Jasper Fforde is the author of the bestselling Thursday Next series, and now, in this book, he starts a new series, Nursery Crime. If you haven’t read his Thursday Next series, and love the old classics, you’ll love that series. It starts with The Eyre Affair and I highly recommend it! I was able to really enjoy it even though I haven’t read all of the classics he references in the series (although I have read a pretty big chunk of them).
If you aren’t a fan of the classics, but still enjoy literary humor, then Ffordes new series is perfect for you. Its based in the same alternate England as his Thursday Next series, but instead of meeting characters from classics like Jane Eyre, we get to meet people from the nursery rhymes we grew up with.
Jack Spratt is the head of the Nursery Crime Division in Reading, England. If the crime involves a nursery rhyme, he’s the one who investigates it, along with his understaffed motley crew of a department. Now you might think that these type of crimes would be rare, but all your old favorites have lives in the real world, although they usually don’t realize that they are from nursery rhymes. In fact neither Jack Spratt himself, nor his new partner Mary Mary, realize that they have their origins in nursery rhymes, despite the fact that they investigate them.
In The Big Over Easy Jack Spratt and Mary Mary are called on to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty. Mary is new to the Nursery Crime Division (NCD) and it’s all still a bit strange to her, and she couldn’t have had that much stranger of a first case to tackle! Not that it seems that way at first, when you find an egg shattered at the base of a wall the apparent cause of death would seem to be death by falling right? Then they find the bullet hole. Then, over the course of the investigation, multiple people come forward to confess, each convinced they really did it, and things just get stranger from there.
I give this book 5 out of 5 cups of coffee. I was laughing the whole way through and I love how Fforde brings our old friends from nursery rhymes to life, and gives them a whole new twist! It was also fun to see some characters from his other series get mentioned and one even plays a pivotal part. I can hardly wait to read the next book!