Customer Reviews


49 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inimitable Bryant and May
My husband and I have a relatively short list of authors whose books we always buy without inquiry or waiting for the reviews; we know without a doubt they'll be worth reading. After reading the first Bryant and May book, Christopher Fowler took his place on that list and has since been in no danger of removal. Bryant and May are delightfully unlike any other fictional...
Published 22 months ago by Susannah

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bryant & May and the search for a plot
I've followed Bryant & May 's adventures from their beginning in Full Dark House and have always loved the quirky mix of esoteric knowledge of the capital and and humorous exchanges between the characters. Each episode in the series has contributed towards building what we see as an alternative London, based firmly in reality but not of it, with likeable characters and...
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. C. A. Mikolj


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 3 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you want a gripping who dun it with a liberal dose of wry humour and a few dead bodies thrown in for good measure, you can't go wrong with this brilliantly written book. It kind of reminded me of the tele series "Whitechapel". Bryant and May would have been right at home.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well written mystery, 2 Nov 2013
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
THE INVISIBLE CODE is the first book I've read by author Christopher Fowler, and I thoroughly enjoyed his excellent writing and story telling accompanied with a nice sense of humor. Since I'm new to the Peculiar Crimes Unit series featuring detectives Arthur Bryant and John May, I found the staff roster at the beginning of the book especially helpful because it listed the nine people working in the unit and made it easier for me to know these characters and keep track of them when they appeared in the story. The very humorous memo from unit head Raymond Land at the beginning also nicely set the tone for what follows and makes the reader feel at home with the characters and the setting.

Fowler skillfully weaves many elements through surprising twists and turns in his narrative. He writes in the style of traditional British mystery authors, yet his stories and characters are unique. Here are some of the main threads Bryant and May follow as the case unfolds:

The story begins with two children playing a witch hunt game outside Saint Bride's church in London. Looking for an evil witch, they select an unknown stranger quietly reading outside at lunchtime, 28 year old Amy O'Connor. She soon goes into the church and is found dead from unknown causes only a few minutes after walking in, and surveillance cameras show that no one came near her while she was there. Bryant and May are interested in taking this case but it is not in their jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Home Office security supervisor Oskar Kasavian secretly hires Bryant and May to investigate the causes for his wife's strange behavior over the past six weeks. She behaved strangely and appeared delusional, insisting that she was being followed and harassed by an 'evil presence'. Bryant and May agree to take the case and Kasavian also gets the Amy O'Connor case assigned to the PCU because the events may be related. Kasavian is a prominent official concerned about his wife; he wants to avoid scandal yet also find out if there is any substance to her claims, though he does note that her family has a history of mental illness. Her erratic behavior continues and she is eventually placed in a private psychiatric clinic for observation and still insists that she is being followed and is in danger.

A media photographer who frequently photographed Kasavian's wife is found brutally murdered in a public park. On the day of his death he visited Saint Bride's church and surveillance cameras picked up a young girl with him at the time he was murdered. This made the detectives wonder if his actions were somehow linked to the Amy O'Connor case discussed above.

At a deeper and often unspoken level, this is also a story of friendship between the two elderly detectives. Their personality traits complement each other and they've helped each other in a friendship that has endured for over fifty years. The author gives us much humor and quirkiness in his portrayal of these two main characters.

This is book 10 in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series, and I enjoyed it so much that I will definitely get the other Kindle books as well. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys good and unusual mysteries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 2 Nov 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
I bought this book as it was recommended and absolutely love it, I was hooked from page one and couldn't put it down, it didn't disappoint at all and can't wait to read more by this author. Excellent.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars This is the first in the series I have read can't wait to read the other books a thoroughly good read., 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the first book in series I have read and look forward to starting the other books. Although they are stand alone I am sure getting to know the characters from the start will add even more enjoyment and interest. Loved the quirky sense of humour and the suspense as the plot unfolds.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious 4+, 7 Oct 2013
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
Funny, clever and continuously entertaining addition to this excellent British mystery series. The Peculiar Crimes Unit of the London Police is a collection of eccentrics, dweebs and assorted police force misfits who live to solve "unsolvable" crimes and are utterly loyal to the two senior citizens who head their small agency. In The Invisible Code", the group takes on an assignment from their staunchest bureaucratic foe, Oskar Kasavian. The ruthlessly ambitious bureaucrat turns to them when his beautiful Albanian trophy wife starts going off the mental tracks and makes embarrassing public scenes including drink tossing and fisticuffs. The assignment quickly connects to a series of murders that start with the death of a young female bartender in a historic London church.

