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Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood: (Bryant & May Book 9) [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Fowler
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The defenestration of a ruthless theatre impresario's young son was definitely not the best way to end the play's first night party. And the crime scene itself was most unusual: a locked bedroom, with no sign of forced entry, no prints or traces of blood, just a sinister, life-size puppet of Mr Punch lying on the floor...

Everyone at the party - from the dodgy producer and rakish male lead to the dour set designer and the assistant stage manager (the wild daughter of a prominent civil servant) - is a suspect.

It's a perfect case for Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit but the Home Office, wary of the PCU's eccentric methods and intensely aware of the potential political embarrassment, wants them off the investigation.

The elderly detectives are not so easily deterred, however. Delving into the history of London theatre and the gruesome origins of 'Punch and Judy', they uncover a maniacal killer is at work - one who must be caught before it's curtains for everyone!

Books In This Series (12 Books)
Complete Series

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    Review

    "Excellent... plotted with wit and intelligence" (THE TIMES)

    "A sense of the macabre combined with laugh-out-loud moments and eccentric characters are set against a lovingly realised London backdrop" (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

    "Charming and quirky... a pleasurably intelligent read" (FINANCIAL TIMES)

    Book Description

    Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate the baffling death of a child and what appears to be a murderous puppet...

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 532 KB
    • Print Length: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Transworld Digital (29 Sept. 2011)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005CVYJZY
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,978 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mysteries. His first bestseller was 'Roofworld'. Subsequent novels include 'Spanky', 'Disturbia', 'Psychoville' and 'Calabash'. He spent 25 years working in the film industry.

    His collection 'Red Gloves', 25 new stories of unease, marked his first 25 years of writing. His memoir 'Paperboy' won the Green Carnation Award, and was followed by a 2nd volume, 'Film Freak'. Other new novels include the dark comedy-thriller 'Plastic' and the haunted house chiller 'Nyctophobia'.

    He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, including Radio One's first broadcast drama in 2005. He has a weekly column called 'Invisible Ink' in the Independent on Sunday. His graphic novel for DC Comics was the critically acclaimed 'Menz Insana'. His short story 'The Master Builder' became a feature film entitled 'Through The Eyes Of A Killer', starring Tippi Hedren and Marg Helgenberger. Among his awards are the Edge Hill prize 2008 for 'Old Devil Moon', and the Last Laugh prize 2009 for 'The Victoria Vanishes'.

    Christopher has achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror, and standing in for James Bond.

    His short stories have appeared in Best British Mysteries, The Time Out Book Of London Short Stories, The Best Of Dark Terrors, London Noir, Neon Lit, Cinema Macabre, the Mammoth Book of Horror and many others. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in London's King's Cross and Barcelona.

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    Customer Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
    4.6 out of 5 stars
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Peculiarly Good 28 Sept. 2011
    By Samuel TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    This is the author's ninth book in his Bryant & May series, and perhaps the best. The plot is as weird and wonderful as ever (I suspect that I'm not the only person who has always found Punch & Judy, the theme of the mystery, more than a little bit creepy. Add in the by now usual efforts of the powers that be to end the elderly detectives' bizarre careers, and a great twist at the end, and it all makes for a cracking read.

    For people new to Bryant & May there's a Wikileaks dossier on the Peculiar Crimes Unit at the start of the book, so there's no reason for anybody not to read this. If there were any justice in the world, ten million people would be watching adaptations of Fowler's books each Monday on TV, not a certain other series involving aged detectives.
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    4.0 out of 5 stars Building tension with layers of tragedy 14 April 2012
    By Shazjera TOP 1000 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback
    I've read previously #7 in this series (Bryant & May on the Loose) I chose #5 (The Water Room) for my choice in The Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge. When I saw #9 The Memory of Blood on Netgalley, having enjoyed the other two stories so much, I requested approval.

    At the beginning of the uncorrected proof copy is a breakdown of the purpose of the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) and the characters. It was great to see the same characters ... I knew I was going to enjoy this one too so settled down to read on Adobe Digital Edtions.

    We start the story at the end ... yes, that's right, at the end. We're at a party in a Chamber of Horrors. All the guests are locked in and the PCU has until midnight to arrest the murderer. One of the guests is the murderer ...

    The PCU has a fresh start in this book - as far as the premises are concerned. They are now housed in a building that several occult societies have used in the past and there are some interesting finds in the attic. The building is said to be built over a convergence of leylines. Straight away we have the esoteric connection that I've loved in the previous books. Although re-housed, the PCU still gets into a tangle with those in high places in Government who want the unit to be closed down!

    There is still the banter between the team and Arthur Bryant is still his eccentric self, thinking out of the box to get results. I think the following excerpt will show the respect he feels about the niceties of society:

    `Well, you're not getting results using traditional investigative methods, are you?' Bryant took out his gobstopper to see if it had changed colour, then reinserted it into his mouth. (Bear in mind Arthur is an elderly gentleman!
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Magical mystery tour 3 Jan. 2013
    By Cxissy
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Wonderful story telling with people you really care about. If you haven't read any Bryant and may stories you are in for a treat. Offbeat and cleverly written with a wealth of arcane facts thrown in. Just wonderful
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    By Mark Pack TOP 500 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    It's a sign of how enjoyable and good Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May detective series is that it got to a ninth volume, The Memory of Blood. The device of a leaked Wikipedia dossier is neatly used up front to acquaint new readers (or old readers with fading memories) with who the main characters are and their personal histories. Then it's off to the usual business of the Peculiar Crimes Unit with its future under threat, a bizarre murder and time running out.

    That usual business is both enjoyable but also, I felt unlike many other reviewers, just a bit too usual.

    The plot is good, but at times reads like a collection of highlights of previous volumes in the series edited together. There's another staring role for a theatre. There's another character whose life fell apart after a personal tragedy and now lives in mundane, decaying circumstances. And so on. All done well, all very familiar and a bit familiar.

    I was waiting for a spark of real difference in this book or a super-clever explanation of the plots oddities but neither came. Indeed, the explanation of the locked room mystery relied a bit too much on a person behaving very strangely combined with a rather prosaic detail for my taste.

    I still enjoyed the book, especially the history of Mr Punch (as in Punch & Judy) but hope the next one in the series has a little more novelty in it - if that isn't asking too much after so many volumes!
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Adore this series! 28 Jan. 2012
    By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    I've been a huge fan of Christopher Fowler and this series in particular since I was lucky enough to stumble across `Spanky' some years ago and this latest novel isn't a disappointment.

    In the latest instalment, which is a marvellous return to the more creepy and macabre tone of some of the books, Bryant and May are asked to investigate when a theatre cast's party ends in the tragic death of the theatre owner's son. For those unfamiliar with the previous novels, Bryant and May are part of the Peculiar Crimes Unit who are called in to investigate the more outlandish and less easily explained of London's crimes. Fowler's marvellous black humour is present throughout the novel; the character's deaths are imaginative and the theories and deductions equally so!

    This latest offering doesn't disappoint although, in a change from the usual run of things, it doesn't follow on from where the previous book left off and can be enjoyed on its own. Having said that, I would recommend starting the series from the beginning to really appreciate some of the back stories and understand the personalities and motivations of the main characters.

    As usual, highly recommended. (Although I'd like a bit more Janice Longbright in the next instalment please!!)
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