The Sisters Grimm #4: Once Upon a Crime

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Michael Buckley
Illustrator: Peter Ferguson
Publisher: Amulet Books
Year: 2007
ISBN: 9780810995499
Pages: 272

The Grimm sisters and their family to New York City in this fourth installment. Initially elated at being back home, Sabrina Grimm is quickly disappointed to learn that "the real world" also contains an Ever After community. The sisters, their grandmother, Mr. Canis (the Big Bad Wolf and family friend), and Sheriff Hamstead (one of the three little pigs) are in search of the realm of Faerie, Puck's home. Puck's fairy wings were ripped off by the Jabberwocky in the previous novel and his health is in critical condition. Upon arrival in Faerie, Puck receives medical aid and the family learns that Veronica Grimm, the girls' mother, had secretly been continuing the family business after moving to New York City. Sabrina is originally angry at finding out her "normal" mother continued to help Ever Afters and is determined to retire, but eventually it helps her realize her true calling as a Grimm. This revelation comes as the family investigates the murder of Oberon, King of the Fairies, from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

This novel focuses more on developing Sabrina’s character and shows her finally accepting her role in the Grimm family business. Daphne has very little character development in this novel and remains determined to be a Grimm detective despite her older sister's wishes. The story explores family relationships and roles more than the previous novels do. Sabrina's family dynamic is juxtaposed to Puck's family in this novel. Sabrina's parents, while currently under a sleeping curse, were very close to their children before being kidnapped. Pucks parents, however, are the petty fairy rulers Oberon and Titania who only ever seem to fight. Puck was banished by his father for refusing an arranged marriage. While Puck was separated from his family by order, the Grimm family had no choice in their separation. The end of the novel shows how each family still loves each other even though they play different roles.

*Contains moderate violence.