‘It looks like he died from injuries sustained during a fall...'
Bestselling author Jasper Fforde begins an effervescent new series. '
It's Easter in Reading - a bad time for eggs - and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.
Following the pathologist's careful reconstruction of Humpty's shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody.
As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack's Lime Green Austin Allegro, the clues pile up, but Jack has his own problems to deal with. And on top of everything else, the JellyMan is coming to town...
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, and, well, you know the rest. But was Humpty's fall an accident, or was it murder? It's up to giant killer Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crime Division to get to the bottom of it. Humpty was quite a ladies' man, but a few people thought him a bad egg. Jack has a number of suspects, a new partner to break in and gloryhound/antagonist Detective Inspector Chimes to deal with. Prebble's sonorous British voice is ideally suited to narrating this whimsical, fractured fairy tale; his tone and pacing match Fforde's prose perfectly, and his subtle vocal acrobatics enable him to amusingly bring to life the novel's wildly divergent cast of characters. Despite its many virtues, this is probably Fforde's weakest novel, lacking the literary sophistication of the Thursday Next books. But Prebble's performance easily makes this Fforde's best audiobook to date. Prebble's vibrant, all-star narration more than makes up for them. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, June 6).