http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786016051/thethrillindetec59-1"> Eddie Bear & Jack

Eddie Bear & Jack
Created by Robert Rankin

When Humpty Dumpty gets over-boiled, call these guys...

Recommended by reader Ken Mobley, The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (2002) by Robert Rankin is the place where "British humor meets har boiled detective.  The detective is a stuffed bear living in a rather seedy version of Toy City.  The victims are seedy versions of Mother Goose characters.  Silly, but fun."

Silly is right-- this is like an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus on speed. Puns, wordplay, outrageous characters taken to extremes, and a sense of humour that ping pongs back and forth between high and low brow.

The scenario certainly seems familiar -- at first. young Jack, a boy from the country, leaves the bucolic life behind and sets out on horseback to make his fame and fortune in the big city, only to soon discover things are no so hunky dory after all in Toy City -- a burg entirely populated by toys and characters from children's literature.

Jack's barely arrived when his horse is stolen But even worse is that a killer is on the loose, slowly picking off nursery rhyme characters. in particularly gruesome ways (Humpty Dumpty is boiled to death, Jack Spratt is fried in his ex-wife's diner, etc.). The killer's calling card? Hollow chocolate bunnies left at the scene of each murder.

The police are stumped and even BILL WINKLE (aka Wee willie Winie), Private Eye, has been bumped off. Fortunately, Bill's partner, EDDIE BEAR, is still ob the job. He teams up with Jack and together they set out to set things straight. This evidently involves a lot of heavy drinking, driving around like lunatics, a femme fatale with eyes for Jack (her name's Jill, of course) and shovels full of sex and violence.

Suffice it to say that, despite the Moother Goose and fairy tale trappings, this one ain't for kids.

But it was successful enough, even coppingThe Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse the 2003 SFX Magazine Best Novel Award, that a sequel, The Toyminator, appeared in 2006, and like its precessor it skewers various facets of pop culture, this time including not just nursery rhymes and fairy tales but also Hollywood, flying saucers and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

UNDER OATH

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Ken Mobley for the heads-up!


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