Bryant & May

Bryant & May

Hall of Mirrors

Book - 2018
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London, 1969. With the Swinging Sixties under way, Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May find themselves caught in the middle of a good, old-fashioned manor house murder mystery.

Hard to believe, but even positively ancient sleuths like Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit were young once . . . or at least younger. Flashback to London 1969: mods and dolly birds, sunburst minidresses--but how long would the party last?

After accidentally sinking a barge painted like the Yellow Submarine, Bryant and May are relegated to babysitting one Monty Hatton-Jones, the star prosecution witness in the trial of a disreputable developer whose prefabs are prone to collapse. The job for the demoted detectives? Keep the whistle-blower safe for one weekend.

The task proves unexpectedly challenging when their unruly charge insists on attending a party at the vast estate Tavistock Hall. With falling stone gryphons, secret passageways, rumors of a mythical beast, and an all-too-real dismembered corpse, the bedeviled policemen soon find themselves with "a proper country house murder" on their hands.

Trapped for the weekend, Bryant and May must sort the victims from the suspects, including a hippie heir, a blond nightclub singer, and Monty himself--and nobody is quite who he or she seems to be.

Praise for Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors

"Arthur Bryant has written his memoirs--and a jolly good yarn they make, too. . . . As always in this series, this one's a lark." -- The New York Times Book Review

"[ Hall of Mirrors is] a largely comic escapade whose tone evokes both the biting wit of Evelyn Waugh and the slapsticker shenanigans of P.G. Woodhouse." -- The Wall Street Journal

"More fully fleshed-out suspects, clues, red herrings, twists, and honest mystery and detection than in the last three whodunits you read." -- Kirkus Reviews

"The narrative [veers] between laugh-out-loud funny to macabre. . . . Eccentric and consistently entertaining." -- Booklist

"Fowler evokes the period as neatly as he crafts the plot." -- Publishers Weekly

"Wonderful." -- Deadly Pleasures

"So Agatha Christie (intentionally). And as in a Christie, nothing is quite what it seems as one murder follows another. Love the butler." -- Poisoned Pen Newsletter
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781101887097
Characteristics: 414 pages ;,22 cm
Alternative Title: Hall of mirrors


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Jan 05, 2019

This is my favorite Bryant and May - no, each one I read becomes my favorite. This might be the funniest one though, and the hilarity is as usual encased in an excellent mystery and some serious gore (you can close your eyes as you read those passages), and features our favorite detectives, as they were in 1969, not as we "know" them now as octogenarians.

The Bryant & May Peculiar Crimes Unit series is a delight! I recommend starting with one of the earlier ones (maybe off the rails or the Victoria Vanishes, but any really will do) and then move on to the others. The latest half dozen are best read chronologically, but no harm done if you read them out of order. You may even want to go back and begin at the beginning because you will surely fall in bibliophiliac love with Arthur Bryant and Maggie Armitage and their circle of justice fighters.

Christopher Fowler also has a delightful website where you can read about his latest Bryant and May (and his other work, travels, movie reviews, and mystery writer musings), but be warned, it takes a few months before his "latest Bryant & May" will make it to the USA from the UK.

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