This is arguably the funniest novel that Rankin has produced so far. It was the first novel of his that I had read and my copy is even more special that I had it signed personally by him when I met him for the first time at a Collector’s Fair.
“Toytown” has gone all Hollywood and been renamed “Toy City”. It is populated by the entire cast of Who’s Who of nursery rhyme land and somebody is killing them off one by one. It seems a serial killer is loose in Toy City and the only thing linking the crimes is a hollow chocolate bunny left at each scene as a calling card.
Charged with solving the crime, Detective Bill Winkie (Wee Willy Winkie, get it?) and his sidekick Eddie Bear (Teddy Bear, get it?) set out on their investigation but soon after Bill goes missing and Eddie deputises Jack (the boy) to help him with the investigation.
Despite the childish tone to the novel, it certainly is not for kids. Rankin has been compared to Pratchett but to compare them to each other does a disservice to both men. They both have their own style and ideas of what will appeal to adults. In this case, it is tongue in cheek method by which many of these characters die. Humpty Dumpty is boiled in his own swimming pool for example.
There isn’t much wrong with this novel and i’m struggling to find anything negative to say aside from that Rankin wrote an unnecessary sequel “The Toyminator” that was neither as clever or as funny as Hollow Chocolate Bunnies. Comedy is not easy to write and because of that, this novel gets…