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In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal. Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus ope In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal. Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus operandi of Arthur Bryant and John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit - investigations that range from different times (London during the Great Smog) and a variety of places: a circus freak show, on board a London Tour Bus and even a yacht off the coast of Turkey. And in addition to these eleven classic cases, readers are also given a privileged look inside the Peculiar Crimes Unit (literally, with a cut away drawing of their offices), a guide to the characters of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and access to the contents of Arthur Bryant’s highly individual library.


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In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal. Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus ope In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal. Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus operandi of Arthur Bryant and John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit - investigations that range from different times (London during the Great Smog) and a variety of places: a circus freak show, on board a London Tour Bus and even a yacht off the coast of Turkey. And in addition to these eleven classic cases, readers are also given a privileged look inside the Peculiar Crimes Unit (literally, with a cut away drawing of their offices), a guide to the characters of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and access to the contents of Arthur Bryant’s highly individual library.

30 review for London's Glory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Unusually I listened to this collection of short stories featuring Bryant and May on audio. This format worked well for me as I found myself absorbed and entertained with their diverse outings. It begins with Fowler regaling us with his critical overview of the state of crime fiction, where much is seen as wanting. I found myself horrified by a freak show circus with the macabre behaviour of a Russian dwarf and John May's obsession with the colourful clothes of the 1960s, which sets the scene ni Unusually I listened to this collection of short stories featuring Bryant and May on audio. This format worked well for me as I found myself absorbed and entertained with their diverse outings. It begins with Fowler regaling us with his critical overview of the state of crime fiction, where much is seen as wanting. I found myself horrified by a freak show circus with the macabre behaviour of a Russian dwarf and John May's obsession with the colourful clothes of the 1960s, which sets the scene nicely with the latest addition to this series, Hall of Mirrors. Fowler gives us a round up of the history of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, including when Bryant burns down the Mornington Crescent office. Adored the stories, so much that I felt a real sense of loss when it all came to an end. Highly recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    A book of short cases featuring my favorite pair of unorthodox detectives and their Peculiar crime unit. As shorts one doesn't get the full flavor of their personalities and peccadilloes, but for long time fans like myself, this was a treat. What made this an even better read was the author's comments before each story on how and why the story came into being, as well as his introduction where he mentions so many mystery writers he admires and those he don't. Also he explains what mysteries are A book of short cases featuring my favorite pair of unorthodox detectives and their Peculiar crime unit. As shorts one doesn't get the full flavor of their personalities and peccadilloes, but for long time fans like myself, this was a treat. What made this an even better read was the author's comments before each story on how and why the story came into being, as well as his introduction where he mentions so many mystery writers he admires and those he don't. Also he explains what mysteries are supposed to accomplish and what the reader expects. Also loved the section on the strange books Arthur Bryant has in his library. Anyway, now have a list of new writer, or should I say past mystery writers which I will seek out sooner or later. So thanks Christopher Fowler for continuing this wonderful series and thanks Netgalley for the ARC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Ever since I lived just outside London and spent nearly 2 years exploring and adventuring with friends far and wide across the city I have always had a love for stories based across the city. The works of Christopher Fowler for me cover such a huge spectrum of work - from horror to fantasy and even auto-biography. He has such a way with words involving such images powerful and vivid and yet does not have to stoop to cheap tricks and long words. Now couple these two together and you have the world Ever since I lived just outside London and spent nearly 2 years exploring and adventuring with friends far and wide across the city I have always had a love for stories based across the city. The works of Christopher Fowler for me cover such a huge spectrum of work - from horror to fantasy and even auto-biography. He has such a way with words involving such images powerful and vivid and yet does not have to stoop to cheap tricks and long words. Now couple these two together and you have the world of Bryant and May two members of London's Peculiar Crime Squad. Now what can I say about the two - well for once far too much - but basically you have two amazingly strong and charismatic individuals who are starting to feel the weight of time on their shoulders. I could go on and on about these two but they also have an incredible support cast in the rest of the members of the Peculiar Crime Squad. But for me its the city which is the star - now I love a well researched story either by determination and investigation or familiarity (as in the case of Mr Fowler) it allows the author such subtle and clever little in-jokes only those who really understand their material will get - and for me a simple throw away line in one of these stories sums it up - when the smog was so think in the city... he realised it was too think when he tried to post a letter in a Chelsea Pensioner. Now I suspect few outside of the UK would get that reference but to me that shows the level of detail that is just thrown in these stories and for it makes them all the more special. If you want to read crime stories with a fun and twisted sense of humour - where huge amounts of work have been spent of the most simply of context. These books (and there are plenty to choose from in the Bryant and May series) are well worth the time and effort.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I thoroughly enjoy this series of the peculiar crimes unit led by two octogenarians. In general, I prefer the full length novels, however, this was a real treat. I especially appreciated the introductions to each of the characters and the background of the stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I had only read a short Bryant & May story before I read this collection and one of the reasons I wanted to read this collection was because I thought this would give me some insight into the life and work of Bryant and May if I in the future read any of the books. Which I probably will. This collection consists of eleven previously unseen investigations and it is everything from murder in a locked room, a suspicious case of poisoning on a boat and a killer on a Tourist bus in London. Some cases I had only read a short Bryant & May story before I read this collection and one of the reasons I wanted to read this collection was because I thought this would give me some insight into the life and work of Bryant and May if I in the future read any of the books. Which I probably will. This collection consists of eleven previously unseen investigations and it is everything from murder in a locked room, a suspicious case of poisoning on a boat and a killer on a Tourist bus in London. Some cases were more interesting than the others, most of them good. And, even a case or rather two cases connected that they couldn't solve. Bryant&May and the Secret Santa was the story I had read before so I skipped that one. All and all I found most cases interesting, albeit I found some cases a bit tedious I must admit especially the one about the freak show. I just couldn't get into that one and it felt a bit long. But I've come to like Bryant & May very much. Especially Bryant. Btw there is an excellent characters list in the beginning of this book. Perfect if you are a new reader, like me, to the series. I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    What a fun read! I've had my eye on this particular series for awhile, but never got around to actually take a look. Arthur Bryant and John May are London's most well-known detectives. The author has put together 10 mystery short stories for our reading enjoyment. While the stories were good, the best part, to me, was the author's ramblings before, between, and after the stories. It's really insightful as he shares where his ideas came from. I particularly like the characters. These are not the yo What a fun read! I've had my eye on this particular series for awhile, but never got around to actually take a look. Arthur Bryant and John May are London's most well-known detectives. The author has put together 10 mystery short stories for our reading enjoyment. While the stories were good, the best part, to me, was the author's ramblings before, between, and after the stories. It's really insightful as he shares where his ideas came from. I particularly like the characters. These are not the young, hotshot detectives that we mostly see. They are up there in age .. complete with balding heads, dentures, hearing aids, and walking canes. They're a little on the bad-tempered side ... cantankerous as my mama would say. May is a bit of a ladies man, a bit more charming that Bryant. Bryant is an academic and an eccentric one at that. Because of their differences they usually disagree on how to work their cases .. leading a lot of times to somewhat heated arguments .. and to wrong results. The stories themselves are quite entertaining. Lots of twists and turns. Unusual places for murder and mayhem. There just wasn't anything I didn't like. If you've been reading the series, you will definitely like this one. If you haven't read the series, you will want to after taking a look at these short offerings. Includes a preview of Christopher Fowler’s new Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery, Bryant & May and the Burning Man! Many thanks to the author / Random House Publishing Group - Alibi / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Raluca

