The Invisible Code

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0345539583
Size: 73.69 MB
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London’s craftiest and boldest detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are back in this deviously twisting mystery of black magic, madness, and secrets hidden in plain sight. When a young woman is found dead in the pews of St. Bride’s Church—alone and showing no apparent signs of trauma—Arthur Bryant assumes this case will go to the Peculiar Crimes Unit, an eccentric team tasked with solving London’s most puzzling murders. Yet the city police take over the investigation, and the PCU is given an even more baffling and bewitching assignment. Called into headquarters by Oskar Kasavian, the head of Home Office security, Bryant and May are shocked to hear that their longtime adversary now desperately needs their help. Oskar’s wife, Sabira, has been acting strangely for weeks—succumbing to violent mood swings, claiming an evil presence is bringing her harm—and Oskar wants the PCU to find out why. And if there’s any duo that can deduce the method behind her madness, it’s the indomitable Bryant and May. When a second bizarre death reveals a surprising link between the two women’s cases, Bryant and May set off on a trail of clues from the notorious Bedlam hospital to historic Bletchley Park. And as they are drawn into a world of encrypted codes and symbols, concealed rooms and high-society clubs, they must work quickly to catch a killer who lurks even closer than they think. Witty, suspenseful, and ingeniously plotted, The Invisible Code is Christopher Fowler at the very top of his form. Praise for The Invisible Code “Delightful . . . priceless dialogue . . . Fowler’s small but ardent American following deserves to get much larger. . . . The Invisible Code has immense charm. . . . Fowler creates a fine blend of vivid descriptions, . . . quick thinking and artful understatement. . . . Best of all are the two main characters, particularly Bryant, whose fine British stodginess is matched perfectly by the agility of his crime-solving mind.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Excellent . . . In the light of the challenges that Fowler has given his heroes in prior books, it’s particularly impressive that he manages to surpass himself once again.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) Praise for the ingenious novels featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit “Witty, charming, intelligent, wonderfully atmospheric and enthusiastically plotted.”—The Times (UK) “A series of narratives that exert an Ancient Mariner–like grip on the reader . . . Christopher Fowler is something of a British national treasure.”—Crime Time “Quirky, ingenious and quite brilliant . . . If you haven’t indulged you are really missing out. . . . Wonderful, gently humorous stuff, so clever.”—The Bookseller “A brilliant series of impossible crime novels.”—The Denver Post “Grumpy Old Men does CSI with a twist of Dickens! Bryant and May are hilarious. I love this series.”—Karen Marie Moning “An example of what Christopher Fowler does so well, which is to merge the old values with the new values—reassuring, solid, English, and traditional. He’s giving us two for the price of one here.”—Lee Child From the Hardcover edition.

Bryant May Strange Tide

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 1101887044
Size: 25.33 MB
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London’s most brilliant but unconventional detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, must plumb the depths of a particularly murky mystery. The Peculiar Crimes Unit faces its most baffling case yet—and if Bryant and May can’t rise to the challenge, the entire unit may go under. Near the Tower of London, along the River Thames, the body of a woman has been discovered chained to a stone post and left to drown. Curiously, only one set of footprints leads to the tragic spot. “The Bride in the Tide,” as the London press gleefully dubs her, has the PCU stumped. Why wouldn’t the killer simply dump her body in the river—as so many do? Arthur Bryant wonders if the answer lies in the mythology of the Thames itself. Unfortunately, the normally wobbly funhouse corridors of Bryant’s mind have become, of late, even more labyrinthine. The venerable detective seems to be losing his grip on reality. May fears the worst, as Bryant rapidly descends from merely muddled to one stop short of Barking, hallucinating that he’s traveled back in time to solve the case. There had better be a method to Bryant’s madness—because, as more bodies are pulled from the river’s depths, his partner and the rest of the PCU find themselves in over their heads. Fiendishly fun and rich in London lore, Bryant and May: Strange Tide is Christopher Fowler at his best, delivering more twists and turns than the Thames itself. Praise for Christopher Fowler’s ingenious novels featuring the Peculiar Crimes Unit “Fowler, like his crime-solvers, is deadpan, sly, and always unexpectedly inventive.”—Entertainment Weekly “An imaginative funhouse of a world where sage minds go to expand their vistas and sharpen their wits.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review “[Fowler] takes delight in stuffing his books with esoteric facts; together with a cast of splendidly eccentric characters [and] corkscrew plots, wit, verve and some apposite social commentary, they make for unbeatable fun.”—The Guardian “Mr. Fowler’s small but ardent American following deserves to get much larger.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “The most delightfully, wickedly entertaining duo in crime fiction.”—The Plain Dealer “Captivating.”—The Seattle Times “Dazzling.”—The Denver Post “Thrilling.”—Chicago Tribune From the Hardcover edition.

