The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

 

Paranormal MysteryFantasyThe Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

The Fourth BearJasper Fforde; Viking Penguin 2006WorldCatThe Nursery Crimes Division (NCD) is the least respected department in the Reading Police Force. They gained some respect when they solved the Humpty Dumpty crime a few months earlier, but lost it again in the Red Riding Hood debacle. Now Chief Inspector Jack Spratt is given conditional leave to have a mental evaluation done. What no one outside the department understands is that you have to be a bit insane to work in it and stop the Nursery Crimes.

Even when the giant, psychopathic Gingerbread Man escapes the asylum, Jack and his force of two others – Mary Mary and Ashley the alien, are passed over and the murder case is given to a new by the book detective. Instead, Jack does a favor for a newsman in trade for good press for NCD. Goldilocks has disappeared. The last anyone knew she was following up a theory of bizarre, unexplained explosions that have happened around the world in the last 20 years. This last one happened outside Reading the week before.

Then there is the problem of the bears getting too much porridge. On talking bears porridge acts like alcohol does in humans. It is strictly regulated to prevent ursine highs. As the NCD follow that as well they discover that the cases keep crossing over each other. What is going on?

Jasper Fforde has taken his sense of whimsey and punning and put it into overdrive yet again in this sequel to The Big Over Easy. I chuckled more than once over his word plays. I like the characters of Jack Spratt and Mary Mary. But the book itself is dumb – twisted and convoluted with improbable jumps all over itself to pull everything together. Fforde has too many ideas that he tries to roll together. Yes, that is his normal novel style, I know. This time it just doesn’t come off. Like I said, the book has some great bits for the reader so it’s not a loss. But you won’t miss much if you move on to something else instead.

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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