    Well, that was an interesting review copy. And by interesting I mean that I wish I wouldn't have to go to work and instead read the first 11 books in the Bryant & May series before breakfast. If you're a fan, you'll love this. If you're not, then you will be - it's as simple as that. Well, that was an interesting review copy. And by interesting I mean that I wish I wouldn't have to go to work and instead read the first 11 books in the Bryant & May series before breakfast. If you're a fan, you'll love this. If you're not, then you will be - it's as simple as that.

  8. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    First Sentence from “About the Book”: ‘Do you remember that corpse we found in the snow with nobody else’s footprints around it?’ asked Arthur Bryant. Eleven delightful stories from the case files of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit have been gathered together into an absolutely delightful, intriguing collection of clever mysteries. This is one time when the introduction is as interesting as are the stories. Fowler writes about the history of crime novels, as well as the differences between fiction First Sentence from “About the Book”: ‘Do you remember that corpse we found in the snow with nobody else’s footprints around it?’ asked Arthur Bryant. Eleven delightful stories from the case files of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit have been gathered together into an absolutely delightful, intriguing collection of clever mysteries. This is one time when the introduction is as interesting as are the stories. Fowler writes about the history of crime novels, as well as the differences between fiction and reality in crime. He pays homage to the great, Golden Age writers, some of whom man he Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit y may never have heard or read; i.e., Kyril Bonfiglioli, Joyce Porter, Pamela Branch, R. Austin Freeman, and Gladys Mitchell as well, of course, Allingham, Christie, Doyle and others. Including a “Dramitis Personae” is something one might wish more authors would do. Folwer goes a bit beyond the ordinary in that he takes the time to describe a bit about each character—“He’s a sturdy, decent sort, married with a son, although he gets a little overenthusiastic when it comes to discussing crimes scenes and can bore for England on the subject of inefficient internet service providers.” The eleven stories include diverse time settings and locales. Included are a trip to see Santa, a locked room murder in a park, as well as a true locked-room murder, a carnival, swimming pool, receipt of a credit card, a yacht, The motives and solutions are fascinating and surprising, and not ones one can anticipate. “London's Glory: The Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit” is a wonderful collection. Each case and solution is as unique as are Bryant, May and the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. It’s the perfect book for both followers of the series, and as an introduction to new readers. LONDON’S GLORY: The Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit (Pol. Proc/SS-Bryant and May-London-Contemp) – VG Fowler, Christopher – Short Story Collection Alibi, Mar 2016

