It’s a case tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs—including one torn down eighty years ago. What’s more, Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Indeed, this case is littered with clues that defy everything the veteran detectives know about the habits of serial killers, the methodology of crime, and the odds of making an arrest. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the PCU down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion in defense of two great English traditions—the pub and the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
That’s easier said than done. A lost funeral urn, the eighteenth-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, the Knights Templars, the secret history of pubs, and the discovery of an astounding religious relic may be enough to convince one of the pair to take back his resignation letter. But with Bryant consulting a memory specialist and May encountering a brush with mortality, do the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s two living legends have enough life left to stop a murderous conspiracy…and a deadly cupid targeting one of their own.
About the Author
Christopher Fowler was the acclaimed author of the award-winning Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries: Full Dark House, The Water Room, Seventy-Seven Clocks, Ten Second Staircase, White Corridor, The Victoria Vanishes, Bryant & May on the Loose, Bryant & May off the Rails, The Memory of Blood, The Invisible Code, Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart, Bryant & May and the Burning Man, Bryant & May: Strange Tide, Bryant & May: Wild Chamber, Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors, Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour, Bryant & May: Oranges & Lemons, Bryant & May: London Bridge Is Falling Down, and Bryant & May: Peculiar London. In 2015 Fowler won the coveted Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library Award in recognition for his body of work. Christopher Fowler died in 2023.
“Funny, inventive, quirky and ultimately moving…another triumph for a writer of immense talent.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“It’s tremendous fun to watch Bryant and May work their magic.” —Baltimore Sun
“A page-turning plot…mordant humor, fascinating trivia about London past and present, and the basis for an epic pub crawl of your own. What more could you want?” —Guardian, UK
“How many locked-room puzzles can Bryant and May unlock before their Peculiar Crimes Unit is disbanded? Many more, one hopes!” —Kirkus Reviews
“The team's heart and soul are its elderly lead detectives, John May and Arthur Bryant. Bryant is especially endearing cranky, absent-minded, brilliant and stuffed with obscure information about London.”—Seattle Times