Once Upon A Crime

Once Upon A Crime

A Brothers Grimm Mystery

eBook - 2015
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While living with her brother Hans and working as a private detective in eighteenth-century Bavaria, Gretel discovers a connection between a murder at the local car maker's workshop and a case involving three missing cats.
The small, sleepy town of Gesternstadt is shaken to its pretty foundations when the workshop of the local cart maker is burnt to the ground, and a body is discovered in the ashes. It is Gretel who notices that the cadaver is missing a finger. At first she does not see this as significant, as her mind is fully focused on a new case. Not that she wouldn't far rather be investigating an intriguing murder, but her client is willing to pay over the odds, so she must content herself with trying to trace three missing cats. It is not until she is further into her investigations that she realizes the two events are inextricably and dangerously connected.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Crime, 2015
ISBN: 9781605988139
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Dec 20, 2018

The synopsis on the cover of this book doesn't do it justice. It's whimsical, sassy and incredibly entertaining, and the author's depiction of Gretel and her brother Hans is incredibly charming (and actually quite refreshingly unexpected).

The only issue I had with this series is the order of the books seems to be out of whack (from multiple sources somehow). The order I recommend reading them in is: 1) Once Upon a Crime, 2) Gretel and the Case of the Frog Prints, 3) Gretel and the Case of the Fickle Mermaid, as the story begins in OUaC, continues in Gretel &FP, and continues further in Gretel &FM. I'm not sure why, but multiple sources seem to insist OUaC is the second in the series, but reading it that way would muddle up the order of the events for the reader.

FindingJane Oct 31, 2016

There’s been a mix-up somewhere with the numbering of these criminal novels. In this one, numbered as the second in the Brothers Grimm series, Gretel is meeting the handsome, suave (even with a reduplicated name) General Ferdinand von Ferdinand for the very first time. However, the previously read novel (labeled number one), involving some purloined frog paintings, has the reader noting Gretel’s appreciation at seeing General von Ferdinand repeatedly, making it clear that she’s already acquainted with him. When I checked on another website, the same numbering system is shown, indicating this isn’t a fluke of Goodreads.com.

Once the reader gets his/her mind around the skewed timelines, it is refreshing to read about Gretel’s big case. Again, it’s not her first case since her clients come to her already informed about Gretel’s capabilities as a detective. Once again, she runs afoul of the pernicious and persnickety Kingsman Kapital Strudel. Repeatedly she finds herself in hot water and awful messes, usually when the amused General is about the place.

The series raises chuckle after chuckle as Gretel finds herself pursued by hungry lions, scratching furiously after leaving a crazy cat lady and ducking the amorous attentions of a besotted troll. It’s a merry, madcap romp as she improbably ties together the case of a trio of missing felines, a double murder and two star-crossed lovers. It’s a bawdy Shakespearean romp liberally sprinkled with hints of Terry Pratchett.

As always, Gretel and her beef-witted brother Hans retain their love of epicurean delights even as they struggle mightily through cold, mud and choke down less than appetizing fare. Whether first or second, this book lives up to its premise and its promise. Now, if they would only get the sequence right…


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