The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

 

FantasyCozy Mystery

The Eyre Affair The Eyre AffairJasper Fforde; Penguin (Non-Classics) 2003WorldCatThursday Next works for the Special Operations Network as a Literary Detective. Her father worked with the Chrono Detectives, but turned rogue. It’s 1985 England. Time travel is common – ask Thursday’s dad. Cloning is a normal choice. Books are extremely important – people change their names to match their favorite author. There are fan clubs for John Milton, the Bronte sisters, Edgar Allen Poe, and many more. Some extraordinary people find themselves involved in a book – literally. Ask Thursday about her visit in Jane Eyre.

Acheron Hades had been a college professor. He turned to a life of crime and has been ingenious in it. He slips out of the tightest traps. Bullets don’t appear to touch him. Now he seems to have stolen the original copy of Martin Chuzzlewit. The general population is in an uproar. Hades has the ability to slip into the book. He can remove characters from it. Since he owns the original copy penned by Dickens, any changes he makes will affect all copies of the novel.

Thursday has been brought in because she knew Hades in college. When Chuzzlewit is retrieved, she is off the case and back into LiteraTech. She is assigned back to her own home town. She has tried to stay away from there. Her brother was killed in the Crimean War (still going on over a hundred years later). She and Langdon, her brother’s best friend, had been in love, but had fallen out after her brother’s death and the ensuing scandal. Ten years later she wants to avoid Langdon but still is attracted to him. Hades had supposedly been killed when Chuzzlewit was retrieved, but Thursday knows better. He is still out there on the loose. And every once in a while, her father freezes time and shows up in her life.

This is the type of book that appeals to my sense of whimsy. It uses both of my favorite genres – science fiction and mystery. Add that touch of romance, and I am hooked. Fforde’s word play the whole way through will grab the attention of any of us who love to play with words ourselves.

The story is interesting as well. Thursday’s interactions with Rochester from Jane Eyre are integral to the story as well as humorous. This isn’t a serious, who done it type mystery. This is the first person narrative of a woman who is trying to do her job and figure out her own life.


More books by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next Series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

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