Jasper Fforde is able to write diabolically. . . . Outrageous satirical agility is his stock in trade. (The New York Times)
Like the creators of . . . The Simpsons and South Park, Mr. Fforde uses fantasy to dissect real life. . . . He is our best thinking personÆs genre writer. (The Washington Times)
Mr. Fforde manages to bombard the reader with more bizarre detail than most writers would dare to fit in their entire oeuvre, yet he does so with . . . light prose and easy, confident wit. (The Wall Street Journal)
The Barnes & Noble Review
After successfully apprehending the infamous Great Long Red-Legg'd Scissor-man, who cuts the digits off children who suck their thumbs, Spratt is inexplicably forced to take a leave of absence while a medical review board assesses his competency. With Mary Mary working as the acting head of the Nursery Crime Division -- and Spratt as her "consultant" -- the misfit members of the NCD are faced with two very different cases: to help track down the deranged Gingerbreadman, who has just escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane, and to find Henrietta "Goldilocks" Hatchett, an investigative reporter who mysteriously disappeared while working on a story about prizewinning pickles. The last to see her alive: a family of three bears who have recently experienced strange porridge problems…
Fans of authors who specialize in outlandish, absurdist fiction -- Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, et al. -- will absolutely devour Fforde's Nursery Crime novels. If the essences of Monty Python's Flying Circus and Mother Goose were blended together, Fforde's Nursery Crime saga would be the result. Readers should be warned, however, that after reading The Fourth Bear, they will never look at porridge the same way again… Paul Goat Allen
Detective Chief Inspector Jack Spratt and his trusty sergeant, Mary Mary, are back in another sidesplitting Nursery Crime adventure from Jasper Fforde: the sequel to 2005's The Big Over Easy. In The Fourth Bear, Spratt must track down a legendarily violent criminal known as the Gingerbreadman, a "seven-foot biscuit with a bad attitude."
Jasper Fforde is able to write diabolically.... Outrageous satirical agility is his stock in trade.
Mr. Fforde manages to bombard the reader with more bizarre detail than most writers would dare to fit in their entire oeuvre, yet he does so with ... light prose and easy, confident wit.
Like the creators of ... The Simpsons and South Park, Mr. Fforde uses fantasy to dissect real life.... He is our best thinking person's genre writer.
Like The Big Over Easy (2005), Fforde's first Nursery Crime novel, this sequel offers literary allusions, confusions and gentle satire, though, again like its predecessor, it lacks the snap of the author's Thursday Next series (The Eyre Affair, etc.). Jack Spratt, DCI of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department, is also a PDR (Person of Dubious Reality), as are most of the characters Jack deals with, including the Gingerbreadman, a notorious killer, and Punch and Judy, a violence prone couple who are also marriage counselors. An alien policeman named Ashley, talking bears, a devoted group of cucumber-growing enthusiasts and an immensely powerful company, Quang Tech, add spice. All are grist for Fforde, whose word play runs the gamut from puns to shaggy dog stories. The Gingerbreadman's on the loose, Goldilocks is missing and Jack's once again persona non grata at headquarters. As Jack and his associates "bring justice to the nursery world," they also cast a Swiftian eye on corporate hubris, race relations, the drug trade and myriad other targets. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Detective Chief Inspector Jack Spratt, head of Readings Nursery Crime Division, is back on the case in this sequel to The Big Over Easy. Once again, Spratt is hampered by division politics and his failure to prevent the Big Bad Wolf from swallowing Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Busted down to Missing Persons, Spratt and Constable Mary Mary are officially shut out of the hunt for the murderous Gingerbread Man, but their paths keep crossing during an investigation into the disappearance of reporter Henrietta "Goldilocks" Hatchett. Meanwhile, Jack struggles with telling his wife the truth about his past, and Mary contemplates dating an alien. With an allusion, pun, or joke on every page, Fforde continues his skewering of detective fiction conventions and nursery rhymes in this world where Punch and Judy are marriage counselors and Dorian Gray is a used car salesman. Fourth Bear has less backstory than the previous novel, but anyone acquainted with Fforde's Thursday Next series will easily catch up and enjoy the ride. Great fun for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/06.]-Devon Thomas, DevIndexing, Chelsea, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.