Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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****The Big Over Easy

Jack Spratt Investigates

by Jasper Fforde

Reviewed August 27, 2005.
Viking, New York, 2005.  383 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (MCN F FFO).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#7, Mystery)

Jasper Fforde, the creator of the innovative and ever-surprising Thursday Next series, has now created a new setting and a new detective.  Once again, it’s full of literary allusions, delightful for anyone who likes to read.

Jack Spratt is the detective in charge of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Force.  He’s currently in disgrace because of failing to get a conviction in the trial of three pigs for the murder of Mr. Wolff.  He gets a new sergeant, Mary Mary, and they promptly get a new case.  Humpty Dumpty has fallen off a wall and shattered into 126 pieces.  He always got depressed around Easter, so perhaps it was suicide.

Or is it murder?  Detective Chymes, the star of the Reading Police Force, seems to think so and wants to take over the case.  He thinks it would make a nice narrative for the magazine Amazing Crime Stories, which loves to publish his brilliant cases.

As with the Thursday Next series, this book is full of jokes and puns and things to chuckle about.  I love it that Jack Spratt is said to have killed four giants in the line of duty, but he says that three of them weren’t giants, they were just very tall.  Meanwhile, there’s a good mystery story with lots of suspects and red herrings and different plot threads.  This is a highly entertaining book.

Reviews of other books by Jasper Fforde:
The Fourth Bear
The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book
The Well of Lost Plots
Something Rotten
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing
Shades of Grey
The Last Dragonslayer
The Song of the Quarkbeast
The Eye of Zoltar

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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