The first in a series of outlandishly clever adventures featuring the resourceful, fearless literary detective Thursday Next--a New York Times bestseller!In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy--enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel--unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.