The crime scene is described with tongue-in-cheek attention to forensic detail.
("Jack noted a thin and hairless leg – still with a shoe and sock – attached to
a small area of eggshell draped with tattered sheets of translucent membrane.")
Then there is the requisite moody-detective moment of contemplating this cruel
turn of fate. "Humpty had been a jolly chap then, full of life and jokes," Mr.
Fforde writes. "Jack paused for a moment and stared silently at the corpse."
After a glancing reference to Spratt’s last case, "The Crown v. Three Pigs,"
in which the murder victim, Mr. Wolff, "went to his casket unavenged and
parboiled," Mr. Fforde is ready to go anywhere. Soon he has introduced a whiff
of Greek mythology at the home of Mrs. Hubbard, Humpty’s landlady. ("Sorry,
pooch," she says. "No bones for you today." ) Her other lodger turns out to be
Prometheus. "The Titan Prometheus? The one who stole fire from the gods and gave
it to mankind?" Jack asks.
"I’ve no concern with what he does in his private life," Mrs. Hubbard
answers. "He pays the rent on time, so he’s O.K. with me."
It sounds like fun. Coincidentally, my signed UK copy from Ralph Spurrier’s Post Mortem Books, arrived in the mail today…