On August 8 I wrote about the unusual novels of Jasper Fforde in his Thursday Next series, which could basically be described as science fantasy. Recently I finished the first two novels in his Nursery Crime series, set more-or-less in the same universe as Thursday Next, except that they’re mystery fantasy (fantasy mystery?) rather than science fantasy. The first, The Big Over Easy, is about Humpty Dumpty, not New Orleans as you might expect. You probably never wondered who killed Humpty Dumpty, but now you can find out. It’s all dry political satire, and you’ll have a lot of fun reading it.
The second in the new series is The Fourth Bear. Did you ever realize that there’s something wrong with the traditional story of Goldilocks? How could the baby bear’s porridge be “just right” when it was the smallest in both volume and surface area? It should have been too cool. However you figure out, it should have been the mama bear’s porridge that was just right. There must have been…you guessed it from the title…a fourth bear! I won’t spoil the story for you; suffice it to say that it all makes sense. Well, sorta… as long as you suspend disbelief and accept the premises of the story. If you like Lewis Carroll and Douglas Adams, you will like Jasper Fforde.
PS: I recommend listening to these in the audiobook versions, which are particularly effective for both novels.