The Woman Who Died a Lot, by Jasper Fforde
Yay, the new Thursday Next book!
Thursday's last set of adventures have rendered her unable to jump into the Bookworld, and the government has dissolved most of SpecOps, so she is looking for a new job. She is appointed as Head of the Wessex Libraries, and you know in Thursday's world, libraries are very important. They also have their own military arm, and a bunch of secret vaults, which is pretty much how the world should really work, right?
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has gone mad--well, madder than usual. Goliath is up to something again, involving worthless medieval manuscripts and clones. ChronoGuard has been dissolved and young Friday is suddenly out of a future. Swindon is scheduled for a full-scale smiting from heaven in less than a week. And Aornis Hades is on the loose again.
As usual, Thursday's new adventure is insane and wonderful and fun, with some really weird literary jokes. I really like how Fforde is treating this older Thursday; she's in her 50's, physically she's a mess from years of injuries--she is essentially an action star who is getting too old for action. We sometimes see stories about people in this kind of situation, but they are always men (and they are usually written as still in great condition, despite the improbability). How often do you meet a woman character at retirement age who doesn't want to give up chasing the bad guys?
Extra fun fact: if you live near Swindon, you can attend the Fforde Ffiesta, an annual weekend of silly fun and Ffordiness.