hat!


This time, we have the genuine murder of one of my least favorite Everafters we've met yet (that's saying something!). The Grimm's detective work leads them to a diner hidden in Central Park, the subway tunnels governed by the six dwarves (the 7th is in Ferryport of course), Wall St. Pirates (in every sense of the word), and Oz the Great and Powerful in charge of the mechanical window decorations at Macy's.


I did have two issues with this one; both have popped up in other stories. One is that, yes the murderer was rather obvious; they actually shouted it constantly. The member of the Scarlet Hand was, admittedly a bit harder, but by that point I was reading it in page or two increments (Sherlock arrived! Three new episodes to watch and re-watch!), so that could be part of the issue. The character had been suspicious but then they are all at times! The second issue is one I'd hoped we were working on. Sabrina's reactions to the Everafters, even ones that help them, smacks almost of racism (specism? What should you label almost hatred of Everafters?) Worse, little seems to be done about her irrational anger against people who help her, protect her even, time and time again. Her Grandmother has addressed it briefly, her sister has gotten angry with her and several good Everafters have called her on it, yet no one takes her to task or tries to teach her better. I realize she's angry over losing her parents and the terribly life visited on her and her sister after that. But she's young and needs guidance which is simply not given to her.

The fact that reading her mother's speech and seeing the work and caring she had for the Everafters brought a realization and growth to Sabrina on her own does not excuse this. Once again, adults have failed her.

(show spoiler)

Maybe I'm over thinking this, her attitude and the lack of adult aid/guidance has genuinely concerned me in this series.


Honestly the most surprising thing about his book was the Fairy Tale identity of Hamstead's new girlfriend. (It was obvious in hindsight! See aside on Sherlock above for reason for lack of clues being gathered.)


All in all, not a bad book and very exciting; there is always something happening. New Everafters are fun to meet and we get a real murder mystery. Also, meeting Scrooge was awesome! However, some of my reservations concerning this series really came into play in this one. This time around, though, I have hope it's actually been addressed.