Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"It was the week following Easter in Reading, and no one could remember the last sunny day."

After reading the entire Thursday Next series multiple times, I still wanted to read more from Jasper Fforde. I was wary of the Nursery Crimes series because it seemed just a bit too silly and I didn't really understand how it could be executed well but after finding a hardcover version of the first book, The Big Over Easy, at an unbeatable price, I decided to give the series a go.

This book takes place somewhat in the same England that Thursday Next lives in. However, in Reading, besides the normal crimes and normal police force, there are also "nursery crimes", investigated and solved by the Nursery Crimes Division, currently headed by Detective Inspector Jack Spratt. These are such things as the murder of Mr. Wolff by the three little pigs and a "spinning-straw-into-gold scam" perpetrated by Rumplestiltskin. These people all function in normal society but tend to fulfill their nursery-rhyme-foretold destinies. The main crime in this story is the death of Humperdinck "Humpty" Dumpty. Did he fall or was he pushed? Why was he amassing stock in a footcare products company? Why were the ladies so attracted to an egg? Okay, so that question isn't answered in this book but I wish it had been!

It took a few chapters to acclimate to Fforde's created world but the story was quite interesting and I'm rather glad I finally decided to read this one. I don't think this is a series for everyone because it's a bit far-fetched and silly but at the same time it's hilarious and imaginative. Just like the Thursday Next series, this is definitely something different than anything you've read before. The second book in the series is The Fourth Bear, which I also happened to find in a hardcover at a reasonable price and will probably be reading soon.

Mother Goose was framed,

Buy The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime on Amazon or find it at your local library.


  1. I'm starting to feel Jasper Fforde cravings now that I've read through the fabulous Thursday Next series. I'm going to have to start this series to hold me over until another book comes out! According to his website, the next Thursday Next book will be published in August 2010 and he's starting a new series in January 2010 (!).

  2. I have never read any Jasper Fforde and will have to try one sometime. As to his setting of Reading - frankly it would need something major to make it remotely interesting! I spent 3 dismal years there.

  3. This sounds very creative ... though I think I would really have to pay attention to follow along!!!

  4. Deck - If you love Fforde, you'll want to read these. His voice is just so refreshing!

    Jux - Definitely try The Eyre Affair. It makes me laugh out loud every time I read it ... it has to with a character named Jack Schitt in it! And yes, he takes the most mundane locations and spices them up while fully letting you know that if it wasn't for the strange things happening there that he is writing about, you would never want to go to these places!

    Jenners - It definitely takes attention but it pays off by being something incredibly fun and different.