Monday, June 19, 2017

The Fourth Bear

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde, 378 pages

In this second Nursery Crime book (after The Big Over Easy), Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and Sergeant Mary Mary are looking into the mysterious death of Goldilocks, an investigative reporter who was researching the world of competitive cucumber growing, when sadistic mass murderer the Gingerbreadman escapes from the insane asylum where he'd been held since Jack captured him 20 years earlier. Throw in a mysteriously healing car, an ill-fated trip to Sommeworld (quite possibly the worst idea for a theme park ever), and way too many references to Edward Lear's nonsense poems, and you have what is probably most fanciful, silly, and downright convoluted murder mystery ever published. While it may not be for everyone, I love it and have read it several times. The note at the end — that Ashley (an alien, of course), Jack, and Mary will return in The Last Great Tortoise Race in 2007 — is just a cruel reminder that no third Nursery Crime book was ever published. Sigh...

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