Thriller Thursday is my weekly feature of mystery/thriller/suspense novels from all age ranges that I’ve read and reviewed. This genre is one I’ve just started dipping my toes into and I wanted to share with you all my journey into the genre!The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson
Series: The Sisters Grimm #1
Published by Amulet Books on 22 April 2011
Genres: MG Mystery, MG Retellings & Fairy Tales
For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life has not been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother--a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives.
Middle Grade novels have become such fun reads for me to delve into! I began reading more books from the Middle Grade age-range last year as I I got into full swing of my studies as a youth services librarian. I realized that I had skipped a lot of Middle Grade books when I was younger and mainly jumped right into Young Adult. Now that I’m helping kids at the library, I’m doing my best to read more Middle Grade books to help with reader’s advisory and just keep ‘in the know.’
One of the series I decided to try out was the The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley & illustrated by Peter Ferguson. I have been reading more mystery as a whole so I wanted to try out some Middle Grade mystery books. The Sisters Grimm series jumped out at me as a semi-popular series among the targeted age group and also included the fairy tale element which sold me right away. Read on for my thoughts on the first book in this series 🙂
Synopsis from GoodReads:
For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life has not been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother–a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives.
When I went to pick this novel up, I was really interested in it’s premise: fairytales meets girl detectives? Yes, please! Plus, the series was a semi-popular one for the age group.
The beginning of the novel was a little slow to start for me, but once the sisters arrived to their grandmother’s town the story really began to pick up. The setting and atmosphere reminded me of the show, Once Upon a Time, except that the characters already knew they were fairytale characters. It was fun seeing which characters were which members of the town and how their personalities were imagined by Buckley.
Speaking of characters, the two main characters–Sabrina and Daphne–were spunky and independent. Sabrina slightly grated on me as I read from her POV. She was the primary MC as the older sister of the two. What drew me back from liking her character was her lack of an “open-mindedness” for the longest time in the book. I understood her reluctance to believe the town’s fairy-tale origins and a lot of her reasonings were realistic, but for some reason her character just annoyed me from time to time. It might be because I’d more readily believe in the fairy-tale world. Daphne on the other hand was a delight as a character and I bonded with her a bit more.
Granny Relda definitely showcased where Sabrina and Daphne get their spunk and independence! She was such a fun grandmother character to read about and I loved her camaraderie and interaction with the rest of the community of fairy-tale characters. I won’t mention what other fairy-tale characters appear within the story so as not to spoil it, but they were all a fun reimagining and seemed mostly true to character. I enjoyed coming across all the different fairy-tale characters throughout the book.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was Granny Relda’s house! It definitely seemed like a treasure trove and I loved reading all the descriptions of the house and what the sisters found throughout its rooms! Also some of the food Granny Relda served was pretty interesting, but I’m not sure I’d be as adventurous in eating it as Sabrina and Daphne were. 😉
The mystery this time around was really good. I had my eye on one character being the bad guy and was presently surprised by the slight twist in “who done it.” I’m interested to see what’s next in terms of mysteries for these two sisters as well as the overall mystery presented in this first book.
Overall, this was a great first book in a series. Definitely a nice read for young readers around the ages of 7 through 12, but I’m sure older audiences (such as myself) will still enjoy its contents and characters. I’m hoping I’ll have time to read some of the other books in the series to continue on Sabrina and Daphne’s adventures & mysteries!
Have you read The Bat? What’s your take on Harry Hole? Have you ever stepped out of your reading comfort zone? Are you a mystery lover & have a recommendation for me? Let me know all your thoughts below in the comments! I’d love to hear from you 🙂
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