A Nursery Crime
Jasper Fforde's bestselling Thursday Next series has delighted readers of every genre with its literary derring-do and brilliant flights of fancy.
In The Big Over Easy, Fforde takes a break from classic literature and tumbles into the seedy underbelly of nursery crime. Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He's investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.
Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.
It didn't take me long to realize that this is not a read-it-in one-day book; rather, it should be savored--read and put down for a chuckle and contemplation. A working knowledge of nursery rhymes helps. Each chapter is prefaced with an excerpt from an imaginary publication giving humorous background.
The protagonist, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his partner Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division, in fictitious Reading struggle with a limited budget, tight office space, and a shortage of staff. The story begins as Jack has just lost his recent case. The trial goes in favor of the pigs when they are found not guilty of murdering the wolf.
Jack's next case begins when Humperdinck Jehoshaphat van Dumpty, better known as Humpty Dumpty, a womanizer, falls from his favorite wall. Was it suicide? Was it Murder?
British humor coupled with mystery and more allusions than I've seen in one book make this is a good read. (I've already checked out the second in the series from my local library.)
Note: contains some profanity.