No case is too curious for Arthur Bryant and John May, London’s most ingenious detectives. But with their beloved city engulfed in turmoil, they’ll have to work fast to hold a sinister killer’s feet to the fire.
In the week before Guy Fawkes Night, London’s peaceful streets break out in sudden unrest. Enraged by a scandal involving a corrupt financier accused of insider trading, demonstrators are rioting outside the Findersbury Private Bank, chanting, marching, and growing violent. But when someone hurls a Molotov cocktail at the bank’s front door, killing a homeless man on its steps, Bryant, May, and the rest of the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in. Is this an act of protest gone terribly wrong? Or a devious, premeditated murder?
Their investigation heats up when a second victim is reported dead in similar fiery circumstances. May discovers the latest victim has ties to the troubled bank, and Bryant refuses to believe this is mere coincidence. As the riots grow more intense and the body count climbs, Bryant and May hunt for a killer who’s adopting incendiary methods of execution, on a snaking trail of clues with roots in London’s history of rebellion, anarchy, and harsh justice. Now, they’ll have to throw themselves in the line of fire before the entire investigation goes up in smoke.
Suspenseful, smart, and wickedly funny, Bryant & May and the Burning Man is a brilliantly crafted mystery from the beloved Christopher Fowler.
Praise for Bryant & May and the Burning Man
“Fabulously unorthodox . . . [Fowler] takes delight in stuffing his books with esoteric facts; together with a cast of splendidly eccentric characters [and] corkscrew plots, wit, verve and some apposite social commentary, they make for unbeatable fun.”—The Guardian
“Winningly eccentric . . . The books are set in a skillful synthesis of a phantasmagorical earlier era and the modern age.”—Financial Times
“The most delightfully, wickedly entertaining duo in crime fiction . . . Fowler’s tale is a rich mix of laugh-out-loud lines, acerbic wit, obscure British history and a wonderfully puzzling story. Grade: A”—The Plain Dealer
“Fowler is even better than usual at getting readers to care about his squad of misfits.”—Publishers Weekly
“Not even Arthur Bryant’s alarming behavior can dampen the twelfth installment in the most joyously inventive mystery series of our time.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating and intriguing . . . This book is definitely a standalone novel that keeps the reader absorbed in the story, and will make everyone want to go back and read them all. . . . This is a very solid story and a great addition to Fowler’s long-running series. The mystery is fascinating and readers will definitely want to know what happens next. And for newcomers to the series, this will be an excellent place to start.”—Suspense Magazine
“Fans of the Bryant and May series will welcome this latest installment with plenty of obscure historical details mixed with outré crimes and the banter of the PCU members. Newcomers will find plenty to enjoy as well without finding the amount of details included from earlier outings overwhelming.”—Library Journal
“Witty with a dry sense of humor . . . finely plotted . . . complex and funny.”—RT Book Reviews
“A fascinating investigation with lots of false leads and a plethora of historical factoids.”—Mystery Scene
From the Hardcover edition.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Series:||Peculiar Crimes Unit Series , #12|
|Sold by:||Random House|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All good things must come to an end. Or maybe not live this series the history lessons contained within and all the characters.
This book is the 12th book in the Bryant and May detective series of the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU). This isn’t a cozy or a noir mystery. It is just a well-written mystery that is fun, interesting, and a little life-like. In London, the day before Halloween, riots are in full force between protestors and bankers over the banking scandal. Bombs are going off in random places causing small patches of fire. A murderer uses this opportunity to kill a couple of people on separate occasions by burning them to death in public. Because one of the tasks of the PCU is to investigate serious crimes that take place in public spaces while preventing public disorder, the PCU takes jurisdiction of the case. Both victims seem to be very different from each other with no connections. So the PCU is on to find a connection before there are more murders. May notices that Bryant is acting more strange than usual lately. And he knows that Bryant is hiding something from him. Will the two close friends be able to survive whatever is going on? I love the quirkiness of the two senior detectives. Who doesn’t have some quirkiness in them? By seeing it in admirable characters like Bryant and May, I think we can learn to appreciate it more in ourselves. Bryant is my favorite character. Many of my friends will read the title of the book I’m reviewing and be surprised because I love, read, and review historical mysteries. So why this book? Bryant seems to know everything there is to know about the history of London and that historical knowledge helps this duo in the solving of their crimes! In this case alone, I read about London’s history of: `Samhain ` Guy Fawkes (both the person and the day) `Other riots and bombings `Punishments (ex. tarring and feathering) `Financial scandals. Now the unit has grown and there are many other characters that have problems and hopes and that fit well with Bryant and May. These diverse characters make the story better. Fowler is a great writer. Besides his full, in-depth characters, he writes humor that is laugh out loud funny. Just enough of it. Enough of it to balance out the sadness that always sneaks up on us in life and therefore in Fowler’s books as well. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.