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Bryant and May, England’s Finest by Christopher Fowler

Genre: Mystery
Source: Damppebbles

About The Book

The Peculiar Crimes Unit has solved many extraordinary cases over the years, but some were hushed up and hidden away. Until now. Arthur Bryant remembers these lost cases as if they were yesterday.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember yesterday, so the newly revealed facts could come as a surprise to everyone, including his exasperated partner John May.
Here, then, is the truth about the Covent Garden opera diva and the seventh reindeer, the body that falls from the Tate Gallery, the ordinary London street corner where strange accidents keep occurring, the consul’s son discovered buried in the unit’s basement, the corpse pulled from a swamp of Chinese dinners, a Hallowe’en crime in the Post Office Tower, and the impossible death that’s the fault of a forgotten London legend. All of the unit’s oddest characters are here, plus the detectives’ long-suffering sergeant Janice Longbright gets to reveal her own forgotten mystery.
These twelve crimes must be solved without the help of modern technology, mainly because nobody knows how to use it. Expect misunderstood clues, lost evidence, arguments about Dickens, churches, pubs and disorderly conduct from the investigative officers they laughingly call ‘England’s Finest’!

My Thoughts

I have to say that this is the first time I’ve read the adventures of Bryant and May, but it’s been a while since I wanted to read their adventures and now I had finally the chance! Because this is a little taste, with 12 short stories, I can definitely discover the real world at the Peculiar Crimes Unit and decide if they are for me!
This is not the typical mystery stories you are used to, that’s why it’s called “Peculiar Crimes Unit”. They solve the mysteries without the help of technology; with ingenuity and investigation; of course there will be surprises and a few laughs.
The stories are not based at the same time period, Bryant and May are the main characters and have total opposite personality but they fit perfect together. Whichever period the stories are based, I can’t imagine these stories with other detectives on them!
If you are like me that haven’t read any of the previous Bryant and May case, don’t worry, you will not feel lost at all, there’s a little introduction at the beginning that will put you in the correct direction to enjoy fully the book.
I’ll admit that after reading these original stories, I’ll search for more adventures of Bryant and May, their investigations and way to solve them are not traditional, but who doesn’t want something different from time to time? It makes life more interesting, don’t you think?
So, if you are looking for little taste of some mysteries with a twist, this is your next read, I am sure! 😉

About The Author

Christopher Fowler is the author of more than forty novels (sixteen of which feature the detectives Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit) and many short story collections. A multiple award-winner, including the coveted CWA ‘Dagger in the Library’, Chris has also written screenplays, video games, graphic novels, audio plays and two acclaimed memoirs, Paperboy and Film Freak. His most recent non-fiction book is The Book of Forgotten Authors. Chris divides his time between London’s King’s Cross and Barcelona. You can find out more by visiting his website and following him on Twitter.