Rating: [rate 4.5]
Dead bodies never look like this.
It’s Easter in Reading — a bad time for eggs — and the shattered, tuxedo-clad corpse of a local businessman Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III has been found lying beneath a wall in a shabby part of town. Humpty was one of life’s good guys — so who would want him knocked off? And is it a coincidence that his ex-wife has just met with a sticky end down at the local biscuit factory?
A hardened cop on the mean streets of the Thomas Valley’s most dangerous precinct, DI Jack Spratt has seen it all, and something tells him this is going to be a tough case to crack… – blurb from the back of the book
We all know Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and had a great fall…but do we ever wonder why he fell? Jasper Fforde explores this idea in his first Jack Spratt novel, The Big Over Easy. The novel starts with the introduction of Detective Sergeant (DS) Mary Mary, who is applying for a job in the Reading Police Department. She’s a good detective, though she always ends up having to do difficult choices for herself. She thought she would be working with Friedland Chymes, her number one idol but as with every new employee, she had to start out low — in the Nursery Crime Division (NCD) under DI Jack Spratt.
Continue reading The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde) →
Rating: [rate 5]
Literary detective Thursday Next is on a mission — and it’s not just a mission to save the planet. If only life were that simple.
Unemployed following an international cheese-smuggling scandal, our favorite cultural crime-fighter is faced with a world of problems: Hamlet’s not attending his conflict resolution classes, President George Formby is facing a coup led by dastardly Yorrick Kaine and, what’s more, the evil Goliath Corporation are refusing to un-eradicate Thursday’s husband, Landen.
Will she ever see Landen again? Is shopping the new religion? Can Thursday prevent Armageddon? And who will babysit her son while she does it? – blurb from the back of the book
If you were (or still) a fan of Nancy Drew or have read Agatha Christie novels, you’d probably like Thursday Next. Thursday is Nancy Drew and Hercule Poirot thrown in a Harry Potter-like land: an alternate England where there is a special police department named Special Operatives (SpecOps) who deals with EVERYTHING (from literature to the undead), where having a stalker is normal, where time travel is possible and where dodos make good pets. What a world, eh? I definitely agree. :)
Something Rotten is actually the fourth Thursday Next novel in Mr. Fforde‘s Thursday Next series. In case you’re a new reader of his works (like me), you don’t have to worry about getting confused with the characters because more or less each character was re-introduced at the start of the novel. Thursday Next is a literary detective at SpecOps-27, the Literary Detective department (or LiteraTec) of the SpecOps. Thursday is also the head of Jurisfiction in the BookWorld and after living there for two years, she wanted a break for her to properly take care of her son Friday and to find a way to get her husband Landen back after being eradicated by the ChronoGuard (the time-travelling department of SpecOps — SO-12) when he was two. So she goes back to Swindon with her son, her pet dodo Pickwick and her son Alan and Hamlet the Prince of Denmark (who wanted to see if the reports about him from the real world a.k.a Outland is true). Thursday heads back home and tries to fix her life again (and to bring her husband back), but then finds herself under an assassination plot, responsible to get rid of Yorrick Kaine, a fictional character who got out of an unknown book and was planning to become a dictator and of course, to stop the world from ending. What’s new?
Continue reading Something Rotten (Jasper Fforde) →
Rating: [rate 5]
In a Southern novel of unusual narrative charm eight-year-old Jean Louise, nicknamed Scout, tells about growing up as the daughter of a widowed lawyer, Atticus Finch, in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. She and her older brother Jem happily occupy themselves with resisting “progressive education,” bedeviling the neighbors, and stalking the local bogeyman–until their father’s courageous defense of a black man falsely accused of rape introduces them to the problems of race prejudice and brings adult injustice and violence into their childhood world. Despite a melodramatic climax and traces of sermonizing, the characters and locale are depicted with insight and a rare blend of wit and compassion. (Library Journal Review)
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about innocence and prejudice that is told in the eyes of a little girl. The story starts with Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout, and her adventures with her older brother Jem and their mutual friend Dill who visits Maycomb in the summer. These adventures include reenacting scenes from Dracula as told by Dill, and “stalking” Arthur (Boo) Radley, the town’s bogeyman. School comes and Scout doesn’t like it, but agrees to a compromise with her loving father Atticus.
Continue reading To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) →