This is book 4 of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. We find our heroine living in a world where books come alive and feeling unsatisfied with her life as it is. There are elements of time travel as well as references made to historical fiction characters (all cleverly written). The story line progresses quickly enough to keep you entertained and yet slow enough to keep you intrigued. There is a guest appearance by Hamlet, Dodos and a baby that speaks in a type of quick handwriting that comes out as gibberish. The author puts so much thought into every aspect of his stories and in my opinion is not matched by his creativity. You should start with the first in the series, The Eyre Affair, then proceed in order from there. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have.
Publisher's description: "Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the Bellman in Jurisfiction. Packing up her son, Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the dithering Danish prince Hamlet. But returning to SpecOps is no snap--as outlaw fictioneer Yorrick Kaine plots for absolute power, the return of Swindon's patron saint foretells doom, and if that isn't bad enough, back in the Book World The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she vanquish Kaine and prevent the world from plunging into war? And, most important, will she ever find reliable childcare? Find out in this totally original, action-packed romp, sure to be another escapist thrill for Jasper Fforde's legion of fans."