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Jasper Fforde fans, rejoice! The Woman Who Died a Lot, the seventh installment in his Thursday Next series, delivers all the imagination, complexity and laughs we've come to expect from Fforde and his book-hopping, butt-kicking heroine.
Following the events of One of Our Thursdays Is Missing, Thursday's physical injuries have forced her to retire from Jurisfiction, a policing agency that deals with crime in the BookWorld, a literary parallel universe agents enter by reading books. Middle-aged and no longer strong enough to read herself into BookWorld, Thursday begins new career as chief librarian of the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat-at-Fatso's Drink Not Included Library. Not only is her new gig more difficult--and dangerous--than Thursday expected, her son, Friday, is despondent now that his career has been erased by the disbandment of the time-traveling ChronoGuard. Meanwhile, her daughter Tuesday is struggling to build a shield to prevent an angry deity from smiting downtown Swindon, and her other daughter Jenny doesn't really exist (she's a fake memory implanted in Thursday's mind by Aornis, the sister of her nemesis Acheron Hades). Add in the evil Goliath Corporation's constant attempts to replace Thursday with a synthetic replica of herself and its sudden interest in obscure 13th-century manuscripts, and Thursday just might be in for her most challenging workweek yet.
Although definitely not for the Fforde first-timer--the uninitiated should begin with The Eyre Affair--The Woman Who Died a Lot brings together the charming lunacy and intricate plotting that have enthralled Fforde's readers over the years.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***