Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Sisters Grimm: Book Four - Once Upon a Crime

The Sisters Grimm: Book Four - Once Upon a Crime

Michael Buckley
Illustrator:  Peter Ferguson 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Abrams, 2001   ISBN: 978-0810916104

Though Sabrina and Daphne have got their parents back, Henry and Veronica Grimm are still under a sleeping spell and Puck, their fairy friend, is terribly sick after being attacked by a Jabberwocky. Puck is rapidly running out of time so Granny Relda, Mr. Canis, and Mr. Hamstead, and the girls are taking Puck to Faerie, where Puck's family live, where they hope he will be able to get some help.

Sabrina is astonished to discover that Faerie lies is the heart of her old home, New York City. To make matters even more complicated she learns that Puck is the son of the King of Faerie, Oberon himself. Apparently Puck was banished by his father and Oberon is not inclined to help Puck now, even though his son is terribly sick. Finally, his wife Titania persuades Oberon to allow Puck to be healed but soon after the process is begun Oberon is poisoned and dies.

It isn't long before the Grimms find themselves deeply involved in an investigation to find out who murdered Oberon. It appears that Cobweb, a fairy, did the deed. He certainly is on the run and therefore appears guilty of the crime. And yet something about the whole business does not seem quite right.

In addition to the investigation Sabrina learns that her mother was not the person she thought she was. Veronica Grimm was very active in the Everafter community in New York City and was much beloved by many of them. Indeed she was trying to find a way to save Faerie. This is very hard for Sabrina to come to terms with at a time when she herself wants nothing to do with the Grimm legacy. She wants to retire from the family business for good and to lead a "normal" life.

As always is the case when the Grimms are on a case, mayhem and unexpected adventures pursue them at every turn. Will they be able to find the real murderer before it is too late and will Sabrina be able to come to terms with her place in the family tree?

In this fourth book in "The Sisters Grimm" series Michael Buckley once again takes his readers on a roller coaster ride of an adventure into his world of magic, fairy-tale characters, and new discoveries. Just when Sabrina thinks she has is it all worked out, she learns that her assumptions about her old life in New York City were all wrong. New fairy-tale characters seem to leap off the pages in brilliant three dimensions, so real they seem. We don't want to give too much away but Oz fans will particularly enjoy this story. With a sprinkling of romance and numerous unexpected twists and turns in the plot, this book is a gem to savor and chuckle over.