The Big Over Easy

The Big Over Easy

An Investigation With the Nursery Crime Division

Book - 2005
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It's Easter in Reading - a bad time for eggs - and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.

Following the pathologist's careful reconstruction of Humpty's shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody.

As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack's Lime Green Austin Allegro, the clues pile up, but Jack has his own problems to deal with.

And on top of everything else, the JellyMan is coming to town...

Publisher: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2005
ISBN: 9780340835661
0340835664
Branch Call Number: M FFO
Characteristics: 398 p. ;,24 cm

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t
the_bookwyrm
Aug 03, 2017

I'll begin this review by referencing a series with a similar presence--
"Fables" by Bill Willingham was the first time I approached the concept of storybook characters living among us with a main character working as a detective to investigate literary criminal activity. Whether it was the writing or the accompanying artwork, it didn't sit very well with me and I skipped out after the third volume.

However, Jasper Fforde had something that grabbed my attention, and it's a treat to experience. Not only did the writing feel less dramatic and more humorous (a matter of taste, I suppose), but the world building involves the "Persons of Dubious Reality", seemingly normal citizens, and extraterrestrial immigrants who interact with one-another in a silly but "this is normal" fashion. There isn't a subplot of trying to hide who you are from others, it's just how things are.

I dare not give away how this whole investigation ends--it's something you have to read to believe--but it's a wild ride from start to finish and has enough tongue-in-cheek awareness that I couldn't help smirking at all the nods to typical plot points in mystery novels.

Now if only the third volume of this series would be published...

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

If you enjoyed Jasper Fforde's genre-bending mysteries featuring Thursday Next, you'll love his clever new series featuring Detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department. Just who killed Humpty Dumpty? Join Jack, Mary and a host of other nursery rhyme and literary characters in a crazy, satiric romp involving cross border money laundering, problems with beanstalks and the cloak and dagger world of international chiropody.

v
vwruleschick
Nov 05, 2013

A mystery series with Fairy Tale characters which makes this hilarious with them living in England where anything is possible. But when one Humpty Dumpty is found shattered into hundreds of pieces from his wall. There is suspicion everywhere. Not only that DI Chymes is trying to sink DI Spratt and his department NCD. Funny characters, and situations, enjoyed reading.

hania4987 Jul 12, 2013

you will never think of Humpty Dumpty in the same way again! ;)

a
agent391
Aug 25, 2012

A very entertaining story. The ending was surprising, but not unbelivable. The 'nursery characters not knowing that they're nursery characters' idea was an interesting touch. Good book for fans of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams.

s
september10
Aug 02, 2012

So very very clever!

m
meldaravaniel
Jul 16, 2012

Jasper Fforde really knows how to write clever stories. He takes all the nursery rhyme characters or themes you've ever heard and sprinkles them in this series. I often catch myself laughing out loud.

t
tocch101
May 15, 2012

Very well written. A fun read through that keeps you guessing. I enjoyed that you felt like you knew the characters from previous stories, but another depth was always added.

u
Ubalstecha
Sep 27, 2011

Jasper Fforde is back with a new series, this one about the Nursery Crimes Division, the lowest of the low in the police department as their DI, Jack Spratt, is unwilling to twist the truth or embellish his cases in order to get them published in Amazing Crimes.

Spratt and his new DS, Mary Mary, must prove that the apparent suicide of Humpty Dumpty is really murder and catch the killer before Nursery Crimes has is shut down, or worse yet, the case is stole by Spratt's nemesis, and old partner, Friedland Chymes,

Part British Police procedural, part hard boiled detective fiction (pun intended by Fforde I suspect), part dry British humour, part skewering of our fame obsessed culture, this book has a lot going for it. Worth reading with a cup of tea.

k
kelvingrove
Jul 04, 2011

A great read. Very original storytelling which keeps you guessing right up to the end.

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agent391
Aug 25, 2012

agent391 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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