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaksen

    A wonderful book for anyone who loves Bryant and May, Mr. Fowler's two 'elderly' detectives, their stories set in the current time, and who, btw, don't act all that elderly at all, ever, except for an odd complaint here and there. Their minds are quick; they run all over London, and environs, solving crimes which might embarrass or compromise the government, or those which are just plain weird. I love this series, and so... This book is a collection of short stories, some of which were published A wonderful book for anyone who loves Bryant and May, Mr. Fowler's two 'elderly' detectives, their stories set in the current time, and who, btw, don't act all that elderly at all, ever, except for an odd complaint here and there. Their minds are quick; they run all over London, and environs, solving crimes which might embarrass or compromise the government, or those which are just plain weird. I love this series, and so... This book is a collection of short stories, some of which were published as e-books or similar, and go up to 2015. If a fan of the series has missed any of these, THIS is the book to buy, borrow or steal. (JK about the 'steal.') Also, in this book, Mr. Fowler's take on writing, how he gets his ideas, and so on. (He needs to write a full volume on the subject, IMO.) Also-Also, a brief precis on all the full-length novels (up to 2015) featuring the two detectives. There are no spoilers here, just a summary on each which reminded me of how much I've read and enjoyed these books. Currently I just buy'em. I don't want to be bothered with returning them to libraries, sitting in the lot, waiting my turn blah blah. I like HAVING them, the same way I like having the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. (Those two are also great at writing dialogue, description and yet moving the story right ... along.) Anyhow, this book, by Mr. Fowler, is exemplary. I read it while listening to Christmas carols by my little tree with a fake fire Yule log on TV. (Don't insult my Yule Log; it's great. I have a real fireplace, too, but it's drafty, dirty and has a dead bat in it, and so...) Love this book, the stories, cryptic, tidy, strange, involved, complex and always with the big, damp, gray, snowy, mystical city of London as backdrop. One of my all-time fav series. Keep writing them, Mr. F. Please! Five stars

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    It’s odd being so familiar with characters and styled when confronted with something which is considerably different. It’s not a fault, but the structure of these short stories is understandably different to the full novels, it has to be that way in order to deliver a tale in fewer words. But, I don’t like fewer words, not with Bryant & May. I like lots of words, lots of background, lots of wild-goose-chases, lots of ‘madness’. I like the flow of the full novels, the support from all the other cha It’s odd being so familiar with characters and styled when confronted with something which is considerably different. It’s not a fault, but the structure of these short stories is understandably different to the full novels, it has to be that way in order to deliver a tale in fewer words. But, I don’t like fewer words, not with Bryant & May. I like lots of words, lots of background, lots of wild-goose-chases, lots of ‘madness’. I like the flow of the full novels, the support from all the other characters. There are some real laugh-out-loud moments in here though! I did enjoy this, but for me there was so much missing. Back to the full ones for me!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed these eleven short stories, mostly set in London, of course, about the two detectives at the Peculiar Crimes Unit at different points in their career. However, I gave the book a four-star rating because the stories necessarily lack the complexity of the Bryant and May novels. There's one story exclusively from Janice Longbright's viewpoint, true, but there's a paucity of the other characters in the PCU, not to mention Bryant's crew of eccentric informers and experts. More signif I really enjoyed these eleven short stories, mostly set in London, of course, about the two detectives at the Peculiar Crimes Unit at different points in their career. However, I gave the book a four-star rating because the stories necessarily lack the complexity of the Bryant and May novels. There's one story exclusively from Janice Longbright's viewpoint, true, but there's a paucity of the other characters in the PCU, not to mention Bryant's crew of eccentric informers and experts. More significantly, the stakes seem to be lower in most of the stories--I missed the tension of the novels as dire consequences for the PCU and the city of London seem to be looming.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gram

    A great collection of short stories about the detectives Bryant & May, the subject of Christopher Fowler's wonderful series of books featuring the work of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit. These short stories are a great place for newcomers to the Bryant & May series to begin, especially as it includes brief biographies of all the staff of Britain's strangest police squad. A great collection of short stories about the detectives Bryant & May, the subject of Christopher Fowler's wonderful series of books featuring the work of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit. These short stories are a great place for newcomers to the Bryant & May series to begin, especially as it includes brief biographies of all the staff of Britain's strangest police squad.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Milo

