It has been a while since I read any Jasper Fforde books, so it was a lot of fun to jump back in with The Big Over Easy. This is a companion series to the Thursday Next novels, but instead we’re following two detectives in the Nursery Crime Division in Reading.
If you want a super quick review of this, then this book is ridiculous, incredibly British, and a lot of fun. Exactly what I expected going into a Fforde book! But let’s look in a little more detail.
Some parts of the mystery within this book were a little too predictable, but I think they’re supposed to be that way because it’s utilised well known (as least in Britain) nursery rhymes and children’s story characters. So we know how the plot is supposed to go already. It’s a lot of fun to have all these aspects, as well as the mystery itself, interplay.
The series is more disconnected from the Thursday Next stories than I had expected, but this is actually a good thing. Especially for new readers. It means that you 100% don’t have to have read the Thursday Next books to start this series, and if you have then there are some minor Easter Eggs for you to enjoy. But nothing that impacts the plot. And we don’t go inside of literature at all in this book, something that I was disappointed with when I first started the book but I really didn’t mind it overall. It’s also set around 15 years after the start of the Next books.
We have another primary character who is female, but I found Mary to be quite different from Thursday (even if they both have stupid names: Mary Mary) and she’s another woman who I don’t hate reading from – high praise for a male author (which is sad lol). I also really enjoyed reading from our other MCs POV – Jack Spratt. He is a down on his luck inspector and I loved seeing how he tackled the case and took input from his team.
On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 9, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, Enjoyment: 8, giving an overall 8.14 score and a 4.5* rating.
Highlight here for trigger warnings: anxiety, cheating, death, depression, feet (a lot of mentions of feet and feet ailments), gun violence, murder, parent death (off page, in the past), spouse death (off page, in the past), suicide.
I am so glad that I’ve dived back into Fforde’s writing after some time away. And I’ve not actually finished the Thursday Next series (or caught up with it, if the supposed new release in 2023 is to be believed) so I might have to put those on my tbr next!
Have you read anything from Fforde? What do you think of his work? Let me know!