Friday, February 1, 2008

Bryant and May mysteries

How could I have missed this series? And why didn't anyone tell me about it?
Actually, one of my customers recommended Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler as a fun read and I decided to give it a go. And what a charmingly eccentric series it is.
Fowler's' earlier books were firmly planted in the fantasy/horror genre but, as he matured, that style easily translated into the idiosyntric tales of Bryant and May, investigators for London's Peculiar Crimes Unit. The first tale, the aforementioned Full Dark House, smacks too much of The Phantom of the Opera, but it is riddled with humor and humanity.
The second book in the series, The Water Room, gave me just what a look for in a mystery: an unsolvable puzzle (by me, that is), great characters and an introduction information I never would have thought I'd be interested in, in this case the lost rivers of London. Drenched in unease and black humor, Fowler seamlessly blends tones of comedy and mayhem.
With Seventy Seven Clocks, The Ten-Second Staircase and The White Corridor still on my shelf (and The Victoria Vanishes on the horizon, due in August here in the U.S.), I will be enjoying Bryant and May novels for quite a while.

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