    Read the Review Here The Bryant and May series has turned into one of the most reliable crime reads for me and I’ll always check out a new release whenever I can so it was great to see that Fowler had put out an anthology containing several short stories, with the number count coming to eleven in total. Serving as a great introduction to the characters for readers who can find the backlog of books a bit daunting to catch up on London’s Glory is an effective read that showcases why these characters Read the Review Here The Bryant and May series has turned into one of the most reliable crime reads for me and I’ll always check out a new release whenever I can so it was great to see that Fowler had put out an anthology containing several short stories, with the number count coming to eleven in total. Serving as a great introduction to the characters for readers who can find the backlog of books a bit daunting to catch up on London’s Glory is an effective read that showcases why these characters are so great, containing some nice short stories that really work. There’s a real nice element of humour when it comes with these books and it helps the stories feel all the more engaging because of it. The stories are each briefly introduced by Fowler who gives us a background on how they came to be, and then we’re thrust into the various cases of Arthur Bryant and John May’s Career. The author has chosen to explore what they would have done in different time periods as well such as London during the Great Smog, but also cases that include a circus freak show and a tour bus are mentioned as well as Fowler puts the city to good use in some well balanced and nicely paced short stories that make for an engaging read, with plots that are never too easy to figure out and you’ll probably end up discovering what happens at the same time the characters do, which is something that can always throw me off a thriller normally. It took me a while to get through London’s Glory but that is in no way the anthology’s fault, I prefer to have breaks between the short stories rather than read them all at once because if read together sometimes they can be jarring especially when they may be tonally different. Thankfully though in this case they weren’t, and it allowed for a smoother read. One of the strongest stories or me was the Tour Bus short, which really worked for me, with it being one of the more humorous shorts here. It was great seeing Arthur Bryant not getting along particularly well with the other occupants of the bus, and how the case was handled proved to be a refreshing experience as tourism is something that’s rarely tackled in crime fiction especially in London, at least from what I’ve read of the genre. There are no weak stories here and chances are you’ll enjoy the majority of them even if you haven’t read a single book of the Bryant and May series. It’s a good place to start and gives you a nice introduction to their work, and will provide the perfect breather for the returning fans who want to read something different to a full length novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

