The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

 

Fantasy

Paranormal MysteryThe Big Over Easy The Big Over Easy: A Nursery CrimeJasper Fforde; Penguin (Non-Classics) 2006WorldCatAre you ready to meet the Nursery Crimes Division of the Reading Police force? DI Jack Sprat is in charge of the NCD. Sgt. Mary Mary has just transferred to Reading. She is unhappy to find she is assigned to the NCD rather than DCI Friedland Chymes, the superstar of Reading’s force, and the second most famous detective in the world. Then Humpty Dumpty is found dead beside the wall where he slept. While the king’s horses and the king’s men might not be able to put Humpty back together again, Dr. Singh, the pathologist for NCD, can. It seems Humpty was shot.

Who killed Dumpty? His ex-wife divorced him because of all his mistresses – hundreds of them if the flowers left at his door after his death are any indication. Yet she still loves him and is angry with him. His current lady friend is furious. He just told her the night before he died that he had re-married someone else. Humpty had been buying shares in the dying Spongg’s Footcare company. He predicted that the worthless shares would be worth 50 million pounds in a year. Spongg’s. Solomon Grundy owns Spongg’s competitor. He also has a personal grudge against Dumpty. Perhaps he is the murderer. Or…did Dumpty commit suicide? What exactly happened to Humpty Dumpty?

Sprat and Chymes have been at odds for years. Chymes is the big shot now. Sprat justs keeps doing his job, not getting any glory from the NCD crimes. So why does Chymes want to take over the Dumpty investigation? And what does the Sacred Gonga have to do with the rest of the story?

Jasper Fforde has once more put his tongue in his cheek and written a novel using puns and word plays with a focus on nursery rhymes. Jack Sprat’s first wife died because she ate poorly (could eat no lean…). Sprat exchanged a porcelain (possibly priceless) cow for a handful of beans. His mother throws them out the window. Guess what happens next? One of the neighbors who slept through the noises of Humpty Dumpty’s fall is William Winkie, a small man with narcolepsy. Oh, and aging movie star Lola Vavoom had been at the height of her career when she starred in The Eyre Affair.

I grinned and chuckled a lot while reading The Big Over Easy. I know this is the first of another series – the next is The Fourth Bear. By the end of the book I wondered what nursery rhymes were left for Sprat and Mary to investigate. The nursery rhymes are obvious in the novel. The puns are over the top, too, even more than in The Eyre Affair and the other Thursday Next books. The Thursday Next series is wittier and slyer than The Big Over Easy.

This novel is a bit of fluff, meant to lighten your day, fairly average. And, like the other series, you’ll soon find yourself watching for and trying to figure out all the plays on words that Fforde uses.


More books by Jasper Fforde

Nursery Crime Unit series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

Link to Amazon.comLink to BetterWorld Books

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