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A Brothers Grimm Mystery

Gretel of Gesternstadt (of Hansel and Gretel fame) has made quite a name for herself throughout Bavaria as a private investigator of some note. And so, when Albrecht Durer the Much Much Younger has two of his ancestor’s famous paintings stolen from right under his very nose, Gretel is the one he seeks out.

The case starts on a sour note, however, when Durer’s messenger dies in Gretel’s front hall. Fearing a delay due to questioning in the matter, Gretel absconds to Nuremberg to get started on the case. With the lure of a payday and a chance to shop in Nuremberg’s fine establishments bolstering her on, she immediately gets started. But when the Kingsman from Gesternstadt arrives in Nuremberg intent on arresting Gretel, things become somewhat complicated. Eluding the officials while attempting to catch a thief is a bit above and beyond, but Gretel is determined to solve this one and reap the rewards.

Readers may already know P. J. Brackston and her work as Paula Brackston, but this first in her new Brothers Grimm Mysteries is a bit of a change from her Witch books.

Set in eighteenth-century Bavaria, the series, helmed by a thirty-year-old Gretel, features Grimm characters galore. In fact, this first outing finds Gretel and Hans calling on an old friend who has a penchant for crying wolf for a place to stay.

At times, the actual mystery of the missing frog prints does take a backseat to the overall setting of the story. Brackston’s unique premise and Gretel’s hilarious antics are quite fun reading, though, making this a very promising start to a fun and quirky new series.

2/16 Becky LeJeune

GRETEL AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING FROG PRINTS by P. J. Brackston. Pegasus (January 15, 2015).  ISBN 978-1605986722. 352p.

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