Monday, May 13, 2013

Review of The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke (2009, The Friday Project)

Having survived the Big Bad Wolf attack, Harry Pigg operates a down-at-heel private investigations agency in Grimmtown.  Barely making ends meet he’s approached by the super wealthy, Aladdin, who wants him to recover a stolen lamp.  Pigg knows the case reeks of trouble and takes it on under duress.  Sure enough he’s soon piggy-in-the-middle of a deadly, three-way pursuit for the lamp.  What he needs is a clever solution that’ll save his bacon.

The premise for The Third Pig Detective Agency is a good one -- take the characters and fables from fairytales and fashion them into detective stories with a noir framing and a dollop of black humour.  Jasper Fforde has used the same premise in his Nursery Crimes series.  For the most part, the book is a fun read.  The story is cleverly structured, with a well worked resolution.  The plot, however, is a little thin in places, with some elements under-played.  For example, Edna, the Wicked Witch of the West, is largely reduced to a bit part and the sequence in her domain very linear and too quickly and easily resolved.  Moreover, the writing, whilst capturing some of the style of noir fiction, was too often flat and clunky.  Nevertheless, it’s a fast-paced, light-hearted, enjoyable story suitable for kids and up and on this outing I’d give the other books a try.


Peggy Ann said...

Sounds quite interesting for a quick read, Rob! Maybe the Grans and I will read it together when they are here this summer! Thanks.

TracyK said...

Well, I love the cover, and that is often enough for me. Your review tells me just enough. I may give it a try.

Rob Kitchin said...

Peggy Ann, yes, I think it'll be a good book to read with kids. Tracy, it's a fun, quick read and worth a try. It has been quite cheap on kindle, so maybe have a look at that.