#2 Bryant and May mystery, featuring our two elderly policemen and the entire PCU (Peculiar Crimes Unit) in London. The unit is finally ready to move into their refurbished quarters after the fire that destroyed nearly everything at the end of the first book in the series. Bryant and May, both fearing that their boss is going dissolve their unit at the drop of a hat, are determined to keep themselves and their subordinates busy.
They begin to investigate cases brought to them by friends or acquaintances, and find that their cases begin to intersect with the hidden rivers of London as their common ground. Ruth Singh, an elderly woman of Indian descent, is found dead by her brother--sitting in a chair in her basement looking as though she's ready to go out to do the weekly shopping. She's totally dry, but autopsy reveals that she has Thames water--in her mouth and esophagus, but she didn't drown--she asphyxiated from laryngospasm. But how did the water get there?? Bryant is certain foul play is involved and sets out obsessively to prove it. May undertakes a favor for an old lover who has become concerned that her museum curator husband has started doing something illegal that will get them into trouble with the law--he's meeting a known dodgy character in areas that deal with old riverbeds under London's streets, and for the life of them, Bryant & May cannot think of what his interest might be or what they are up to.
I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first one--it's not often you have detectives worrying about seeds under their dentures or chest pains when going up several flights of stairs. Both eccentric in different ways, these two lead their younger colleagues into thinking outside the box to solve these odd cases. The prose is very descriptive and the author has a wonderful way with words and phraseology. I had to look up a few words that I'd never heard of before--which always makes me happy. And I didn't figure the mystery out, either. Wonderful stuff, and I will definitely not be waiting too long to get to the next in series! A+
Another intriguing Bryant & May mystery. Enough twists, wrong turns, and dead ends to keep you guessing until the very end. Fowler manages to masterfully combine Egyptology, art, London's underground rivers and the plight of homelessness into this plot. A very satisfying read.
Bryant and May are in their 80s and still investigating crimes that have a need for some discretion and wide knowledge of London. This is set in the world of underground rivers and flooded housing, etc.
This was my first Bryant and May book. Based on other reviews I expected a somewhat humorous couple of detectives solving an unusual crime.
While the crime was unusual, I could not warm up to the characters, the humor was not very humorous to me, it seemed forced. The identity and motivation of the killer was not convincing. It only became suspenseful during the last 60 pages. What was interesting was the information about the London underground river system.
Really great read in this series featuring British detectives John May and Arthur Bryant.