    I enjoyed the eccentric police detectives working for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Bryant and May are a welcome relief from the stereotypical detectives in most novels. I score the stories a 3.5 as several were easy to solved, such as the last one where they are on a sightseeing bus around London and about to arrest a murderer on the bus. One I did like was the tattooed Russian psychopathic dwarf, gruesome. Another was the murder victim in a field with their throat slit and no footprints to the bod I enjoyed the eccentric police detectives working for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Bryant and May are a welcome relief from the stereotypical detectives in most novels. I score the stories a 3.5 as several were easy to solved, such as the last one where they are on a sightseeing bus around London and about to arrest a murderer on the bus. One I did like was the tattooed Russian psychopathic dwarf, gruesome. Another was the murder victim in a field with their throat slit and no footprints to the body. The author obviously read the Kite Runners! The humor was also quirky and the setting of different areas of London. All in all I may read some of the longer stories.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    This collection of short stories and additional information provided by Christopher Fowler will be a great reading experience for fans of the Bryant & May series as well as someone just becoming acquainted with these quirky characters. There are eleven stories here and I had only read one of them previously as a stand-alone e-short story. The assortment is varied with some taking Arthur Bryant and John May far back into the past and one story being told from the viewpoint of the Peculiar Crime U This collection of short stories and additional information provided by Christopher Fowler will be a great reading experience for fans of the Bryant & May series as well as someone just becoming acquainted with these quirky characters. There are eleven stories here and I had only read one of them previously as a stand-alone e-short story. The assortment is varied with some taking Arthur Bryant and John May far back into the past and one story being told from the viewpoint of the Peculiar Crime Unit's own Detective Sergeant Janice Longbright. Each story begins with a short introduction from the author letting us in on what inspired that particular story. I enjoyed reading the Introduction to the book by Fowler where he gives us insights into his background of reading crime novels and tells about some of his favorite mystery writers. His explanation for why he believes this style of novel is still so popular even though they don't even vaguely resemble true crime investigations is insightful for explaining why he continues to write this type of novel. Of great interest to me was the section which follows after the short stories end where Fowler comments on each of the twelve novels he has written in the series thus far. Having an author give the synopsis of his own creation plus providing the backstory for what caused him to write it was enjoyable and greatly appreciated. Several times in this collection Fowler mentions his intention - or desire - to write more short stories. He also explains why he has taken Arthur Bryant down the path disclosed in THE BURNING MAN. I understand his reasoning, but I still wish he had not gone in that direction. And if you have ever been curious or (as I am) in awe of Bryant's strange (?), incredible (?) library of books, there is a list of titles with Fowler letting us decide for ourselves which are real books and which are from his own imagination. Also included with this other treasure trove of stories and information is an excerpt from the latest book, BRYANT & MAY AND THE BURNING MAN. If you haven't taken advantage of other opportunities to see what that volume is about, you have another chance here. This collection of stories presents Bryant & May from many different angles. It was a hit for me and I recommend the collection highly. I received an e-ARC of this short story collection through NetGalley and Random House/Alibi.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I will own up straight away, short stories sometimes fail miserably for me. The problem I have is that you can have two good stories out of a book of twenty. A lot of wasted reading time that you can't get back, thankfully those charming figureheads of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Detectives Bryant and May manage to fill an entire book with enjoyable stories. I only read my first Bryant and May book this year but I fell very quickly for these two gents, their unique approach to policing is well....u I will own up straight away, short stories sometimes fail miserably for me. The problem I have is that you can have two good stories out of a book of twenty. A lot of wasted reading time that you can't get back, thankfully those charming figureheads of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Detectives Bryant and May manage to fill an entire book with enjoyable stories. I only read my first Bryant and May book this year but I fell very quickly for these two gents, their unique approach to policing is well....unique! The collection covers stories from their years in the force and I don't mean recent years either! The stories have a great atmosphere around them, the snow and the fog that comes in to a lot of the stories really does make London the perfect setting for criminals, both deliberate and plain stupid to commit their crimes. The best thing about Bryant and May's stories is that the outcome is not obvious, one especially for me which involved a woman being found dead in the snow with a cut throat but no footsteps nearby belonging to the killer, well the outcome of that was so clever. Our gent's have proved that short stories can make for a cracking read and even though they are getting on in years, Bryant and May are sharp as tacks and a delight to read about. I am looking forward to their next case! Thank you to Doubleday for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    'Do you remember that corpse we found in the snow with nobody else's footprints around it? And the department Santa Claus whose gift caused a death? I thought I'd write up some of our more curious cases.' This was a fun read! I enjoy Mr Fowler's tongue-in-cheek sense of humour: 'On your left! No, your other left.'; and 'Everything comes with a warning about containing nuts these days. Except the general population.' This is a collection of short stories which starts with an outline of why this boo 'Do you remember that corpse we found in the snow with nobody else's footprints around it? And the department Santa Claus whose gift caused a death? I thought I'd write up some of our more curious cases.' This was a fun read! I enjoy Mr Fowler's tongue-in-cheek sense of humour: 'On your left! No, your other left.'; and 'Everything comes with a warning about containing nuts these days. Except the general population.' This is a collection of short stories which starts with an outline of why this book was written. In effect it mostly fleshes out and explains cases that are referred to in other Bryant and May books, but which have never actually been documented. We also have thumb-nail sketches of all the main players in the stories, a cut-away diagram of the PCU offices, And (I am still not quite sure why) a list of the books in Arthur Bryant's rather eclectic library. This is an amusing and entertaining read. And I am glad I have another Bryant and May title on my shelf to be read. I received an ARC of London's Glory via Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Doubleday in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    A collection of short stories featuring the quirky pair of detectives, Bryant and May. This book contains 2 stories previously issued as ebooks - Bryant & May and the Secret Santa, and B & May's Mystery Tour. The others are (all Bryant and May ...) in the Field, on the Beat, in the Soup, and the Nameless Woman, and the Seven Points, on the Cards, Ahoy!, and the Blind Spot, and the Bells of Westminster. Some are deliberate attempts to use or are homages to classic concepts from the golden age of de A collection of short stories featuring the quirky pair of detectives, Bryant and May. This book contains 2 stories previously issued as ebooks - Bryant & May and the Secret Santa, and B & May's Mystery Tour. The others are (all Bryant and May ...) in the Field, on the Beat, in the Soup, and the Nameless Woman, and the Seven Points, on the Cards, Ahoy!, and the Blind Spot, and the Bells of Westminster. Some are deliberate attempts to use or are homages to classic concepts from the golden age of detective fiction such as the locked room mystery. Mostly enjoyable with some good twists here and there, and the introductory essay on the author's interest in classic crime fiction, plus the notes about the various stories are interesting. The potted summary of the books so far in the series should also not be skipped even by people who have read