Once upon a Crime and The Case of the Fickle Mermaid,
witches. These look gorgeous, but I can’t say what they are like on the inside. I did not even peek. Nope. I'm all about self-control.
The last [man] was short and wide, and seemed to wobble as he walked, as if it was only his filthy clothing that held him together, while he himself was made up of a material altogether unwholesome and decidedly unattractive. Aged milk curds, perhaps. Or semolina. With a thick crust of thick furry, green-blue mold. (p130)
“Did Hoffman send you?” Pustule demanded, pushing his sibling out of the way so that he might thrust his unlovely visage at Gretel. This was, she decided, an unfortunate technique for conducting a conversation, for close up his appearance was so distracting, it was difficult to remain engrossed in the subject being discussed. (p132-33)
After the witty language, I think what I like best about these books is that, despite the main character being a most famous fairy tale personage and involving a succession of fantastical creatures – troll, giant, mermaid, etc. – Ms. Brackston does not attempt to push the stories into some tortured form that involves every character you ever heard of in a fairy tale. Ugh. Enough of that.
An excellent Feet-Up-I-Don't-Want-To-Work-Too-Hard-Amuse-Me evening read. That's a thing, right?
Buy "Once Upon a Crime"
Buy "The Case of the Fickle Mermaid"