This Penguin book is mainstream, and the author has written several other stories in this setting. The pacing is not fantasy or science fiction genre, but perhaps is a little slower (mystery genre?) and the plot gets almost irritatingly predictable in parts, but this book saves itself with (1) genetically engineered dodos (Pickwick belongs to the Protagonist), (2) tongue in cheek literary jokes, and (3) a constant pick-up of pace that makes the ending very delightful, and laugh-out loud amusing. I am almost won over: I may read the other books.
Every book should have genetically engineered dodos in it, I think. Come to think of it, I may need a dodo for the Christmas Tree...
Lessons for writers: make your story more and more exciting as it goes along until the ending is just stellar. That seems a much better strategy than the alternative, one would think.