Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints (A Brothers Grimm Mystery #1)
Author: P.J. Brackston
Publisher: Pegasus Crime
Published date: January 2015
FTC: Publisher sent the book to review
I am a bit of a sucker for fairy tales and while Disney is fun I tend to prefer my fairy tales to be more Grimm if you know what I mean. At first I was a little leery when I started the story but I ended up really liking it. It reminded me of my type of beach read. You know, one of those stories or series that you know you'll enjoy, won't be a tough read and you can read the whole thing on your vacation.
Back of the book:
When Albrecht Durer the Much Much Younger's Frog Prints go missing, he knows exactly where to turn for help. Gretel (yes, that Gretel), now 35 and still living with her gluttonous brother Hans, is the country's most famous private investigator, and she leaps at the opportunity to travel to cosmopolitan Nuremberg to take on the case. But amid the hubbub of the city's annual sausage festival, Gretel struggles to find any clues that point toward the elusive thief.
Even with the aid of the chatty mice living under her bed, the absent prints remain stubbornly out of view, and Gretel is forced to get creative in her search for the truth.
When I first started reading this book I was a tad leery. I mean, when I thought of Hansel and Gretel being detectives I was thinking more like Jeremey Renner and Gemma Arterton from the movie. The book opens up with Hans being a bit pudgy and lazy (kind of like on the cover of the book) and Gretel liking to indulge in food as well. I just couldn't get a grasp in my head what Gretel looked like. But as the story progressed I started to really enjoy the time period, the comedy, and the character of Gretel. I like when authors can get a historical time period to feel authentic without being overly descriptive and keep the story going. I also really enjoyed the fairy tale whimsey - like talking mice and hobgoblins - that actually felt realistic.
I also enjoyed the variety of characters: the historical Albrecht Durer's much much younger relation, Gretel's nemesis Kingsman Kapitan Strudel who's competitive jealousy is hilarious to read, and General Ferdinand who is a handsome possible love interest. Of all the shows and movies out there, I think this one would be so fun to adapt. It was a fun book to read.
Albrecht Durer is a famous artist I remember learning about in my art history class. If you Google Albrecht Durer animals you can see some gorgeous work. Here is a rhino print that I believe was mentioned in the book:
I also did't make the connection that P.J. Brackston and Paula Brackston are the same author (duh!) and I had recently received her book The Silver Witch in the mail. Have you read any of her works? I had seen a few of her books but had never read them. The covers are gorgeous though:
I also just noticed that the cover and description for book #2 of the Grimm Mysteries is now out. Here is Once Upon a Crime:
Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frogs was a perfect fit for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge. Head over to the review site to check out other people's reviews of fairy tale-ish reads.