Book #42: Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

Fforde’s newly released book, “The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime”, inhabits a world different than the Thursday Next novels, but carry over the author’s ability to draw a comic “alternate England” to great effect. The new series follows Detective Jack Spratt, investigator in the Nursery Crime Division, as he solves the murder of Humpty Dumpty in modern-day “alternate” Reading. Along the way, the mystery unfolds with consummate Fforde complexity, managing to pull in references to most classic nursery rhymes. As with the Thursday Next novels, The Big Over Easy isn’t really a children’s book, but is rather a fantasy mystery for adults who enjoy the British tradition of comedic whimsy. I’m a huge fan of the Thursday Next novels, and naturally I was somewhat disappointed to find that this (and next) year’s books from Fforde were going to be a new series, but Fforde carries off the new series well and I’m hooked.