The fourth installment in Jasper Fforde’s New York Times bestselling series follows literary detective Thursday Next on another adventure in her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England—from the author of The Constant Rabbit
The popularity of Jasper Fforde’s one-of-a-kind series of genre-bending blend of crime fiction, fantasy, and top-drawer literary entertainment builds with each new book. Now in the fourth installment, the resourceful literary detective Thursday Next returns to Swindon from the BookWorld accompanied by her son Friday and none other than the dithering Hamlet. But returning to SpecOps is no snap—as outlaw fictioner Yorrick Kaine plots for absolute power, the return of Swindon’s patron saint foretells doom, and, if that isn’t bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she vanquish Kaine and prevent the world from plunging into war? And will she ever find reliable child care? Find out in this totally original, action-packed romp, sure to be another escapist thrill for Jasper Fforde’s legions of fans.
Welsh writer Fforde's fourth entry in the zany, hypercreative Thursday Next detective series revisits the "Literary Detective" as she retreats to her hometown of Swindon, England, retiring from the tedious job (as Head of Jurisfiction) she held in Fforde's previous novel, The Well of Lost Plots. Joined by her two-year-old son, Friday, pet dodos Pickwick and Alan, and Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, Thursday realizes that there's someone missing: her husband, Landen, previously "eradicated" by the Goliath Corporation, a ruthless bio-tech conglomerate corporation. She wants Landen back. Aided by her father, she is reinstated into her old employ, the Special Operations Network, and begins investigating the machinations of power-hungry Fictioneer Yorrick Kaine and the mysterious disappearance of England's president. The fate of the world rests on the outcome of a major croquet tournament, with Thursday pinch-hitting on a lethal playing field as Landen is finally returned to reality (only to fade out again). More than a little wacky, the novel is packed with screwball details as characters get "written" in and out of the story, hybridized creatures stalk malls and Shakespeare clones start popping up everywhere. With humorous illustrations and curious footnotes sprinkled throughout, Fforde's latest will have hardcore fans roaring but those new to the series might want to tackle the convoluted mayhem from the very beginning.