Who wrote this book and when?
Jasper Fforde published this book in 2006.

Has there been a film version?
No.

Who are the important characters?
Jack Spratt – the suspended head of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department
Mary Mary – the acting head of the NCD
Goldilocks – a hard nosed reporter who has gone missing
The Gingerbreadman – a psychopathic cake (cookie?) who murders for fun
Dorian Gray – a sketchy used car salesman
Madeleine – Jack’s wife
Punch and the Mrs. – the Spratt’s new neighbors
Ashley – a Rhambosian alien who works in the NCD

What’s it about?
Despite the fact that the most notorious serial killer of all time, the Gingerbreadman, has escaped – Jack is suspended from duty pending a psychological examination. He spends his time working a case on the side. A reporter known as “Goldilocks” has gone missing and the last to see her were three bears who live out in the forest. Before he knows it, Jack is not only tracking Goldilocks, but breaking a porridge-smuggling ring, braving a WWII themed amusement park, and investigating strange catastrophic explosions; all while trying to evade both the Gingerbreadman, and the head of the police department.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
If you’ve ever read a Fforde book, you’ll know why.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes. Especially if you liked the Thursday Next series.

How did this book make your list?
I liked Fforde’s other works.

Has it won any awards?
Nope.

Favorite quotes:
“No one was quite prepared for the disgraceful scandal the following year when it was discovered that one French minister had no mistress at all and ‘loved his wife,’ a shocking revelation that led to his resignation and ultimately to the fall of the government.” – p 296

“Jack trotted up the stairs, past the landing where the Easter Bunny had once held him at bay with a stream of hot lead from her M-16. It was over a decade ago, and she’d done her time. People were often fooled, he mused, by the one day in the year on which she did charitable work – the rest of the time she was the rabbit from hell.” – p 417

Personal thoughts:
This NCD mystery has a lot more hardcore detective work in it. I always enjoy Fforde’s books because there is no way I will ever be able to figure out the ending before it actually happens (and sometimes even then…). He is such a creative writer, both in allusions and plots. I don’t think I’ve ever come across an author so well-versed in not only literature (the Thursday Next books) but nursery rhymes as well. If you’re a bookworm, bibliophile, or any other type of voracious reader, I highly recommend either of Jasper Fforde’s series.

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