If I said “Bryant and May” you might think of these
but actually there’s another “Bryant and May” around.
Knowing that I liked…
- anything about London, especially historical stuff
- word-play and puns
- detective mysteries
- Radio 4 especially the comedy/quiz programmes
…my friend Andy has just lent me these
…and they really do tick all those boxes. They are the first two novels in the B&M series by Christopher Fowler [who apparently “lives in London with an incredibly unmotivated cat”]They are certainly very different as far as detective mysteries go.
B&M head up “The Peculiar Crimes Unit” – set up before WW2, to solve bizarre unsolved crimes. Their HQ is, not surprisingly, in Mornington Crescent. These two push the envelope of eccentricity to the point where Hercules Poirot and Adrian Monk seem utterly normal, well-balanced individuals!
I was initially confused – Andy lent me both books at the same time, and the first one apparently begins with the death of Bryant – but it all works out tidily [ish] in the end. Fowler is an erudite author, and I had to concentrate hard not to miss some of the plot details, and subtle suggestions and nuances. Consequently I have taken a while to read them, as I couldn’t concentrate properly when I was tired. But I have enjoyed their quirkiness – and look forward to reading some more of the series.
I would suggest that you begin with Full Dark House though- I think that is essential for ‘setting the scene’ Their female sidekick is called Janice Longbright. Not sure if the B&M cook’s matches seemed long and bright to CF and that gave him an idea for her surname. At least he didn’t call her Phossy Jaw!