Romain Curtis sneaks into St. George s Gardens one evening with his date, planning to show her the stars. A centuries-old burial ground, the small, quiet park is the perfect place to be alone. Yet the night takes a chilling turn when the two teenagers spy a strange figure rising from among the tombstones: a corpse emerging from the grave. Suffice it to say that wherever there s a dead man walking, Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit are never far behind.
As the PCU investigates the sighting, a second urgent matter requires their unusual brand of problem-solving. Seven ravens have gone missing from their historic home in the Tower of London, and legend has it that when the ravens disappear, England will fall. Bryant has been tasked with recovering the lost birds, but when Romain is suddenly found dead, the two seemingly separate mysteries start to intertwine and point to a plot more sinister than anyone could ever imagine.
Soon Bryant and May find themselves immersed in London s darkest lore, from Victorian-era body snatchers, to arcane black magic, to the grisly myth behind Bleeding Heart Yard, a courtyard long associated with murder. And as the body count spikes and more coffins are unearthed, they will have to dig deep to catch a killer and finally lay these cases to rest.
Darkly funny and fast-paced, Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart is a brilliantly twisting puzzle, conjured from the inventive mind of Christopher Fowler.
Praise for Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart
Let s talk about guilty pleasures. . . . A historic burial ground like St. George s Garden, scene of the unfortunate incident of resurrection, is right up Arthur Bryant s] dark alley. And mine. Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Delectably droll . . . criminally underappreciated . . . guaranteed to amuse . . . Bryant & May are] endearing throwbacks to a time when this genre was brainy and pure. They are the last of a breed and they know it. . . . Their very credibility puts quaint old Bryant & May in a class of their own. Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Fans of the series will enjoy the continuing travails of these two long-suffering octogenerian friends and their fellow officers. Newcomers will appreciate the twists and turns of the case as well as the many details from the odd corners of one of the world s great cities. Library Journal
Endearingly eccentric . . . intriguing. Publishers Weekly
Hilarious . . . a charming and intriguing mystery mixed with marvelous characters. Christopher] Fowler s snarky writing elevates what could be dull or routine and makes it a true joy to read. RT Book Reviews
Make Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart the next book you read. . . . These stories are witty, challenging, engrossing, informative and incredibly well written. . . . Picture a television series that is a rough mash-up of Law & Order, The X-Files and Monty Python s Flying Circus. . . . I sensed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ed McBain and Agatha Christie nodding in approval. . . . Fowler s] latest book contains some of his best writing. Bookreporter"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-06
- Reviewer: Staff
In Fowler’s solid 11th Peculiar Crimes Unit whodunit (after 2013’s The Invisible Code), the unit’s unsympathetic new supervisor poses a threat to its existence after its operations are shifted from the Home Office to the City of London. Endearingly eccentric Arthur Bryant, whose reading list includes Recreating Renaissance Masterpieces with Cheese and Cross-Stitching in the Time of Edward the Confessor, and his more conventional partner, John May, have a number of odd crimes to solve. In particular, a star-gazing teen claims that one night he saw a corpse rise from the grave and incorrectly identify a constellation, an occurrence that eventually leads to murder. Meanwhile, the seven ravens of the Tower of London have vanished, giving rise to fears about the future of the realm. As intriguing as these setups are, Fowler has delivered more imaginative resolutions in previous entries. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Dec.)
A murder mystery with a walking corpse
In this, the 11th of Christopher Fowler’s superb Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries, it’s clearer than ever that the real hero of the series is London herself. If you’ve never visited the city, you could ask for no better education—or pressing invitation—than the one you’ll receive by reading the entire series. Fowler not only tells delightfully lurid tales of both famous and well-hidden landmarks, but also provides clear warnings about neighborhoods you should avoid (after all, these are murder mysteries).
Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart finds detectives Arthur Bryant and John May tackling the bizarre case of a reanimated corpse seen rising out of its grave in a forgotten corner of a Bloomsbury public garden. Both high-school punks and high financiers are implicated, along with morticians, necromancers and medical-school dropouts.
Apart from the elusive murderer(s?), the villain of the piece is the bureaucratic nightmare of the London Constabulary, personified by a barely-human being with the implausible name of Orion Banks, who . . . but no, I shall not give that away.
Bryant embodies all the peculiarity of Fowler’s narrative gifts. There is great goodness and camaraderie at the heart of the story. It’s so much bleeding fun.