Ten Second Staircase

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553902723
Size: 22.46 MB
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It’s a crime tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit: a controversial artist is murdered and displayed as part of her own outrageous installation. No suspects, no motive, no evidence–it’s business as usual for the Unit’s cantankerous founding partners, Arthur Bryant and John May. But this time they have an eyewitness. According to twelve-year-old Luke Tripp, the killer was a cape-clad highwayman atop a black stallion. As implausible as the boy’s story sounds, Bryant and May take it seriously when “The Highwayman” is spotted again, striking a dramatic pose at the scene of his next outlandish murder. Whatever the killer’s real identity, he seems intent on killing off a string of minor celebrities while becoming one himself. As the tabloids look to make a quick bundle on “Highwayman Fever,” Bryant and May, along with the newest member of the Unit, May’s agoraphobic granddaughter, April, find themselves sorting out a case involving an unlikely combination of artistic rivalries, sleazy sex affairs, the Knights Templars, and street gang feuds. To do it, they’re going to have to use every orthodox–and unorthodox–means at their disposal, including myth, witchcraft, and the psychogeographic history of the city’s “monsters,” past and present. And if one unsolvable crime weren’t enough, this case has disturbing links to a decades-old killing spree that nearly destroyed the partnership of Bryant and May once before…and may again. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is one murder away from being closed down for good–and that murder could be their own. From the Hardcover edition.

Bryant May And The Burning Man

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0345547691
Size: 26.22 MB
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No case is too curious for Arthur Bryant and John May, London’s most ingenious detectives. But with their beloved city engulfed in turmoil, they’ll have to work fast to hold a sinister killer’s feet to the fire. In the week before Guy Fawkes Night, London’s peaceful streets break out in sudden unrest. Enraged by a scandal involving a corrupt financier accused of insider trading, demonstrators are rioting outside the Findersbury Private Bank, chanting, marching, and growing violent. But when someone hurls a Molotov cocktail at the bank’s front door, killing a homeless man on its steps, Bryant, May, and the rest of the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in. Is this an act of protest gone terribly wrong? Or a devious, premeditated murder? Their investigation heats up when a second victim is reported dead in similar fiery circumstances. May discovers the latest victim has ties to the troubled bank, and Bryant refuses to believe this is mere coincidence. As the riots grow more intense and the body count climbs, Bryant and May hunt for a killer who’s adopting incendiary methods of execution, on a snaking trail of clues with roots in London’s history of rebellion, anarchy, and harsh justice. Now, they’ll have to throw themselves in the line of fire before the entire investigation goes up in smoke. Suspenseful, smart, and wickedly funny, Bryant & May and the Burning Man is a brilliantly crafted mystery from the beloved Christopher Fowler. Praise for Bryant & May and the Burning Man “Fabulously unorthodox . . . [Fowler] takes delight in stuffing his books with esoteric facts; together with a cast of splendidly eccentric characters [and] corkscrew plots, wit, verve and some apposite social commentary, they make for unbeatable fun.”—The Guardian “Winningly eccentric . . . The books are set in a skillful synthesis of a phantasmagorical earlier era and the modern age.”—Financial Times “The most delightfully, wickedly entertaining duo in crime fiction . . . Fowler’s tale is a rich mix of laugh-out-loud lines, acerbic wit, obscure British history and a wonderfully puzzling story. Grade: A”—The Plain Dealer “Fowler is even better than usual at getting readers to care about his squad of misfits.”—Publishers Weekly “Not even Arthur Bryant’s alarming behavior can dampen the twelfth installment in the most joyously inventive mystery series of our time.”—Kirkus Reviews “Fascinating and intriguing . . . This book is definitely a standalone novel that keeps the reader absorbed in the story, and will make everyone want to go back and read them all. . . . This is a very solid story and a great addition to Fowler’s long-running series. The mystery is fascinating and readers will definitely want to know what happens next. And for newcomers to the series, this will be an excellent place to start.”—Suspense Magazine “Fans of the Bryant and May series will welcome this latest installment with plenty of obscure historical details mixed with outré crimes and the banter of the PCU members. Newcomers will find plenty to enjoy as well without finding the amount of details included from earlier outings overwhelming.”—Library Journal “Witty with a dry sense of humor . . . finely plotted . . . complex and funny.”—RT Book Reviews “A fascinating investigation with lots of false leads and a plethora of historical factoids.”—Mystery Scene From the Hardcover edition.

