The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Imagine present day Great Britain in a totally different and alternate reality. Because Great Britain has been at war with Russia more than 100 years over the Crimean Peninsula, the government has established the Special Operations Network (Spec Ops) to deal with mundane crime matters, like Literary and Art crime, to free regular police for more standard cases. Literaary Detective Thursday Next, a veteran of the Crimean War, is working on a case involving the theft of the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, but the case containing it isn’t broken or open and nothing was recorded on the video surveillance camera. Thursday is recruited by a much higher Spec Ops unit to help identify and track notorious criminal Archeron Hades, whom she knew as a lecturer in college. In addition, due to fluid borders between reality and literature, Thursday and other people are able to travel between literary works and reality. Other subplots and characters include Thursday’s zany inventor uncle, her father who hopscotches through time on the run from the ChronoGuard, the mystery of who really wrote Shakespeare, and more. Fans of Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld series will be thrilled to find another author whose invented world rivals Ankh Morpork. This novel is witty, engrossing and wildly inventive. The best news is that Fforde has written more Thursday Next novels!
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson