Winner of CrimeFest 2013's 'eDunnit Award' for 'the best crime fiction ebook published in 2012 in both hardcopy and in electronic format'.
Two small children are playing a game called 'Witch-Hunter'. They place a curse on a young woman taking lunch in a church courtyard and wait for her to die. An hour later the woman is indeed found dead inside St Bride's Church - a building that no-one else has entered.
Unfortunately Bryant & May are refused the case. Instead, there are hired by their greatest enemy to find out why his wife has suddenly started behaving strangely. She's become an embarrassment to him at government dinners, and he is convinced that someone is trying to drive her insane. She has even taken to covering the mirrors in her apartment, and believes herself to be the victim of witchcraft.
Then a society photographer is stabbed to death in a nearby park and suddenly a link emerges between the two cases. And so begins an investigation that will test the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit to their limits, setting Arthur Bryant off on a trail that leads to Bedlam and Bletchley Park, and into the world of madness, codes and the secret of London's strangest relic.
As the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit dig behind the city's facades to expose a world of private clubs, hidden passages and covert loyalties, they realise that the case might not just end in disaster - it might also get everyone killed.
These crime novels have enjoyed a cult following, thanks to Fowler's writing which has been compared to Agatha Christie and Ben Aaronovitch. A cracking summer read.
Bryant and May series... is witty, charming, intelligent, wonderfully atmospheric and enthusiastically plotted.
This quirky series, which describes the Peculiar Crimes Unit and its elderly stars, Bryant and May, does include macabre and horrifying passages, but they are rendered almost cheerful by the wit and humour of the writing... if you like oddities, this series is a very good example.