A Writers Writer – Christopher Fowler – Bryant and May Mystery Series


Here is what research will tell you about Arthur Bryant and John May who are Golden Age Detectives in a modern world. They head the Peculiar Crimes Unit, London’s most venerable specialist police team, a division founded during the Second World War to investigate cases that could cause national scandal or public unrest. The technophobic, irascible Bryant and smooth-talking modernist John May are partners I have grown to appreciate as I read my way through Christopher Fowler’s well written and amazing mystery series.

51ZB88ZubOL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I started Seventy-Seven Clocks Saturday night at bedtime. I never got out of my PJ’s on Sunday, propped up in bed most of the time, delighted once again to be in the company of  two of my favorite characters. Late Monday morning I bid them farewell until next time. The following few lines will help introduce you to these two interesting men.

“That was the difference between himself and May, John had no attachment to the past, sentimental or otherwise. He was interested in moving on. He saw life as a linear progression, a series of lessons to be learned, all extraneous information to be tossed away, a continual streamlining of ideas. Bryant collected the detritus of historical data as naturally as an anchor accumulates barnacles. He couldn’t help it; the past was as fascinating as a classic beauty, infinitely fathomable and for ever out of reach.”


Fowler’s writing is irresistible as far as I’m concerned. There is little doubt of his brilliance providing layers of fascinating information about London, the underground trains, pubs, theater, art, all depending on his settings for each intricate mystery. FYI: The novels are written chronologically, but you can read them out of order.

Here is one more example of Fowler’s writing in Seventy-Seven Clocks: “Here they were, he thought, the Family Whitstable, well schooled, well shod, and well connected, the cream of British society. The kind of Hard Tory, High Church, pro-hunt landowners idolized in magazines like Tatler. Photographed at weddings or debutantes’ balls they appeared affable and elegant, but gathered en masse, they forget the rest of the world existed.” 

I give each of the books I have read in this series a #10 – Let me know what you think

1. Full Dark House (2003)
2. The Water Room (2004)
3. Seventy-Seven Clocks (2005)
4. Ten Second Staircase (2006)
5. White Corridor (2007)
6. The Victoria Vanishes (2008)
7. On the Loose (2009)
8. Off the Rails (2010)
9. The Memory of Blood (2011)
10. The Invisible Code (2012)
11. The Bleeding Heart (2014)
12. The Burning Man (2015)
13. Strange Tide (2016)
14. The Wild Chamber (2017)
Bryant & May’s Mystery Tour (2011)
The Casebook of Bryant May: The Soho Devil (2013)
Bryant & May and the Secret Santa (2015)
London’s Glory (2015)


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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