As promised, I bought the second Jack Spratt mystery in hardcover (that's The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde) early last week and finished it on Friday. It's stuffed with all of the usual Fforde ingredients - wordplay, outlandish characters and plots (competitive cucumber growing plays a major role here), silliness and seriousness (well, a little), the knowledge that it is a story, and fun (to name a few). If you like that sort of thing, it's good. If not? I don't know...you'll probably throw it away in disgust. I prefer his Thursday Next series (and the great news at the back of this book is that she returns in The War of the Words next summer), though not by much. The next book in the series will be The Last Great Tortoise Race and I'm looking forward to it.