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From the New York Times best-selling author of The Witch's Daughter comes the story of Gretel, all grown up and investigating the disappearance of Albrecht Dürer's treasured frog prints.
Bavaria, 1776. When Albrecht Dürer the Much Much Younger's frog prints go missing, he knows exactly where to turn for help. Gretel (yes, that Gretel), now 35 and still living with her gluttonous brother Hans, is the country's most famous private investigator, and she leaps at the opportunity to travel to cosmopolitan Nuremberg to take on the case. But amid the hubbub of the city's annual sausage festival, Gretel struggles to find any clues that point toward the elusive thief.
Even with the aid of the chatty mice living under her bed, the absent prints remain stubbornly out of view, and Gretel is forced to get creative in her search for the truth.
This was a great mystery full of interesting characters. However, Brackston's description of Hansel and Gretel's gluttony made my stomach roil - the details of Gretel's binge-eating session with a tower of sweets and Hansel's bratwurst casing incident - well, these scenes were just gross. I don't know if the author thought they would be funny, but they weren't. For me, they were incongruous with the rest of the (fairly) humorous story even though I get the fairy tale connection. It might not be so bothersome for others, just don't go into it expecting a 'cozy mystery', as Gretel gets into some other fairly unsavory activities (like moonlighting as a dominatrix).
The protagonist was so quirky and the story so refreshingly different that I couldn't put it down. I solved the mystery fairly early on, but enjoyed following Gretel along as she reached the same conclusion.
Oh, and Kate Reading's performance was fantastic, as always.
79 of 81 people found this review helpful
Excellent narration. The voice fits Gretel, Ms. Reading does a commendable job of differentiating male voices with out the annoying raspiness of some narrators. The writing was amusing without terribly predictable sit. com. humor. If you are looking for a serious mystery involving grim Grimm fairytale characters this is not for you. If you enjoy some satire, the life and adventures (including narratives of the culinary and fashion delights of an iconic Bavaria) of a grownup fairytale "child-star" ("THAT Gretel!") will satisfactorily entertain. I found myself searching for an, as of yet, non-existent prequel and sequel. Which to me is elevated praise!
33 of 34 people found this review helpful
Like a female Sherlock Holmes, Gretel is smart and funny and clever and gets herself into all kinds of hilarious situations as she endeavors to solve a mystery. Loved the narrator and her beautiful pronunciation. Highly recommend this book!
32 of 34 people found this review helpful
My rating for this book: G to PG (some sexual situations...there is a brothel)
Favorite character: Gottfried(sp?)
An interesting take on fairly tale characters, though that is not the basis for the book, just the characters. The protagonist (Gretel) is not a very likable character, especially at first, and this made it difficult for me to enjoy the book at first. She is bossy, superior, superficial, and selfish. We later find that she can be engaging, entertaining, and even insecure, but she is not likely to be a favorite character, even at the end of the novel.
Her brother Hans is slightly more lovable, though he is lazy and stupid, and his friends are also lazy and stupid. His character, though he appears throughout the book, is never fleshed out, as the only thing the listener is supposed to surmise is that he is lazy and stupid, but still devoted to his sister. The mystery is always in the foreground, but the entertainment of the book lies in the situations (and humor) that Gretel finds herself in...and usually in front of the man she wishes to form a relationship with (Gen Ferdinand Von Ferdinand). Many of these situations are silly. Many of the characters are silly, Much of the story is silly, and yet... Once I decided to stick with it, I was pulled into the narrative.
I found I ended up enjoying myself (somewhat), much the way one enjoys a sitcom once you realize it's a sitcom, and not supposed to be taken too seriously. This book is light fare - something you can listen to while doing something else - and you don't need to take note of every detail. It's silly fun, which means it's not for everyone, but if you like sitcoms, or need to be cheered a bit, this may be for you. It's not laugh out loud funny, but it made me smile a few times. I did not like the book or the characters for SEVERAL chapters, but I'll admit, that I would be willing to listen to a sequel... Perhaps not now, perhaps only if the book is on sale or when I need some cheering.
I don't recommend this for everyone, especially if you need some meaning in what you read or have difficulty with silliness, but I would recommend it for pre-teens or for people who just need to get away from all reality. You may wish to try it while it's on sale to see if it's for you.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Loving the works from this pen name for Paula brackston's more quirky literary undertakings ... I am addicted to anything she might write and this wonderful tale was no exception. Brilliant storytelling and charicature portraits, wonderful language and vocabulary to please the most avid poet. Just wonderful
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
I laughed and laughed. Having enjoyed this book immensely, I look forward to the next in this series.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints? What did you like least?
I liked the fairy tale connection
Would you recommend Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints to your friends? Why or why not?
Not really - it got long and I tired very quickly of how much food discussion there was and how foolish the brother was made out to be.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I got this book as an Audible Daily Deal. I was very excited to start reading it. Unfortunately, I became bored a lot while reading it. There was not as much fantasy as I expected.
However, the narrator was wonderful. I will definitely listen to this narrator again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Kate Reading did a wonderful job delivering a slowly-paced, disappointing story full of characters that are neither believable enough to fit in a historical story nor funny enough to fit in a boring comedy. Gretel is a poor investigator and not very sharp on her feet.
The mystery was ignored for much of the story, which was more about the character bumbling around Nürnberg and dealing with her idiot brother, his more idiotic friend, her dimwitted pursuer, and a talking mouse.
Hey, at least the talking mouse was believable...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This was a fun book to listen to. The characters were great fun.it brought me back to childhood when I would imagine living with these dark but fun characters.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I loved hanz. A bit obese, a bit of a slow wit, a bit lazy, but a great cook .
Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?
Valerie was my favorite just because I loved the way Kate reading would pronounce Valerie! But wolfie was also played very well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful