A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
Bryant and May, Book 1
ISBN: 0553385534 / September 30, 2008
British Mystery / Detective
House is the first in series starring Arthur Bryant, John May
and the Peculiar Crimes Unit. It’s a contemporary British
detective series, but this title takes readers back to where the
main characters first met –The London Blitz (1940).
After the current
PCU headquarters is blown up the body of Arthur Bryant is found.
This has May reminiscing about their 60-year-old partnership and
considering retirement. Once the funeral is over May investigates
the bombing. Information from Bryant’s landlady has him looking
back at the partners’ very first case, 60 years ago. When
May and Bryant met, Bryant was in charge of the PCU. Due to the
war the PCU was located in a make-shift office. Even then Bryant
was dealing with the Brass wanting to close the unit down or throwing
every menial case at them. (I speak past tense because I started
this series with Memory of Blood). In their first case, a dancer
loses her life and her feet at the Palace Theatre. It’s a
complicated, queer case involving the Theater players and its wealthy,
foreign owner. It has everyone in the unit perplexed. Bryant has
his peculiar theories and resources, whereas May, young and green
as he is, has a more grounded idea who it may be… We also
get the first insight in to May and Bryant’s personal lives,
past and present, which leaves us with many questions.
House is a great start to this one-of-kind series. The mystery
is dark but not overly descriptive as in most typical police procedures.
The dialogue flows and the characters are truly unique. I love the
main characters of PCU, even the aggravating Biddle... Fair
warning: the conclusion to the 1940s case reopened is extremely
so sad. I did enjoy going back in time to see the chemistry May
and Bryant had and how it kept them together for decades. There
are some interesting although very slight traces of paranormal,
too. Highly recommended.
Reviews of other titles in this series
of other titles in this series
Dark House #1
Water Room #2
The Memory of Blood # 9 [review1]
Invisible Code #10 [review