Title: Bryant & May London's Glory
Author: Christopher Fowler
Release Date: November 5th 2015
Synopsis: In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal.
Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus operandi of Arthur Bryant and John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit - investigations that range from different times (London during the Great Smog) and a variety of places: a circus freak show, on board a London Tour Bus and even a yacht off the coast of Turkey.
This was an interesting one. The things that I have with short stories is that you dip in and start to get invested in them then as suddenly as they started they're over. I think what I like about longer fiction, especially within crime is that it almost contains lots of little stories. That's not to say I didn't enjoy this on the contrary I really did enjoy them.
One of the things I really enjoyed was the authors commentary at the opening of the book, talking about his influences and the writers of the golden age of crime writing which a lot of us (and me especially) might not have been aware of, and how these people and the ways they wrote their crime novels influenced the way that Fowler wrote these books. Its always interesting to see where inspiration comes from and how a moment can trigger a story and the short interludes to the stories are great.
The stories them cover a range of different crimes and touch upon a lot of the different conventions of crime writing from locked rooms, to mysterious heroines. They play with the forms creating enjoyable and funny stories. At the heart we have Bryant & May a detective pair like no other, full of character and whit, a mix of the traditional, the sensible and the daring. They bounce off each other and feed the stories more than the stories themselves sometimes, because in some causes it strips away the hours of slog to solve a case, Bryant will look at the situation and rattle off a theory proven to be true, as is his way. And is you every need to know random historical facts he is your man. Mind like a dictionary that one.
I also really like these covers and the old school painting vibes that they give off. Yes it is a tad chrissmassy and yes some of the stories have a christmas setting. But does that really matter. Not one bit.
This is a great book for train rides where you can dip in and out read a story and get that warm feeling of completed a story on a journey. And when you get that taste for Bryant and May...and you well, check out his other books.
You can also check out our interview with Christopher as part of the Blog tour here.