Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: The Fairytale Detectives
Series: The Sisters Grimm #1
Author: Michael Buckley
Publisher: Amulet
Publication Date: 1 Oct 2005
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5

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.


This is a book about two girls – Sabrina and Daphne – who are German-American orphans with the surname Grimm. They discover they are descended from the famous brothers Grimm and have inherited their ancestors’ role as fairy-tale detectives. They are soon swept up in their first adventure: they must help their grandmother (Relda Grimm) to stop a rampaging giant from destroying Ferryport (Fairyport) Landing. The Fairy-tale Detectives is the first in a series of six.

When I read the synopsis, this looked like a typical fairy-tale remake, but as soon as I began the book I was proven wrong. Mixing adventure with sisterly strife and reinventing ancient characters in an amazingly imaginative way, The Fairy-tale Detectives is an incredible story. I struggled to find any possible improvements to this book but an appendix with quick biographies of original fairy-tale folk would be useful to understand some of the more obscure characters.

The part of this book I like the most is when the children and Puck (the fairy king from Shakespeare) first enter the forbidden room and are shocked by what they find. The conversation which follows is truly hilarious. My favourite character is Granny Relda’s mysterious companion, Mr. Canis, who brings the novel to its stunning conclusion.

This is an interesting, funny and well-written story and I intend to look out for the rest of the series. I would say this book definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars.