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The Big Over Easy:
A Nursery Crime

By Jasper Fforde

Penguin Books, July, 2006 ($14.00)
ISBN: 0143037234

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

It's time to brush up on your nursery crimes, I mean rhymes...

Humpty Dumpty of nursery rhyme fame, got a little too drunk and ended up in pieces at the base of a wall. Was it an accident or something more sinister, like murder? Jack Spratt investigates in THE BIG OVER EASY. Spratt is a Detective Inspector in the Nursery Crimes Division. His partner is Detective Sergeant Mary Mary. And this may just be the strangest police procedural you are ever likely to read. That is until THE FOURTH BEAR, the next book in this series, makes your reading list.

Fforde brings a lot of fans from his Thursday Next series to this series, however, it's not going to be every reader's "cup of tea." If you hate puns and cleverness to the point of silliness, you may want to give THE BIG OVER EASY a pass. On the other hand, sometimes silliness is just what you're in the mood for.

THE BIG OVER EASY is a quick, fun read for those who are fond of quirky characters, nursery rhymes, whimsy, and that sort of thing. However, it may seem tedious and nearly unbearable for those who don't have the same sense of humor as the author. If you're not already a fan of Fforde's writing, why not give THE BIG OVER EASY a try? If you can't stand it, just pass the book along to a friend who might enjoy it or donate it to your local library. If you do enjoy the book then you can try Fforde's other series, or pick up a copy of THE FOURTH BEAR, which is next in the Nursery Crimes series.

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