I liked this book a lot more than I liked The Big Over Easy. I read a review of that other book that said Fforde ironically gave his main character a nice home life to contrast with the typical detective novel hero's shambles of a personal life. (Think Mel Gibson's character in "Lethal Weapon.") Okay, I'm fine with that, but the result was a lot of pages of charming home life scenes, which weren't what I was going for when I decided to read a detective novel.
I am thankful that this novel forgoes all that. Spratt and Mary get right to the detecting work. Ironic detective story devices still abound (for instance, Spratt gets suspended and has to work the case against orders), but they work with the story, helping it move along. I am looking forward to the next Nursery Crimes book.
Rating: six out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.