them, such as me, because there is a little note about each - where the author got the ideas from etc. So an interesting all round read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    Review: LONDON'S GLORY by Christopher Fowler The dapper duo of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, the personable May and the irascible Bryant, appear in a collection of stories published together for the first time. Appealing both to readers who focus on character and to readers who enjoy the spooky aspects, LONDON'S GLORY presents a good cross-section of the investigations of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and a fine introduction to the series. Review: LONDON'S GLORY by Christopher Fowler The dapper duo of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit, the personable May and the irascible Bryant, appear in a collection of stories published together for the first time. Appealing both to readers who focus on character and to readers who enjoy the spooky aspects, LONDON'S GLORY presents a good cross-section of the investigations of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and a fine introduction to the series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. Let me state for the record that this is my first meeting with Mr. Bryant and Mr. May. However, it will not be the last. Also for the record, the case of the nameless woman could be the best short story I’ve ever read. “London’s Glory” isn’t just a primer on this particular partnership. It is also a dissection of the mystery genre as a whole. It’s everything a short story collection should be - quickly paced, action-driven, and a relaxing read. The refe Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. Let me state for the record that this is my first meeting with Mr. Bryant and Mr. May. However, it will not be the last. Also for the record, the case of the nameless woman could be the best short story I’ve ever read. “London’s Glory” isn’t just a primer on this particular partnership. It is also a dissection of the mystery genre as a whole. It’s everything a short story collection should be - quickly paced, action-driven, and a relaxing read. The reference list is just an added bonus. The introduction alone reads like a textbook on how to properly construct a mystery tale (and yes, I did in fact take notes). Before each story, Mr. Fowler gives a short explanation of the story’s source. It’s a glimpse into the thought processes of the author - something a reader doesn’t normally receive. The cases themselves aren’t easily guessed. (Although I am proud of myself for figuring the last one out a few pages early.) There’s a list of characters in the beginning with their roles for reference. The dialogue is snappy and oh so British (a complement). One story is even told from a supporting character’s POV - just to change it up. This has to be the most educational short story collection I’ve ever read. In addition to the endless facts streaming from Mr. Bryant (an expert in basically everything), Mr. Fowler lists his inspirations/muses. Most of these authors are unfamiliar, and have immediately gone to the forefront of my TBR list. There’s something so calming about settling into the crook of the sofa, covered in a blanket on a rainy, gray day, drinking a cuppa PG Tips and reading one of these stories. It’s a great escape and I felt right at home. I feel like Mr. Bryant and Mr. May are already friends. In short, I loved everything about this book (obviously). I’m already placing an order for the first book in the series, and have every intention to work my way through the backlist. I’m also going to order something from Margery Allingham, as well as the “Best British Mysteries” annual anthology. I can’t wait to see what they provide.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I really enjoy Bryant and May. I really enjoy Fowler's writing. It's such a shame that the author finds it necessary to run his mouth as obnoxiously as he does on his blog. But it's his blog, so he can say whatever he wants, and I can stop reading it whenever I want. Which was when his "those Americans have trouble brushing their teeth because they might have to put down their guns" attitude got up my nose. Oh! Speaking of which: "In Britain, we have ‘equality of arms,’ which allows the same res I really enjoy Bryant and May. I really enjoy Fowler's writing. It's such a shame that the author finds it necessary to run his mouth as obnoxiously as he does on his blog. But it's his blog, so he can say whatever he wants, and I can stop reading it whenever I want. Which was when his "those Americans have trouble brushing their teeth because they might have to put down their guns" attitude got up my nose. Oh! Speaking of which: "In Britain, we have ‘equality of arms,’ which allows the same resources to be made available to both defence and prosecution, and broadly speaking this idea of balance filters down through the system. There’s a reason why the Old Bailey’s statue of Justice holds scales. It means we don’t get such outrageous courtroom dramas as O. J. Simpson fiddling with a glove, but the end result is often fairer." Why am I reading this guy again? There have been discussions out there about whether and how an author's politics or personal behavior or whatever affect whether and how people read his writing. I guess in this case the fact that the author literally makes me physically ill means that I'm done with the series. Oh well. On the plus side, he mentioned lots and lots of classic authors I can go explore instead. I had notes on this book. I had lots to say, about the old fart (and surprisingly racist) main characters and the entertaining supporting characters, and the weird and twisty plots, and … so on. But I … don't care anymore. And yeah, my rating for this (and all of his other books)? Oops. Had a little slip there. The only note I feel I have to retain is on this quote: "… after the dark realities of the previous two books I needed to write something lighter and funnier, so this is one of Bryant and May’s ‘sorbet stories’—something refreshing after a big meal." The story is about a dead baby. The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Like many people, I often find short stories unsatisfying because a great deal of detail is omitted or there just isn't enough to it. Christopher Fowler, however, has carefully honed the stories to fit the form (somewhat like writing classical sonnets) so that there is enough detail to enjoy and enough plot or twist to satisfy the reader. I think I liked "On the Cards" best for the twist that happened all through it. It must have been interesting as a "choose your own" mystery. Hard to talk about Like many people, I often find short stories unsatisfying because a great deal of detail is omitted or there just isn't enough to it. Christopher Fowler, however, has carefully honed the stories to fit the form (somewhat like writing classical sonnets) so that there is enough detail to enjoy and enough plot or twist to satisfy the reader. I think I liked "On the Cards" best for the twist that happened all through it. It must have been interesting as a "choose your own" mystery. Hard to talk about the stories without spoilers so I'll just say that there isn't one in the collection that I didn't like and the paragraphs of background at the start of each add to the interest. This would make a good intro for new readers and the plot summaries of the full length novels at the end make it easy to choose where to go next. The cover, showing Regent St.'s Christmas lights in the 1950s, the towering chandeliers, is quite stunning and appropriate to the stories, which are mostly set around Christmas or at least in winter. March 2017. This second reading was just as pleasurable as the first one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    This is an entertaining book of short stories by Christopher Fowler, author of the popular UK-based, character-driven Bryant & May books, fictional works that include real bits of London history. I enjoyed every one of these stories. A great touch for the author to include a preamble to each storyline, a core idea or event in his life that triggered the scenario. An interesting cast of characters beginning with the main ones, detectives Bryant and May. Author Christopher Fowler created eccentric This is an entertaining book of short stories by Christopher Fowler, author of the popular UK-based, character-driven Bryant & May books, fictional works that include real bits of London history. I enjoyed every one of these stories. A great touch for the author to include a preamble to each storyline, a core idea or event in his life that triggered the scenario. An interesting cast of characters beginning with the main ones, detectives Bryant and May. Author Christopher Fowler created eccentric Bryant and charming May elderly because he was “fed up with the ageism that suggests only the young can carry out their jobs well.” Their very different personalities create some great dialogue. The stories are witty and smartly written.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Hall

