Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Jasper Fforde
Viking, July 2005
400 pages
ISBN: 0670034231

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Reading, England. Detective Sergeant Mary Mary, recently transferred to the Reading and Oxford Constabulary, is hoping to be assigned to DSI Friedland Chymes, whose exploits she has been following ever since she was nine years old and her father bought her a copy of Amazing Crimes in which the exploits of the famous detective were detailed.

Chymes, as a member of the Detectives' Guild, has all his achievements written up in Amazing Crimes as do all members of that guild. Mary is, however, assigned to Detective Inspector Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crimes Division, who is not a member of the guild.

Spratt has just lost the case of the Three Little Pigs and is going home in a rather sour temper. His wife Pandora tells him she is going to put him forward for membership of the Detective's Guild, as she leaves the house to go to a benefit affair as official photographer. The next morning, Spratt stops at his mother's residence on his way to work. She gives him a package that she says contains a Stubbs painting of a cow and asks him to sell it for her.

When he gets in to work, he discovers that Humpty Dumpty has had a great fall off his favorite wall and has smashed into thousands of pieces. The pathologist is trying to find all the pieces of shell in order to be able to discover the cause of death. It has been raining hard all night, so shell is all that can be retrieved.

Jasper Fforde's second series, after the Thursday Next books, is, as can be seen, as zany as the first, if a bit more accessible to those of us with childish minds. Spratt trades his mother's cow for some magic beans, Jack and Mary determine the cause of Humpty's death, and all the while, one's mind reels from the juxtaposition of real and fictional characters in this send-up of a British police procedural. I'd like some of what Fforde is smoking.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2005

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]