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The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime (Jack…
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The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime (Jack Spratt Investigates) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,6331092,094 (3.99)1 / 185
Member:Kythe42
Title:The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime (Jack Spratt Investigates)
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Penguin Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 378 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Own
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde (2006)

  1. 80
    The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: See how this book was constructed, with the help of Thursday Next!
  2. 20
    Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham (TomWaitsTables)
  3. 00
    Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce (bertilak)
  4. 00
    Who's Afraid of Beowulf? by Tom Holt (Dr.Science)
    Dr.Science: The English author Tom Holt is relatively unknown in America, but very popular in England. If you enjoy Jasper Fforde or Christopher Moore you will most certainly enjoy Tom Holt's wry sense of English humor and the absurd. He has written a number of excellent books including Expecting Someone Taller, and Flying Dutch, but they may be difficult to find at your library or bookstore.… (more)
  5. 00
    There Was an Old Woman by Jessy Randall (Othemts)
  6. 04
    The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin (tortoise)
    tortoise: Rankin's book covers a lot of the same comedic ground as The Fourth Bear, and I found it considerably better-constructed.
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English (106)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
At the start of the second Nursery Crime adventure, Jack Spratt and the Nursery Crime Division are experiencing an unaccustomed interval of official approval and public favor, after the successful resolution of the Humpty Dumpty murder.

Naturally, this can't last, and as a direct result of doing his job, Jack has been placed on medical leave. (He successfully captured the Big Bad Wolf—unfortunately after both Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood had been swallowed. He had to go in after them and rescue them, and they're now apparently catatonic.) Jack can't return to duty until he has a session with a psychiatrist and she pronounces him fit for duty. This has happened at an especially inconvenient time, because the Gingerbreadman, the vicious serial killer whose capture was the first big success of Jack's career, has escaped. Meanwhile, mysterious explosions are killing competitive cucumber growers, an old irritant, Josh Hatchett of The Toad, is asking for a favor—his sister is missing. His sister whose nickname is Goldilocks is missing—last seen fleeing the cabin of the Bruin family. Jack delves into the world of bear porridge smuggling, competitive cucumber growing, the new theme park, SommeWorld, being built by QuangTech to discourage romantic images of war, and a painful encounter with his own true nature (as a PDR—Person of Dubious Reality.) And of course, Caliban has taken up residence in his house, and Punch and Judy have moved in next door.

This is fast-paced, entertaining silliness—great fun, and excellent light reading for a hot summer weekend.

Recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
I am a sucker for these books. Fantasy, mystery, fables, and fairy tales. Put them in a blender. Drop in some humor and a touch of alien. Bam a great read for anyone who is a sucker (that would be me). I know Thursday Next is his big series but I love these books more. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I love, love, love Jasper Fforde! My greatest wish is that all my clever, witty, literature loving friends would read his books and experience the laugh out loud, stunned happiness I had reading this (and all his) work. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Oh, how I wish he would add to this series. This is a Jack Spratt murder mystery involving Detective Jack Spratt and a villainous life-size Gingerbread Man.

his title focuses on the questionable demise of Humpty Dumpty. Jack Spratt and Mary Mary are on the case. ( )
  BoundTogetherForGood | Sep 30, 2017 |
This book was hilarious--lots of sarcasm and puns used in with the nursery crimes characters. Just the fact that Goldilocks supports the right to arm bears is funny in itself. Jack Spratt and Mary Mary are hot on the trail of this murder and murderous Gingerbread Man is on a killing spree. Loved it!!! ( )
  lhaines56 | Jan 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Fforde is crazy; he’s all over the place. He’s aware of the conventions he’s mocking, he mocks them openly, and he still has a really decent romp of a mystery novel on his hands.
added by Katya0133 | editFantasy & Science Fiction, Michelle West (Feb 1, 2007)
 
Though his characters' self-awareness may ultimately defeat the suspense of The Fourth Bear, the loss of the more standard forms of mystery magic is more than compensated for by Fforde's superb comedic skills.
added by Katya0133 | editUSA Today, Eliot Schrefer (Aug 17, 2006)
 
Great fun for all fiction collections.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Devon Thomas (Aug 1, 2006)
 
Chockablock with puns, literary allusions, groanworthy asides, and playful dismantling of the police procedural . . . The Fourth Bear will appeal to fans of whimsy, silliness, or plain old nonsense.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist (Aug 1, 2006)
 
This sequel offers literary allusions, confusions and gentle satire, though, again like its predecessor, it lacks the snap of the author's Thursday Next series.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 26, 2006)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Belanger, FrancescaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauld, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meconis, DylanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudron, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Because the Forest will always be there...and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it. --A.A. Milne
Dedication
For my mother
First words
Last known regional post-code allocation: Obscurity, Berkshire, Pop.: 35.

The little village of Obscurity is remarkable only for its unremarkableness.

Quotations
"When did he escape?"
"Ninety-seven minutes ago," replied Copperfield. "Killed two male nurses and his doctor with his bare hands. The other three orderlies who accompanied him are critical in the hospital."
"Critical?"
"Yes. Don't like the food, beds uncomfortable, waiting lists too long—usual crap. Other than that they're fine."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Gingerbreadman - psychopath, sadist, convicted murderer and cake/biscuit - is loose on the streets of Reading.

It isn't Jack Spratt's case. Despite the success of the Humpty Dumpty investigation, the well publicised failure to prevent Red Riding-Hood and her Gran being eaten once again plunges the Nursery Crime Division into controversy. Enforced non-involvement with the Gingerbreadman hunt looks to be frustrating until a chance encounter at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club leads them onto the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldy' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Toad.

The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood. But all is not what it seems. Are the unexplained explosions around the globe somehow related to missing nuclear scientist Angus McGuffin? Is cucumber-growing really that dangerous? Why are National Security involved? But most important of all: How could the bears' porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038923, Paperback)

The inimitable Jasper Fforde gives readers another delightful mash-up of detective fiction and nursery rhyme, returning to those mean streets where no character is innocent. The Gingerbreadman—sadist, psychopath, cookie—is on the loose in Reading, but that’s not who Detective Jack Spratt and Sergeant Mary Mary are after. Instead, they’ve been demoted to searching for missing journalist “Goldy” Hatchett. The last witnesses to see her alive were the reclusive Three Bears, and right away Spratt senses something furry—uh, funny—about their story, starting with the porridge. The Fourth Bear is a delirious new romp from our most irrepressible fabulist.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:24 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Jack Spratt and Mary Mary return in their second Nursery Crime adventure.--From publisher description.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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