The Fourth Bear
A Nursery Crime
By Jasper Fforde
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143038924, 400pp.)
Publication Date: July 31, 2007
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The inimitable Jasper Fforde gives readers another delightful mash-up of detective fiction and nursery rhyme, returning to those mean streets where no character is innocent. The Gingerbreadman—sadist, psychopath, cookie—is on the loose in Reading, but that’s not who Detective Jack Spratt and Sergeant Mary Mary are after. Instead, they’ve been demoted to searching for missing journalist “Goldy” Hatchett. The last witnesses to see her alive were the reclusive Three Bears, and right away Spratt senses something furry—uh, funny—about their story, starting with the porridge. The Fourth Bear is a delirious new romp from our most irrepressible fabulist.
Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling "Thursday Next" series. He is also the author of the "Nursery Crime" series.
Jasper Fforde is able to write diabolically. . . . Outrageous satirical agility is his stock in trade. (The New York Times)
Like the creators of . . . The Simpsons and South Park, Mr. Fforde uses fantasy to dissect real life. . . . He is our best thinking personÆs genre writer. (The Washington Times)
Mr. Fforde manages to bombard the reader with more bizarre detail than most writers would dare to fit in their entire oeuvre, yet he does so with . . . light prose and easy, confident wit. (The Wall Street Journal)