Enter the world of the Nursery Crime Division in this novel from Jasper Fforde, the New York Times bestselling author of the Thursday Next series and The Constant Rabbit
Jasper Fforde's bestselling Thursday Next series has delighted readers of every genre with its literary derring-do and brilliant flights of fancy. In The Big Over Easy, Fforde takes a break from classic literature and tumbles into the seedy underbelly of nursery crime. Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He's investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.
"[Forde] knows a thing or two about leaping into new worlds. . . . It's hard not to see what all the enthusiasm is about." -Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"A wonderfully readable riot." -The Wall Street Journal
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).
This book is absurdly delightful. Admittedly, I am not too up on my nursery rhymes, but the twists and turns in the investigation of Mr. Humpty's demise had me guessing and unsure until the very last page.
This has genuinely been one of my favorite books for over a decade, and I'm so dismayed that not only has it not gotten nearly enough recognition, it hasn't gotten enough sequels!
This book (and its companion, the fourth bear) is a super exciting hard boiled detective novel that in no way takes itself too seriously. The characters are super charming, the plot is well-paced and full-bodied, and the world is immersive and immediately believable. I can not recommend this book highly enough!
....and this book goes down easy. What fun!