Jasper Fforde

Something rotten

(Thursday Next #4)

For Maddy, Rosie, Jordan & Alexander

With all my love

Dramatis Personae

Thursday Next: Ex-operative from Swindon's literary detective office of SpecOps 27 and currently head of Jurisfiction, the policing agency that operates within fiction to safeguard the stability of the written word.

Friday Next: Thursday's son, aged two.

Granny Next: Resident of Goliath Twilight Homes, Swindon. Aged no and cannot die until she has read the ten most boring classics.

Wednesday Next: Thursday's mother. Resides in Swindon.

Landen Parke-Laine: Husband of Thursday who hasn't existed since he was eradicated in 1947 by the Goliath Corporation, eager to blackmail Miss Next.

Mycroft Next: Inventor uncle of Thursday's and last heard of living in peaceful retirement within the backstory of the Sherlock Holmes series. Designer of Prose Portal and sarcasm early warning device, among many other things. Husband to Polly.

Colonel Next: A time-travelling knight errant, he was eradicated by the ChronoGuard, a sort of temporal policing agency. Despite this, he is still about and meets Thursday from time to time.

Cat, formerly known as Cheshire: The ex-Wonderland Uberlibrarian at the Great Library. And Jurisfiction agent.

Pickwick: A pet dodo of very little brain.

Bowden Cable: Colleague of Thursday's at the Swindon Literary Detectives.

Victor Analogy: Head of Swindon Literary Detectives.

Braxton Hicks: Overall commander of the Swindon Special Operations network.

Daphne Farquitt: Romance writer whose talent is inversely proportional to her sales.

The Goliath Corporation: Vast, unscrupulous multinational corporation keen on spiritual and global domination.

Commander Trafford Bradshaw: Popular hero in 1920s ripping adventure stories for boys, now out of print and notable Jurisfiction agent,

Melanie Bradshaw (Mrs): A gorilla, married to Commander Bradshaw.

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Emperor Zhark, The Red Queen, Falstaff, Vernham Deane: All Jurisfiction operatives, highly trained.

Yorrick Kaine: Whig politician and publishing media tycoon. Also right-wing Chancellor of England, soon to be made dictator. Fictional, and sworn enemy of Thursday Next.

President George Formby: Octogenarian President of England and deeply opposed to Yorrick Kaine and all that he stands for.

Wales: A socialist republic.

Lady Emma Hamilton: Consort of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and lush. Upset when her husband inexplicably died at the beginning of the battle of Trafalgar. Lives in Mrs Next's spare room.

Hamlet: A Danish prince with a propensity for prevarication.

SpecOps: Short for Special Operations, the governmental departments that deal with anything too rigorous for the ordinary police to handle. Everything from time travel to good taste.

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