My friend Tracy started telling me about this book a long time ago. Eventually she dropped it off and I finally got to read about all the fun, imaginative things she had mentioned. I love it when friends give me books they are excited about!
It was a really fun read. The story is about a real place in the world where fairy tales are embodied and live among us. The fairy tale characters (and their inevitable stories) are policed by Jack Sprat (shall eat no fat) and his partner Mary Mary (quite contrary). This particular story revolves around Mary Mary’s first case with underdog Jack (he is forced to work nursery crimes while his ex-partner and frenemy gets the bigger busts) as he investigates the death of Humpty Dumpty. He sat on a wall, you see, and had a great fall. No one could put him together again, and now Jack and Mary Mary must piece together the evidence (hee! I’m clever) and figure out what happened.
The author does a great job brining in all the great nursery rhymes–from Old Mother Hubbard to Wee Willy Winky. It was fun the way he did it–he put each character into the setting of their nursery rhyme, but didn’t spell it out. I found myself reciting the rhymes as each character was introduced. Do you know how hard it is to remember some of these?!? I couldn’t think of the Wee Willy Winky one at all (apparently he ran through town at 8 or something) and I kept getting the real version of Old Mother Hubbard mixed up with Andrew Dice Clay’s version (it went something like this for hours: “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her old dog a bone…something something something, something something else…damnit! And gave her a bone of his own! What the hell is the real rhyme?!?”). Thank goodness for Google.
Anyhow, the story clever, the characters fun, and the chance to revisit some beloved nursery rhymes priceless. There is that annoyance factor of the arch nemesis doing everything to undermine our hero’s work, and I hate that type of thing. You know what would be awesome? Punching fictional characters. Malfoy is next on my list. The great news is this is the first book in a series that follows Mr. Sprat on his investigating duties. Think CSI in nursery land. Fun for us!