Jasper Fforde’s The Fourth Bear is the second in his Nursery Crime series. Detective Chief Inspector Jack Spratt, head of the Nursery Crime Division, is investigating the disappearance and possible murder of Goldilocks. She was last seen alive by three bears, and things just don’t add up. To top it off, deranged psychopathic murderer the Gingerbreadman has escaped from the mental hospital where he’s been confined since Jack collared him twenty years ago, and he’s on a murderous rampage.
OK, this book is just silly, but you have to expect that with Jasper Fforde and just go with it. Fans of nursery rhymes and fairy tales (as well as other types of fiction) will enjoy Fforde’s sly references, and however silly his stories become, he always manages to make me laugh in a few places and keep turning the pages. I had a friend on Twitter ask me if this book was any good because he’d heard this series was not as clever as Fforde’s Thursday Next series, and I have to say that all things considered, I enjoy the Thursday Next books more. However, if Fforde returns to Nursery Crime, I will read the next book, and I plan to be in line when he makes an appearance at the Buckhead Barnes and Noble on January 15. None of my books are in good enough shape to be signed. I may have to purchase his new one. Oh, drat.