|Jack Spratt and Mary Mary return in their second adventure from the inimitable Jasper Fforde |
Five years ago, Viking introduced Jasper Fforde and his upsidedown, inside-out literary crime masterpieces. And as they move from Thursday Next to Jack Spratt�s Nursery Crimes, his audience is insatiable and growing. Now, with The Fourth Bear, Jack Spratt and Mary Mary take on their most dangerous case so far as a murderous cookie stalks the streets of Reading.
The Gingerbreadman�psychopath, sadist, genius, and killer�is on the loose. But it isn�t Jack Spratt�s case. He and Mary Mary have been demoted to Missing Persons following Jack�s poor judgment involving the poisoning of Mr. Bun the baker. Missing Persons looks like a boring assignment until a chance encounter leads them into the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta �Goldy� Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Mole. Last to see her alive? The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen�s wood.
But all is not what it seems. How could the bears� porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time? Why did Mr. and Mrs. Bear sleep in separate beds? Was there a fourth bear? And if there was, who was he, and why did he try to disguise Goldy�s death as a freak accident?
Jack answers all these questions and a few others besides, rescues Mary Mary from almost certain death, and finally meets the Fourth Bear and the Gingerbreadman face-to-face.