|The Fairy-Tale Detectives|
|Publication date:||August 1, 2005|
|Published by:||Harry N. Abrams|
The Unusual Suspects
The Fairy-Tale Detectives is the first book of the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. In book one of this best selling series, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)—some good and some very, very bad. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it’s up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day.
"We are Grimms and this is what we do"
For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life hasn't 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 that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy-tales is actually a history book that documents magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy-tale detectives. Their first case? a roller-coaster ride of an adventure to stop a giant from destroying their new home town.
"In memory of my grandparents, Basil and Relda Gandee"
"I'd like to thank my editor, Susan Van Metre at Amulet Books, who's guidance helped me find the book inside my idea; my agent, Alison Fargis of the Stonesong Press, for taking a chance on me; Joseph Deasy, who was honest enough to tell me when my writing stunk; my love, Alison, for telling me when Joe was wrong; Jonathan Flom, for all his support over the years; Joe Harris, for being a good friend; my parents, Michael and Wilma, for filling our house with books even if the checking account was empty; and Daisy, who was patient when I was too busy writing to take her for a walk."
- “The two girls looked up into the horrible face above them and felt hot breath blow through their hair.”
- ~ Prologue, from The Fairy-Tale Detectives
Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are running through the forest, thoroughly exhausted as they run for their lives. With nothing but Excalibur to help them, how will Sabrina and Daphne escape?
The series begins with a train bound to Ferryport Landing on which Sabrina Grimm, Daphne Grimm and their case-worker, Minerva Smirt, are sat. Although Sabrina has serious doubts about the legitimacy of the grandmother the two sisters are being sent to live with, Ms.Smirt shoots down her protestations, remarking that there aren't any more foster families willing to take on the two 'troublesome' girls.
The two sisters meet Relda Grimm and Mr. Canis who take them home. Sabrina angrily confronts Relda, calling her an 'impostor' as her parents had never mentioned any other living family members and also questions why they hadn't seen her since their parent's disappearance over a year ago. Unsatisfied with the lack of answers from Relda, Sabrina attempts to escape with a reluctant Daphne, convinced that Relda is a fraud just like the other lunatic foster parents the sisters had previously been sent to live with.
The morning after their unsuccessful escape attempt, Relda takes the the two sisters along to 'investigate a crime'. Arriving at the scene, they find a broken house and also meet Mayor Charming and his assistant, Mr. Seven. Relda finds a leaf at the destroyed site and claims it has come from a giant's beanstalk, leading Sabrina to conlude that her guardian is crazy. A confused Sabrina and Daphne are further baffled by Relda's revelation that they are descended from the Brothers Grimm and are part of a family legacy of being fairy-tale detectives. Relda also tells them that fairy tale creatures - called Everafters - exist as all fairy tales are true and a lot of the Everafters reside in Ferryport Landing. She also reveals that there is a barrier separating the Everafters from humans; this prevents them from leaving the town but also means that a member of the Grimm family must always be within the confines of the barrier itself, thereby explaining why Relda was unable to bring Sabrina and Daphne to the town earlier. Reeling from all these claims, Sabrina dismisses her as a lunatic.
The next day, Relda reviews the clues from their findings. They go to Ferryport Landing Memorial Hospital to visit Applebee's (the farmer whose farm was destroyed) and find out that the farmer and his wife had been approached by a British man who wanted to buy their land. This leads Sabrina to believe that Charming is the British man whom they were referring to. On their way home, Relda continues to explain to the girls about Everafters but is interrupted by Sabrina's angry insistence that she doesn't believe any of the fairytale nonsense. She drags Daphne out of the car and continues to rant - however, her tirade is stopped by a giant hand reaching down and taking the car, kidnapping Relda and Canis.
Officer Hamstead arrives to escort the girls to safety. As the girls begin to think that they are safe, Charming's voice blares out of the police radio with orders that Hamstead should bring the two sisters to his mansion. Daphne and Sabrina escape from the car and are saved from Hamstead by little floating lights. The lights lead Sabrina and Daphne deeper into the forest, where they find a junk throne upon which sits a dirty, crowned boy. After a series of mishaps, he introduces himself as Puck, the Trickster King from A Midsummer's Night Dream. He agrees to help the girls and so they return home, scouring numerous books to try to find out as much as they can about giants - however, in the process, they also find out more about Charming and discover that he is trying to rebuild his kingdom in Ferryport Landing. This adds to Sabrina's theory that Englishman and Charming are the same person and Charming wants to use the giants to help him own all of Ferryport.
