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B Is for Bear

Goldilocks' disappearance investigated as nursery crime.

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In The Fourth Bear, journalist Goldilocks goes missing and the Three Bears are suspects. There are plenty of unanswered questions: Why do Mr. and Mrs. Bear sleep in separate beds? And why are the bowls of porridge found at the scene of the crime different temperatures — weren’t they all served at the same time? The second book in Welsh author Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series — following last year’s The Big Over Easy, in which sleuths get to the bottom of Humpty Dumpty’s suspicious fall — The Fourth Bear is an uproarious read. “Nursery rhymes are really murder mysteries without the mystery part,” says Fforde. “Most of them have some sort of maiming, disfigurement, or death.”

Up next in the Nursery Crime series is The Last Great Tortoise Race, which looks at corruption in the annual hare-tortoise competition. “When you write fantasy, it has to be believable within the framework,” says Fforde. “It can be silly, but it can’t be stupid.”
Thu., Aug. 17, 7 p.m.

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