“I’ve underestimated you”
“I’m used to being underestimated” said Jack
Detective Inspector Jack Spratt is the head of the dying Nursery Crime Department of the Reading constabulary. His reputation of being a non-guild, killing four giants (well, one giant, the others were just tall), and accusing the three little pigs of killing Mr. Wolff aka Big Bad is causing him his career and his beloved department. It doesn’t help his former partner Friedland Chymes is the big star whose well published crime work in Amazing Crime can have anything he wants and wants to take the Humpty Dumpty Case.
Somebody killed Humpty Dumpty and Jack Spratt needs to find out who killed the egg before Chymes has his way. The Big Over Easy is a classic who did it detective story set in an unusual place where nursery rhyme characters come to life and some of them are quite shady characters. I’ve never read any of Jasper Fforde’s novels, but this novel has made me a fan. He makes the uncommon seem usual and makes the whole case of the dead egg a believable crime story worth your investigation. It’s engaging enough that as a reader you can’t help but try to solve the case yourself.
The Big Over Easy is reminiscent of the old board game Clue do. You’ve got evidence, weapons, location and a handful of suspects. Throughout the novel you’ll get a insider’s look into the foot industry, nursery rhyme crime, detective work, and a whole lot of familiar characters (giorgia porgia, humpty dumpty, Pandora, Prometheus, bo peep, tom thumb, the geese the lay the golden egg and even a beanstalk). And like any detective story in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, DI Jack Spratt has his own Watson—Sergeant Mary Mary.
Though replete with nursery rhyme characters, this is not for young children. It’s for those who love a good detective story with wit and humor as well as their nursery rhyme this book is for you. Though be warned: Nothing is what they seem.
About the Author:
Jasper Fforde is a British Novelist best known for his Thursday Next series. The first book from the series was The Eyre Affair. To visit the author’s website check here.
His character Jack Spratt can also be found in other Nursery Crime Division Series. Check out NCD’s website!