Bryant May On The Loose

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553907158
Size: 50.46 MB
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Christopher Fowler’s Bryant & May off the Rails. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is no more—disbanded, finished, kaput. After years of defying the odds and infuriating their superiors, detectives Arthur Bryant and John May have finally crossed the line. While Bryant takes to his bed, his bathrobe, and his esoteric books, the rest of the team takes to the streets looking for new careers—until one of them stumbles upon a gruesome murder. Now the Unit is back for an encore performance—in a rented office with no computer network, no legal authority, and a broken toilet. They’ve got until the end of the week to solve a mystery with links to gangland crime, the 2012 London Olympics, and a half-man, half-stag creature that’s carrying off young women. It’s the kind of case that Bryant and May live to solve . . . and it could be the one that finally kills them.

Full Dark House

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553900415
Size: 57.57 MB
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Edgy, suspenseful, and darkly comic, here is the first novel in a riveting mystery series starring two cranky but brilliant old detectives whose lifelong friendship was forged solving crimes for the London Police Department's Peculiar Crimes Unit. In Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both their first and last case—and how along the way the unlikely pair of crime fighters changed the face of detection. A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of eighty-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half-a-century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues to the killer's identity, May finds his old friend's notes of their very first case and becomes convinced that the past has returned...with a killing vengeance. It begins when a dancer in a risque new production of Orpheus in Hell is found without her feet. Suddenly, the young detectives are plunged in a bizarre gothic mystery that will push them to their limits—and beyond. For in a city shaken by war, a faceless killer is stalking London's theaters, creating his own kind of sinister drama. And it will take Arthur Bryant's unorthodox techniques and John May's dogged police work to catch a criminal whose ability to escape detection seems almost supernatural--a murderer who even decades later seems to have claimed the life of one of them...and is ready to claim the other. Filled with startling twists, unforgettable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing, Full Dark House is a witty, heartbreaking, and all-too-human thriller about the hunt for an inhuman killer. From the Hardcover edition.

Bryant May Off The Rails

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 034552828X
Size: 63.74 MB
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After a Peculiar Crimes Unit detective is slain, the murderer flees deep underground into the world's oldest subway system, and Bryant and May must follow the madman into the twisted tunnels that snake beneath London.

White Corridor

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553903768
Size: 65.39 MB
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From using crackpot psychics to cutting-edge forensics, Arthur Bryant and John May are famous for their maddeningly unorthodox approach to solving crimes that the ordinary police cannot. Now Christopher Fowler, “a new master of the classical detective story,”* brings back crime detection’s oddest—and oldest—couple to solve the ultimate locked room mystery. It’s an “impossible” crime—a member of the Peculiar Crimes Unit killed inside a locked autopsy room populated only by the dead and to which only four PCU members had a key. And to make matters worse, the Unit has been shut down for a forced “vacation” and Bryant and May are stuck in a van miles away in the Dartmoor countryside during a freak snowstorm on their way to a convention of psychics. Now, with Sergeant Janice Longbright in charge at headquarters, Bryant and May must crack the case by cell phone while trying to stop a second murder without freezing to death. For among the line of snowed-in vehicles, a killer is on the prowl, a beautiful woman is on the run from a man who seeks either redemption or another victim, and an innocent child is caught in the middle. Weaving together two electrifying cases, White Corridor is an unforgettable triumph—by turns hilarious and harrowing—as two of detective fiction’s most marvelous characters confront one of human nature’s darkest mysteries: the ability to deceive, deny, and destroy. From the Hardcover edition.