As they look through the books, they find a letter from Granny Relda which tells them to go to the room that she had previously forbidden them from entering. Inside the room, they find a simple, full length mirror. Disappointed, they move to leave; however, a bellowing voice stops them. After a brief altercation involving flames and death threats, Daphne identifies the voice from the mirror being that of the magic Mirror, who shows them that Relda and Canis are still alive and tells them that they need the help of the imprisoned Jack the Giant Killer.
Sabrina and Daphne fly to Ferryport Landing Jail using the magic carpet, where they meet Jack. He agrees to help them but only if they bust him out of jail. They eventually manage to escape with him and Jack comes up with a plan to sneak into Charming's office during the Ferryport Landing Ball. They go to Mirror in order to get disguises - Jack also wants Dorothy's Slippers which a reluctant Mirror gives to Sabrina. Sabrina and Daphne use the Fairy Godmother's Wand to transform themselves into two Everafters - Momma Bear for Sabrina and the Tin Woodsman for Daphne.
Using Dorothy's Slippers to go Charming's Mansion, Sabrina and Daphne enter the line of Everafters waiting to enter and are stunned to overhear many Everafters talking about their parents. The sisters are shocked to discover their parents may not actually have abandoned them and also that their family is incredibly hated as many Everafters are eager for the Grimm line to end so they can be free to leave the town. Sabrina manages to break into Charming's office and finds evidence that links the Mayor to the giant; she is interrupted, however, by Charming hauling a disguised Daphne into his office. Charming moves to shoot the two sisters but is stopped just in time by their disguises wearing off, revelaing their true identities. A livid Charming laughs off Sabrina's accusations that he kidnapped Relda and Mr. Canis, but is interrupted by the arrival of the giant at the Mayoral Mansion. Charming summons The Three to deal with the giant, but the giant still manages to wreak havoc on the mansion, tearing off a massive hole in the roof and bellowing that he smells the blood of an Englishman. The terrified Everafters flee the ball and an angered Charming yells that the Englishman is not here, confusing Sabrina and Daphne.
The giant runs away and both Charming and Sabrina furiously confront each other, with Charming blaming Sabrina for the failure of his ball and Sabrina blaming Charming for letting the giant get away and for not saving her grandmother and Mr. Canis when he had the chance. Charming then prompts Sabrina to use Dorothy's slippers to get to the Grimm House as he starts to explain to the Grimm sisters that Jack is actually behind the giant's release.
After arriving at the now vandalised house, Charming drags the two Grimms through the magic mirror only to find Mirror himself battered and bruised. Mirror regretfully informs them that Jack had stolen the magic beans that grow giant beanstalks, and that he intended to grow the beanstalks to bring all the giants down into the town so he could kill them. The Grimm sisters and Charming retrieve Excalibur and, using Dorothy's Slippers, arrive at Widow's Peak. There they find a maddened Jack provoking the giant so he is 'more fun to kill'. Sabrina is aghast at the red handprint on Jack's shirt, similar to the one left behind on her parents' car from which they were taken, and so accuses Jack of kidnapping her parents. Jack denies kidnapping Henry and Veronica but confirms that he is a part of the Scarlet Hand. Whilst Charming tries to protect the girls from Jack's onslaught of arrows, Jack's true motives become clear: he wants to kill the giant and attain his former glory of being a renowned Giant Killer.
The angered giant eventually starts to chase Sabrina and Daphne through the woods and almost succeeds in capturing the two girls; just before he can grab the sisters, a panicked Sabrina wields Excalibur and unintentionally kills the giant. Jack approaches the scene and is furious to find the giant has already been apprehended and that Sabrina 'robbed' him of his chance to attain his former glory. Hell-bent on becoming famous once again, he madly announces that he will attain his glory through another method - by killing the Grimms, thereby nullifying the spell that keeps the barrier in check, as there would no longer be a Grimm left in the town. Just before he can attack Sabrina and Daphne, he is stopped by Mr. Canis, who is revealed to be the Big Bad Wolf. After a brief fight, Jack is defeated and Sabrina and Daphne are reunited with their grandmother. Sabrina apologises to Relda and the family go back home.
Once home, Relda takes Sabrina and Daphne to Mirror's room and asks Mirror to show them their parents. The sisters are stunned to see that their parents are alive and well but are in a deep, enchanted sleep. The emotional moment is disrupted by a ruckus from downstairs; when they go downstairs to investigate, they find Puck moving into the Grimm Family Home, much to Sabrina's horror.
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10th Anniversary Edition
(Sourced from Wikia)
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