    This book made me wish that there was a Peculiar Crimes Unit! The members of the unit and the civilians who help are a diverse bunch. The stories are wonderful! I especially like "The Secret Santa" and "Ahoy!". All the stories have atmosphere and great characters! I look forward to reading more from these "bright sparks"! I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. This book made me wish that there was a Peculiar Crimes Unit! The members of the unit and the civilians who help are a diverse bunch. The stories are wonderful! I especially like "The Secret Santa" and "Ahoy!". All the stories have atmosphere and great characters! I look forward to reading more from these "bright sparks"! I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Wichorek

    Good collection of amusing stories, featuring Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit of the London PD.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kyrie

    Oh, this one was a lot of fun ! Bryant and May are two of my favorite detectives. It probably helps if you've read some of the books, but it might also be a good way to slowly get used to their eccentricity. I read a story at a time - which was a nice way to revisit the characters without overwhelming with crazed mysteries. At the end, there's a summary of the series so far, and a list of books that Bryant refers to in the novels. I will have to sit down and try to figure out which ones are real. Oh, this one was a lot of fun ! Bryant and May are two of my favorite detectives. It probably helps if you've read some of the books, but it might also be a good way to slowly get used to their eccentricity. I read a story at a time - which was a nice way to revisit the characters without overwhelming with crazed mysteries. At the end, there's a summary of the series so far, and a list of books that Bryant refers to in the novels. I will have to sit down and try to figure out which ones are real.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lady Shockley

