Excerpt from The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Big Over Easy

A Nursery Crime

by Jasper Fforde

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde X
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"So what was your basis for a murder prosecution again?" asked Archie, scratching his head.

"We believed," replied Jack in exasperation, as he had made the same point in the same room to the same two disinterested journalists many times before, "that boiling Mr. Wolff alive was quite outside the realm of 'reasonable force' and that the fact that the large pan of water would have taken at least six hours to reach boiling point strongly indicated premeditation."

Archibald said nothing, and Jack, eager to go home, wrapped up his report.

"Despite the not-guilty verdicts, we at the NCD feel we have put up a robust case and were fully justified in our actions. To this end we will not be looking to reexamine the case or interview anyone else in connection with Mr. Wolff's death."

Jack sighed and gazed down. He looked and felt drained.

"Personally," said Briggs in an aside, " I didn't think the jury would go for it. The problem is that small pigs elicit a strong sympathetic reaction and large wolves don't. There was a good case for self-defense, too—Mr. Wolff was trespassing when he climbed down the chimney. It really all hinged on whether you believed that the pigs were boiling up a huge tureen of water to do their washing. And the jury did. In only eight minutes. Do you want me to introduce you?"

"I'd prefer tomorrow, once I am officially on duty, " said Mary quickly, thinking she might have to go outside and scream or something.

Briggs picked up on her reticence.

"Don't underestimate the Nursery Crime Division, Mary. Spratt does some good work. Not high-profile, you understand, but important. His work on the Bluebeard serial wife killings case was .... mostly good solid police work. "

"That was Spratt?" asked Mary, something vaguely stirring in her memory. It hadn't been in Amazing Crime, of course, just one of those "also-ran" stories you usually find dwelling in the skim-read part of the dailies, along with city prices, dog horoscopes and "true-life" photo stories. It had been under the subheading "Colorfully hirsute gentleman kills nine wives; hidden room contained gruesome secret."

"That's him. Jack was onto Bluebeard and was well ahead of events."

"If nine wives died, he couldn't have been that good."

"I said it was mostly good police work. More notably, he arrested Rumplestiltskin over that 'spinning straw into gold' scam and was part of the team that captured the violently dangerous psychopath the Gingerbreadman. You might have heard about Jack in connection with some giant killing, too."

Something stirred in Mary's memory again, and she raised an eyebrow. Police officers weren't meant to kill people if they could help it—and giants were no exception.

"Don't worry," said Briggs, "it was self-defense. Mostly."

"Mostly?"

"The last one he ran over in a car."

"The last one?"
repeated Mary incredulously, "How many have there been?"

"Four. But don't mention it; he's a bit sensitive over the issue."

Mary's heart, which had already fallen fairly far, fell farther.



"Well, that's all I have to say," said Jack to the sparsely populated room. "Are there any more questions?"

Archibald Fatquack stirred, scribbled in his pad but said nothing. The reporter from the Reading Daily Eyestrain had moved slowly forward during Jack's report, until his head was resting on the seat back in front. He began to snore.

From The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde. Copyright Jasper Fforde 2005. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Viking Publishing.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Souvenir Museum
    The Souvenir Museum
    by Elizabeth McCracken
    Elizabeth McCracken's book The Souvenir Museum is composed of 12 short stories populated by ...
  • Book Jacket: First Person Singular
    First Person Singular
    by Haruki Murakami
    Readers familiar with Haruki Murakami will know that music is often a central theme in his work. The...
  • Book Jacket: Yolk
    Yolk
    by Mary Choi
    Mary H.K. Choi's young adult offering Yolk deftly maintains several plotlines running through the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Blizzard Party
    The Blizzard Party
    by Jack Livings
    It is 1978 and the place is New York City. A massive bacchanalian party is taking place at an Upper ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Of Women and Salt
    by Gabriela Garcia

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Widow Queen
    by Elzbieta Cherezinska

    The epic story of an 11th century Polish queen whose life and name were all but forgotten until now.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Miss Austen
by Gill Hornby
A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Who Said...

Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

P M Fly

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.