Format Hardcover
Publication Date 07/15/15
ISBN 9781605988122
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 352

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Once Upon a Crime

A Brothers Grimm Mystery

P. J. Brackston

From New York Times bestselling author P. J. Brackston comes the prequel to Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints, the new novel in the rollicking series featuring Gretel, all grown up and working as a private investigator in 18th century Bavaria.

Gretel (yes, that Gretel) is now 35, very large, still living with her brother Hans, and working as a private investigator. 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, and that the mystery of the missing cats will lead her into perilous situations and frightening company. Very soon Gretel finds herself accused of kidnapping Princess Charlotte, twice locked up in the cells at the Summer Schloss, repelling the advances of an amorous troll, strapped to a rack in Herr Schmerz’s torture chamber, and fleeing a murder charge. With dubious help from her brother (whose scant wits are habitually addled by drink), she must prove her innocence, solve the puzzle of the unidentified corpse, and find the stolen cats before they meet a grisly end.

P. J. Brackston is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Witch's Daughter; The Winter Witch; and Nutters. She is also the author of Gretel and the Case of the Frog Prints, available from Pegasus Books. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Brackston lives in Wales with her partner, Simon, and their two children.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Clever and cute. Delightfully witty vignettes matched with a solid plot. A real charmer. A wonderful mystery series, something truly different and enjoyable to read.” Bookgasm
“P. J. Brackston has taken fairytale characters, fleshed them out with real life experiences and human frailties and foibles, dropped them into storybook-perfect towns, added a whole lot of humour and created a rollicking and entertaining novel. Thoroughly enjoyable.” Historical Novel Society
“Brackston sets her fairy-tale sequels in the Bavaria of 1776, blending fantasy and whimsy with a touch of satire. Another entertaining outing for those readers who like the idea of mixing fractured fairy tales with a little mystery.” Booklist
“Thoroughly delightful—I’m interested in what case Gretel will work on next.” KidsReads.com
“This spoof of Brothers Grimm fairy tales will have readers laughing out loud.” Library Journal