The Woman Who Died a Lot (Jasper Fforde) - Viking Penguin - 2012 - 366 Pages

Thursday Next is 54 now and she walks with a limp in this seventh book in the series.  She has two teenage children (Friday and Tuesday) and a third (Jenny) who is mostly imaginary.  Thursday's Jurisfiction Division of SpecOps was disbanded many years ago as was the ChronoGuard since time travel has become unreliable.  However, SpecOps is hiring again because of a national stupidity surplus.  Thursday's return to duty comes just in time for her to address problems including the scheduled smiting of the town of Swindon, the continued growth of the evil Goliath Corporation, the looming arrival of asteroid HR-6984 in 2041, and the arrival of unfavorable destiny letters to her son, Friday and several others.  Meanwhile, arch-enemies Aornis Hades and Jack Schitt are making mischief as usual.  No writer this side of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) has an imagination that matches that of Mr. Fforde.  Every page of this book is filled with cleverness and entertainment.  The author has created a world full of wonder and magic with a wry English sense of humor.  Again, I suggest that new readers start with The Eyre Affair and read the books sequentially.  There are aspects of the series that carry from one book to the next.  [JAM 10/14/2012]