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Another brilliant read.
The Woman Who Died A Lot is the seventh book in the popular Thursday Next series by Welsh author, Jasper Fforde. Some two years after her last (almost fatal) adventure, Thursday Next is still slowly recovering, but when Swindon’s council decides to offset their Stupidity Surplus by reforming Spec Ops, she is eager to head SO27, the Literary Detectives. That job goes to Phoebe Smalls, young, smart and enthusiastic; Thursday is offered Chief Librarianship of the Wessex All You Can Eat At Fatso’s Drinks Not Included Library Services. But this seemingly boring job does not keep Thursday out of the action (in a world where libraries are treasured and librarians have power!) The vengeful Deity is intent on smiting the sinful, and Swindon is the target in 4 days’ time (sixteen-year-old Tuesday is working on perfecting an anti-smiting technology in between school and researching Dark Reading Matter); Goliath are definitely up to something as their synthetic copies of Thursday are becoming increasingly sophisticated; mysteriously, rare and ancient codices by St. Zvlkx are being vandalised. As if that’s not enough, with the Chronoguard now defunct, eighteen-year-old Friday’s purpose in his life is revealed by a Letter of Destiny: he will murder Gavin Watkins and spend 30 years in jail. Jack Schitt and Aornis Hades make unwelcome reappearances, and fans of Fforde’s Last Dragonslayer series will recognise the Blessed Ladies of the Lobster. Thursday gets a tattoo, Tupperware is put to unusual use, Enid Blyton fundamentalists make threats, Imaginary Childhood Friends and ninjas prove their worth in scientific research and Thursday’s dodo, Pickwick makes an enormous contribution. Fforde introduces the novel concept of global expectation affecting future events and explains senior moments and the Aldi grocery chain. As always, chapters are prefaced by helpful quotes from biographies, journals, books and articles. Another brilliant read.