Very clever, and especially fun if you know a lot about nursery rhymes. This is the crime story version of what really happened to Goldilocks.
There is a town where nursery rhyme characters live and interactive with normal people. Given the unique problems and issues this segment of the population deals with, a division of the police force is put in charge of solving crimes relating to this minority group. Some of the police in this division are nursery rhyme characters themselves, allowing them to really understand the culture.
In this story you get to know Goldilocks, the Gingerbread Man, and a host of other minor nursery rhyme characters. Detective Jack Spratt, mired in bureaucracy, takes a missing persons case and attempts to find Goldilocks while dodging murder attempts from the Gingerbread Man, someone Spratt had previously put away. In addition, he tries to figure out the mystery behind the story Goldilocks was working on when she disappeared. It is about the world of giant pickle growing, which I bet you didn’t know was a competitive sport!
This book would be suitable for any child old enough to understand the language its written in. It is written as a true crime story, but with a tongue-in-cheek feel to it that will keep you amused. It is a sequel to The Big Over Easy, which I also recommend.