The Big Over Easy

The Big Over Easy

A Nursery Crime

Book - 2005
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It’s Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.But Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary remain unconvinced, a sentiment not shared with their superiors at the Reading Police Department, who are still smarting over their failure to convict the Three Pigs of murdering Mr. Wolff. Before long Jack and Mary find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with beanstalks, titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of international chiropody.And on top of all that, the JellyMan is coming to town . . .
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2005
ISBN: 9780670034239
Characteristics: xii, 383 p. ; 22 cm


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Nov 15, 2018

My eleven year old fan of Douglas Adams loved this book and found the ending to be a satisfying surprise. He's recommended it to quite a few friends.

Nov 26, 2017

I honestly did not expect this book to be this great. It was hilarious and refreshing. I love the wonderful twists and turns that it took.

Aug 03, 2017

I'll begin this review by referencing a series with a similar presence--
"Fables" by Bill Willingham was the first time I approached the concept of storybook characters living among us with a main character working as a detective to investigate literary criminal activity. Whether it was the writing or the accompanying artwork, it didn't sit very well with me and I skipped out after the third volume.

However, Jasper Fforde had something that grabbed my attention, and it's a treat to experience. Not only did the writing feel less dramatic and more humorous (a matter of taste, I suppose), but the world building involves the "Persons of Dubious Reality", seemingly normal citizens, and extraterrestrial immigrants who interact with one-another in a silly but "this is normal" fashion. There isn't a subplot of trying to hide who you are from others, it's just how things are.

I dare not give away how this whole investigation ends--it's something you have to read to believe--but it's a wild ride from start to finish and has enough tongue-in-cheek awareness that I couldn't help smirking at all the nods to typical plot points in mystery novels.

Now if only the third volume of this series would be published...

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

If you enjoyed Jasper Fforde's genre-bending mysteries featuring Thursday Next, you'll love his clever new series featuring Detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department. Just who killed Humpty Dumpty? Join Jack, Mary and a host of other nursery rhyme and literary characters in a crazy, satiric romp involving cross border money laundering, problems with beanstalks and the cloak and dagger world of international chiropody.

Nov 05, 2013

A mystery series with Fairy Tale characters which makes this hilarious with them living in England where anything is possible. But when one Humpty Dumpty is found shattered into hundreds of pieces from his wall. There is suspicion everywhere. Not only that DI Chymes is trying to sink DI Spratt and his department NCD. Funny characters, and situations, enjoyed reading.

hania4987 Jul 12, 2013

you will never think of Humpty Dumpty in the same way again! ;)

Aug 25, 2012

A very entertaining story. The ending was surprising, but not unbelivable. The 'nursery characters not knowing that they're nursery characters' idea was an interesting touch. Good book for fans of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams.

Aug 02, 2012

So very very clever!

Jul 16, 2012

Jasper Fforde really knows how to write clever stories. He takes all the nursery rhyme characters or themes you've ever heard and sprinkles them in this series. I often catch myself laughing out loud.

May 15, 2012

Very well written. A fun read through that keeps you guessing. I enjoyed that you felt like you knew the characters from previous stories, but another depth was always added.

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Aug 25, 2012

agent391 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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