fourth bear
The US covers of 'The Fourth Bear'

USA Penguin Cover
The UK cover of 'The Fourth Bear'

UK Hodder Cover

Ever wondered why Mummy bear and Daddy Bear slept in seperate beds?

Ever pondered over the real reason Goldilocks was in the bear's house that morning?

Ever racked your brains over the thermodynamic impossibilties of simultaneous porridge pouring?

You did? Then hold onto your porridge spoon for:

The Fourth Bear
A Nursery Crime
'...However many photos you see of the Gingerbreadman, nothing can ever prepare you for seeing him in the flesh. He was a dark brown colour the shade of mahogany and at least six foot eight inches tall with heavy limbs and a large head. His jacket was open revealing several large pink icing buttons that ran down his chest. He had large glace cherries for eyes the size of tennis balls’and a huge dollop of red icing for a nose. His mouth was two slivers of licorice, the corners of which rose into a smile as soon as he saw them. 'Alan!' said the Gingerbreadman with a deep yet friendly tone, 'What a pleasant surprise! And most timely, too. See here, I have bred a new rose which, in honour of your work to cure me of my criminal tendencies I take great pleasure in naming after you. Behold, Mandible's Triumph! ...'

The Gingerbreadman: Psychopath, sadist, genius, convicted murderer and biscuit is loose in the streets of Reading. It isn't Jack Spratt's case. He and Mary Mary have been reassigned due to falling levels of nursery crime, and The NCD is once more in jeopardy. That is, until a chance encounter during the Armitage Shanks literary awards at the oddly familiar Deja-Vu Club lead Jack and Mary on the hunt for missing journalist Henrietta 'Goldilocks' Hatchett, star reporter for The Daily Mole. She had been about to break a story involving unexplained explosions in Herefordshire, Pasadena and the Nullabor Plain; The last witnesses to see her alive were The Three Bears, comfortably living out a life of rural solitude in Andersen's wood.

But all is not what it seems. How could the bear's porridge be at such disparate temperatures when they were poured at the same time? Was Goldy's death in the nearby 1st World War themepark of Sommeworld a freak accident? And is it merely chance that the Gingerbreadman pops up at awkward moments?

But there's more. What does a missing scientist with a terrifying discovery in subatomic physics, a secret weapon of devastating power, a reclusive industrialist known only as the Quangle Wangle and Colonel Danvers of the National Security all have in common?

Paperback published June 28th, 2007 in UK and July 31st 2007 in USA

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Listen to an interview with Minnesota Public radio during the USA tour 2006.
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