Fiction Squad
written by Paul Jenkins and illustrated by Ramon Bachs


Frankie Mack, a "gumshoe detective from a forgotten thirty-page novella", has been working the Rimes beat ever since he "crossed the genre border" from Crime.

In Rimes, pretty much everyone is hiding something, mixed up in something dirty, crooked. As Frankie puts it, "Every nursery rhyme is a crime scene."

I'm a fan of Fables, of re-imaginings of fairy tales and nursery rhymes, of the IDEA of the noir/nursery rhyme mashup, even (though except for Fables, I can't think of one that's really worked for me—generally, they come off as too nudge-nudge-wink-wink-trying-too-hard).


Well, the cover art should have tipped me off that it wasn't going to be a good fit, but I've read enough books whose covers didn't accurately depict the contents, so I gave it a try.

Turns out, in this case, the cover DID accurately depict the contents. Almost every single major female character is depicted somewhat like this:

Which, obviously, won't be an issue for some readers. Personally, I find it difficult to read when my eyeballs are rolling around all over the place, so.


Lots of references to nursery rhymes and crime tropes do not an entertaining story make. Yes, those things can ADD to a story, but when everything relies on those elements entirely—when the characters are two-dimensional, the worldbuilding is lazy, and the story line is just not... interesting—just, no.

Keep going?

Yeah, that would be a no.