The Peculiar Crimes Unit is kind of a renegade police unit. They do things their own way and take cases that the regular detectives don't want or are just too weird. I found that this book reminded me of Scooby Doo mysteries: a bit of Paranormal that has to have a reasonable explanation. It took a while to build the stories and the characters, but by the end I was very interested to see what the outcome would be. I will definitely check out more in the series.
A long book, but one that keeps your interest. It jumps back and forth between modern day London and London in 1940 during the blitz. Most of the story is set in 1940, and that was certainly more interesting. As well as the mystery surrounding weird murders in a huge theater, the evocation of London being bombed was very effective.
This is Book 1 of the Peculiar Crimes Unit series.
I dont know what I was expecting when I started this book, and Im not sure how to describe it now that I have finished. It is quirky but not overtly ridiculous, serious but not too much so. The Peculiar Crimes Unit does solve the strange and unexplained cases, but the paranormal is more of a side show rather than the central attraction. Its not really the X-Files gone Neil Gaiman, but its also more than just a Sherlock Holmes with a better sense of humor.
In all, I thought that Fowler did a great job of breathing life into his two main characters, Arthur Bryant and John May. I liked them immediately. They are so different in temperament and taste, but they complement each other perfectly.
The plot, while long, was still interesting and engaging. There were certainly elements that required a mild stretch of reality or a momentary suspension of belief, but in this slightly off-center gumshoe murder mystery, it seemed to fit. There is the slightest whisper of a fantasy novel to be found in the plot, so those murder mystery purists who want their stories to be a bit more cut and dry will probably find adequate enough reason to complain.
In all, I thought it was a fun read with enjoyable characters and a worthy mystery. I look forward to checking out the other books in this series.
These two old coots are detectives in a special London branch of the police. They investigate odd and demanding cases. Good picture of London, interesting characters of courtly May and "codgerly" Bryant. Fun writing, twisted plots. This is set in the theatrical world of WW II.
At one point in this novel one of the characters says (paraphrased) "That's a bit Agatha Christie, isn't it?". If you're a fan of the grand dame of the Brit mystery, it's conceivable that you might enjoy this; otherwise you can expect to be pulled by the elbow through plot twists that range from the implausible to the preposterous. Character development is pathetically thin, the writing is in general cliché-ridden and fairly dull. The novelistic equivalent of the most stale TV sit-com you can imagine. To be read in bed, with your light on a timer (set it for twenty-five minutes, you will be drowsy in five, gone in ten).