The first chapter was a bit of a barrier to this book. I've read the 4 Thursday Next books (tho not recently) so was a bit worried that fforde had lost his touch. Not to worry. After the slow start, 'normal' transmission resumed, and I was soon happily sniggering away at the many sly jokes he'd effortlessly woven into this story. Even without the silly context, I thought this made a pretty good mystery - not that I'm a big reader of the genre.