Let's See...Old Mother Hubbard...

…went to the cupboard to eat her curds and whey. Wait, that’s not right! Well, it has been a very long time since I've even thought about nursery rhymes, but I did think about them a lot while reading two books in the Nursery Crimes series by Jasper Fforde (pronounced “ford” like the car). Are these books even for adults? Oh yes! Many children would have trouble with all of the nuances Fforde inserts into his whimsical stories.

The Big Over Easy is the first title in the series. The main characters, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary, are head of the Nursery Crimes Division of the local police constabulary in Reading, England. Their assignment is to investigate the death of Humpty Dumpty. The second book in the series is The Fourth Bear. Was there a fourth bear? Why didn’t Mama Bear and Papa Bear sleep in the same bed?

And how could Jack Spratt not look for the violent Gingerbreadman who had just escaped from the supposedly secure mental hospital? Well, mystery readers won't be surprised that Jack will not forget the Gingerbreadman is on the loose, even though he has been suspended for screwing up another assignment involving Red Riding Hood.

Jasper Fforde’s highly imaginative books are not for everyone, but those with a sense of fun will enjoy going along for the ride with him wherever his mind takes them.