    Fun short mysteries with Bryant & May, with their usual humor and history. There are several Christmas - time mysteries included. Audiobook is excellently done, narrated by Tim Goodman.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A woman walks into a police office and announces that she is going to kill a man in a week. When he's dead a week later they have no proof, but know that she killed him somehow. An officer helping with security for a visiting dignitary's wife accidentally tackles one of the undercover security men. A woman is found dead in a snow covered park with her throat cut and no footprints anywhere near the body. These are the sort of cases that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in. Not quite an X-Files A woman walks into a police office and announces that she is going to kill a man in a week. When he's dead a week later they have no proof, but know that she killed him somehow. An officer helping with security for a visiting dignitary's wife accidentally tackles one of the undercover security men. A woman is found dead in a snow covered park with her throat cut and no footprints anywhere near the body. These are the sort of cases that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in. Not quite an X-Files type office, they handle crimes that might create a sensational splash, a national scandal or security risk, or are just plain, well...peculiar. The two senior officers are Bryant and May. Bryant is written as a grumpy, curmudgeonly older man with odd bits of London history and esoteric facts tucked into his memory, and he is a technophobe who can't remember how to open his e-mail. May is his partner and more of a dapper ladies man, with a better wardrobe, nicer car, and smoother manners. He is often frustrated with Bryant for withholding information or making him work things out that Bryant already knows. These short stories are a collection of quirky cases which include the samples I listed above. They range in time period through a couple of decades and generally take place in London, or at least close enough to travel to the scene and back without having to spend the night (although one takes place on a yacht in Turkey while the detectives are on holiday). The personalities of Bryant and May are fleshed out a bit more with each story. We see Bryant trying to sort out two jigsaw puzzles that have been mixed together, and he resorts to snipping off bits of the pieces and hammering them into place. We find May a bit flustered by a group of young college girls and being rather obvious in turning on his charm. The settings are also a mix of possible locations - a warehouse full of automated printing presses, a carnival side show, a trendy restaurant, the swimming pool of a private club, and even a double-decker tour bus. There are several helpful notes added by the author. I appreciate the foreword in which he discusses his own influences and favorite writers (I made a list of things to look for at the library). There is also a brief introduction to each story, and at the end of the book are brief synopses of the other full-length adventures, including a brief bit of quoted dialogue and some backstory on each book's inspiration. The list of odd books that can be found in Bryant's fictional office are very funny, and the author's comment that it is up to the reader to determine which of the titles are real and which he made up sounds like he is double-daring us to do so. I enjoyed the collection of stories with its mix of times and locations around London. The relationship between Bryant and May is a bit like the Holmes and Watson dynamic, although both of these characters are detectives. But there is the sense that Bryant has all these odd factoids at his fingertips, and funny sources for information available that hints of the Baker Street Irregulars. May is more a Watson with his attempts at charm with the ladies and his concern for propriety is a little more developed than his partner's. Mystery fans who have not tried any of Fowler's other works should give this collection a try and see if it is to their taste. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    I'm rather a latecomer to the world of Arthur Bryant & John May. So, to have a compendium of short stories in one volume and for that volume to have a perfect introduction, including an illustrated guide to the Old Peculiar Unit and a fascinating dramatis personae, is a really good way to begin reading this very popular crime series. There are eleven short stories to enjoy, all are roughly twenty or so pages long, some a little shorter, but always complete in themselves. And, as always, the stor I'm rather a latecomer to the world of Arthur Bryant & John May. So, to have a compendium of short stories in one volume and for that volume to have a perfect introduction, including an illustrated guide to the Old Peculiar Unit and a fascinating dramatis personae, is a really good way to begin reading this very popular crime series. There are eleven short stories to enjoy, all are roughly twenty or so pages long, some a little shorter, but always complete in themselves. And, as always, the stories are the perfect showcase for Bryant &May’s own brand of peculiar eccentricity. I’m not a huge reader of short stories but when I do read them, I want them to be like these, short, succinct, wide-ranging, with a fine eye for detail, and above all entertaining. I enjoyed dipping into the book at whim, and being allowed moments of complete enjoyment as I traversed the streets of London in the company of two men, who, if I’m being perfectly honest, were I to meet them in real life, I would probably cross the street to avoid. However, be that as it may, there is no doubt that Bryant & May exude a certain fascinating charm. Old school gentlemen detectives in a world which has to them, seemingly, gone completely mad. I especially liked Bryant’s wry observation in Bryant & May and the Secret Santa on Strictly Come Dancing’s use of two verbs and an adverb in its, to Bryant, anyway, offending title. It must be said, though, that the book is not without some quite dark moments, there are stories like Bryant & May and The Seven Points which have a distinctly sinister edginess. There’s no doubt that Bryant & May make me smile, they’re incredibly engaging and in the hands of this hack writer employed by Mr Bryant’s publishers – the author’s words – not mine, I am sure they will continue to enthral readers for some time to come.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan in NC

    4.5 stars - I'm not a short story fan in general, but I'm a huge fan of Fowler's hilarious, fun, touching, charming, witty Bryant and May series; also a GR friend and fellow PCU fan recommended this book highly (thanks Judy), so I snapped it up when it was available at my library. I wouldn't have thought Bryant and May's quirky, funny and sometimes surreal cases would have leant themselves to this format, but it was wonderful! I forget that I sometimes get frustrated in the middle of Fowler's ful 4.5 stars - I'm not a short story fan in general, but I'm a huge fan of Fowler's hilarious, fun, touching, charming, witty Bryant and May series; also a GR friend and fellow PCU fan recommended this book highly (thanks Judy), so I snapped it up when it was available at my library. I wouldn't have thought Bryant and May's quirky, funny and sometimes surreal cases would have leant themselves to this format, but it was wonderful! I forget that I sometimes get frustrated in the middle of Fowler's full-length books with Bryant's meandering, tangential investigations into mysticism, history, folklore, witchcraft, spirituality, etc.; I thoroughly enjoy it, but I get lost in the weeds trying to fight back to the actual police case and whether or not we are getting anywhere (I guess I have that in common with May and the rest of the PCU...). But in these shorter cases we still enjoy the camaraderie of the PCU and Bryant and May's long partnership, the joys and glories and dregs of London and the usual assortment of quirky, fascinating characters (criminals and victims alike), but distilled down for fast yet entertaining reading. Great fun and highly recommended - do yourself a favor and don't skip Fowler's wonderful introduction on writing detective and crime novels and why they endure as favorites with readers. And his synopsis of the PCU's cases thus far and a list of titles (some real, some made up) from Arthur Bryant's secret library at the back of this book are terrific, don't skip those either. I certainly hope we can look forward to more short story collections of lost cases - I'd particularly love to read about the third time our heroes encountered the Belles of Westminster!

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