Title: THE FOURTH BEAR
Author: JASPER FFORDE
Details: nr.2 Nursery Crime Division Mystery
When the Gingerbreadman, a crazed serial killer escapes imprisonment, it should be a case for The Nursery Crime Division and Jack Spratt. But Jack is once again suspended, and the case given to an in-experienced, non NCD collegue, while Mary Mary is made temporary head of NCD.
While suspended, Jack secretly works with Mary, investigating the murder of Goldilocks, who got herself killed after visiting the cottage of the Three Bears, while investigating a big news story involving exploding cucumbers.
Meanwhile, Jack buys himself a new and self-repairing car and gets new neighbours by the name of Punch and Judy. And Jack's wife, after years of being married, finds out that Jack is a Person of Dubious Reality.
In the investigation the questions keep on piling up like how come the porridge in the three bowls had such different temperatures if they were all poured at the same time? Why did the Gingerbreadman escape when he did? Is the Gingerbreadman a biscuit or a cake? Why is National Security involved, and who is the Fourth Bear?
Answers only come with a very explosive conclusion.
It's amazing how these completely mad stories manage to make sense and come together, but they do. More amazingly, they're written in such a way that I find myself almost accepting it all as completely normal, while I'm enjoying myself greatly.