NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES • London’s wiliest detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are on the case in this fiendishly clever mystery. And when a cemetery becomes the scene of a crime, neither secrets—nor bodies—stay buried.
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
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.