The Victoria Vanishes

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 9780553905137
Size: 59.40 MB
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It’s a case tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs—including one torn down eighty years ago. What’s more, Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Indeed, this case is littered with clues that defy everything the veteran detectives know about the habits of serial killers, the methodology of crime, and the odds of making an arrest. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the PCU down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion in defense of two great English traditions—the pub and the Peculiar Crimes Unit. That’s easier said than done. A lost funeral urn, the eighteenth-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, the Knights Templars, the secret history of pubs, and the discovery of an astounding religious relic may be enough to convince one of the pair to take back his resignation letter. But with Bryant consulting a memory specialist and May encountering a brush with mortality, do the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s two living legends have enough life left to stop a murderous conspiracy…and a deadly cupid targeting one of their own. From the Hardcover edition.

Bryant May And The Bleeding Heart

Author: Christopher Fowler
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0345547667
Size: 21.66 MB
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NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES • London’s wiliest detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are on the case in this fiendishly clever mystery. And when a cemetery becomes the scene of a crime, neither secrets—nor bodies—stay buried. Romain Curtis sneaks into St. George’s Gardens one evening with his date, planning to show her the stars. A centuries-old burial ground, the small, quiet park is the perfect place to be alone. Yet the night takes a chilling turn when the two teenagers spy a strange figure rising from among the tombstones: a corpse emerging from the grave. Suffice it to say that wherever there’s a dead man walking, Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit are never far behind. As the PCU investigates the sighting, a second urgent matter requires their unusual brand of problem-solving. Seven ravens have gone missing from their historic home in the Tower of London, and legend has it that when the ravens disappear, England will fall. Bryant has been tasked with recovering the lost birds, but when Romain is suddenly found dead, the two seemingly separate mysteries start to intertwine and point to a plot more sinister than anyone could ever imagine. Soon Bryant and May find themselves immersed in London’s darkest lore, from Victorian-era body snatchers, to arcane black magic, to the grisly myth behind Bleeding Heart Yard, a courtyard long associated with murder. And as the body count spikes and more coffins are unearthed, they will have to dig deep to catch a killer and finally lay these cases to rest. Darkly funny and fast-paced, Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart is a brilliantly twisting puzzle, conjured from the inventive mind of Christopher Fowler. Praise for Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart “Let’s talk about guilty pleasures. . . . A historic burial ground like St. George’s Garden, scene of the unfortunate incident of resurrection, is right up [Arthur Bryant’s] dark alley. And mine.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review “Delectably droll . . . criminally underappreciated . . . guaranteed to amuse . . . [Bryant & May are] endearing throwbacks to a time when this genre was brainy and pure. They are the last of a breed and they know it. . . . Their very credibility puts quaint old Bryant & May in a class of their own.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Fans of the series will enjoy the continuing travails of these two long-suffering octogenerian friends and their fellow officers. Newcomers will appreciate the twists and turns of the case as well as the many details from the odd corners of one of the world’s great cities.”—Library Journal “Endearingly eccentric . . . intriguing.”—Publishers Weekly “Hilarious . . . a charming and intriguing mystery mixed with marvelous characters. [Christopher] Fowler’s snarky writing elevates what could be dull or routine and makes it a true joy to read.”—RT Book Reviews “Make Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart the next book you read. . . . These stories are witty, challenging, engrossing, informative and incredibly well written. . . . Picture a television series that is a rough mash-up of Law & Order, The X-Files and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. . . . I sensed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ed McBain and Agatha Christie nodding in approval. . . . [Fowler’s] latest book contains some of his best writing.”—Bookreporter From the Hardcover edition.