The Bryant and May mysteries: By Christopher Fowler
Do you love a good mystery? Do you like to read about eccentric characters? Do you appreciate the British sense of humour? If so, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy the escapades of Arthur Bryant and John May.
They are detectives, yes, but I imagine that you’ve never met detectives like these before.
Bryant and May are assigned to the Peculiar Crimes Unit in London (a completely fictional branch of the London police force). They specialise in weird crimes that no-one else wants to solve.
But what sets them apart is that the pair are both in their eighties – yet as sharp as a couple of tacks. They have been working together since the Second World War. And yet they are as different as chalk and cheese.
John May looks after himself. He is urbane, well-groomed, attractive to old ladies ‘of certain age’ and has fully embraced modern technology. His partner though, is almost his direct opposite.
Arthur Bryant is decidedly set in his ways. He is superbly knowledgeable and his knowledge extends beyond the boundaries of ‘normal’ intelligence. When he’s investigating – and the investigations usually involve murder – he consults mediums, tarot card readers, strippers and a whole host of strange characters.
But it works. Whilst May plods along, interviewing the regular people, Bryant goes off at complete tangents.
The Water Room
This book is a great example. An elderly Indian woman has died. The curious thing is that she was fully dressed when she was found, sitting in a chair, but she had drowned. How on earth could that happen? Bryant and May investigate and along the way, we learn about ancient artefacts, the underground rivers of London and the plight of present day illegal immigrants.
It is totally fascinating and completely absorbing. It’s a well-worn cliché, but you won’t want to put it down.
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