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Superintendent Briggs takes him off active duty until his mental fitness can be checked. Years earlier Spratt had caught the terrifying Gingerbreadman, who likes to rip apart his victims, and now that the giant cookie or is it cake? Instead, the investigation is handed over to by-the-book and quite dim DI Copperfield and Spratt is warned to stay away.

Needless to say, he can't -- whether he wants to or not.

The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime -- book review

With Spratt officially sidelined DS Mary Mary is left in charge of the Nursery Crime Division -- though aside from PC Ashley, a binary-spouting but endearing alien, that's pretty much all there is of the tiny division. Spratt can't completely abandon his duties, and the three of them follow up a variety of cases.

There's the death of Miss Hatchett -- Goldilocks -- possibly accidental, but suspicious nonetheless. And what is it with all those growers of giant cucumbers who meet unfortunate ends? And there's QuangTech and the Quangle-Wangle -- "They seem to be popping up a lot in this inquiry, and so far we don't know anything about them at all.

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There's petty crime there -- porridge is a controlled substance, but bears want a fix beyond their meagre monthly allotments, making for lots of black market dealing -- but there's also the Goldilocks connexion. Meanwhile, besides proving his sanity despite the fact that it's insanity that's needed to do Nursery Crime work , Spratt has some other problems.

His wife finds out he's a Person of Dubious Reality which, along with some other things, leads to increased marital discord , the very noisy Punch and Judy move in next door though at least they're marriage counselors Meanwhile, alien Ashley asks Mary out for a date -- despite being utterly baffled by human procreation. There are quite a few threads here, but Fforde weaves them together quite well.

Needless to say, everything winds up being connected. As in all of Fforde's books, there's prodigious invention on display, a clever mix of fairy tale worlds and reality that he pulls off very well here.

He also has a very good writing-touch -- with some subtler jokes to go along with the usual over-the-top punning. Between almost dry police procedural and utter absurdity the enormous Gingerbreadman, Mary flashing her breasts in the unlikeliest of places Fforde manages to make it all almost convincing. Luckily for Jasper, the novel garnered dozens of effusive reviews, and received high praise from the press, from booksellers and readers throughout the UK.

The Fourth Bear – Review

In January Jasper will be revealing a new book, called 'Shades of Grey', in which a fragmented society struggle to survive in a colour-obsessed post-apocalyptic landscape. Don't worry, it's not that serious. Jasper lives and writes in Wales and has a passion for aviation. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join.

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Ships in 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews With its witty literary allusions, social satire and blurred boundaries between fiction and reality, it's all completely mad, very funny. However ridiculous his themes seem, his characters have a compelling immediacy.

Nursery Crime Novels by Jasper Fforde (Books 1-2 in the Series, Trade Paperback)

The jokes come so fast that it is clear the author simply let his imagination off the leash and had a great time while writing it. You will have a great time reading it too.

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About the Author Jasper began his career in the film industry, and for nineteen years held a variety of posts on such movies as Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. Other Books by Jasper Fforde. Popular Searches latest crime novels released thailand crime book the love languages crime books new releases crimes of grindelwald screenplay.