The story--a kind of very creative police procedural--is wonderfully serpentine and ends with a satisfying and surprising conclusion. Good as the plot is, the story's greatest strength is the stew of terrific characters who provide the action and interaction. The standout, as usual, is the wildly off-center Arthur Bryant, whose totally unorthodox thinking processes and approaches to crime solving provide the book's saturated color and biggest laughs.

Great story that will grab you from page one and maybe, like me, you won't be able to put it down until the last page. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Witches, Satanists, unexplained deaths. Peculiar enough for you?, 6 Oct 2013
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
I am so glad author Christopher Fowler was willing to take a chance to write mystery novels with a twist. And the twist definitely works for me. The two lead characters, Arthur Bryant and John May, by modern standards should be retired and growing vegetable marrows on an allotment somewhere. Thank goodness Fowler has kept these two older police detectives active and investigating serious crimes. It would be so easy for Bryant and May to fall into the category of caricatures of detectives, but that is never the case. Even though Bryant makes frequent references to his age, that age in no way keeps him from being essential to the investigations in all of these novels. Here, in the tenth book in the series, Bryant even plays the dominant role in working out the solution to the murders.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit doesn't have any big case on it's books at the moment so when Arthur Bryant hears about an unusual death in St. Bride's Church, for which his pathologist friend is having trouble finding a cause of death, he decides to do some investigating on his own. This is soon sidelined when Oskar Kasavian, the official from the Home Office department in charge of the PCU, asks for the help of the unit in investigating what is happening to his wife, Sabira. Kasavian is about to head up the UK's initiative in the EU which will change forever the way terrorism threats are dealt with within the UK and he needs help finding out why his wife is behaving more and more irrationally. Is Sabira really just a young, bored wife of an important government official or is there something tangible causing her paranoia and talk of witches?

This story features Arthur Bryant more than other members of the Unit, but everyone is important to the solving of the case. Talk of witches and Satanists might lead some to think that this is a paranormal or fantasy novel, but that would not be correct. The Peculiar Crimes Unit has to be ready to deal with crimes that lead them into some very odd places but this is most definitely a police procedural mystery novel. Personally, I would have liked more detail on how the crimes were carried out than I got in the revelation, but this series is such a great favorite of mine that I'm willing to let my imagination fill in the blanks on some of the more pedestrian details. This book is definitely a stand alone novel, you don't have to be familiar with any of the other books in the series to enjoy it and become a real fan of the series. If you want to read my favorite so far, that would be The Victoria Vanishes: (Bryant & May Book 6).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars 10th in a wonderful series..., 4 Oct 2013
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
I am reviewing Christopher Fowler's new mystery, "The Invisible Code", and comparing it to other mysteries by the same author as well as other British police procedurals.

Is it fair - or even truthful - to say that British authors and readers have a different "sensibility" about humor than we Americans? Are the non-politically-correct books by Ruth Dudley Edwards, Ian Martin, and Laurie Graham, among many others, read and appreciated by American readers? I'm not sure; I rarely see British novels - past the usual big sellers - front and center in American book stores or on Amazon. I think we readers - and lovers - of British authors are a sort of "niche" market. And that's okay; we read a lot of funny and un-pc books that we find. Now author Christopher Fowler has come to Amazon's VINE list and American readers are discovering his wonderful novels about London's Peculiar Crimes Unit.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit was established as an off-shoot of the London police department as a sort of dumping-ground for cops who are a bit "peculiar" themselves. Not good at working in regular departments, this odd bunch has been collected in one office and charged with solving crimes that the other London departments just don't want to handle. The two chief members of the PCU are two very old coppers - John May and Arthur Bryant - who have been a team upwards of 40 years and who know - and accept - each other's idiosyncrasies. They are supervised - if two loners can be supervised - by a unhappy-in-love Raymond Land, who bemoans the on-going weirdness of his cops. Bryant and May are assisted by a few younger coppers, most just as weird in their own ways. But, of course, "weird" to Americans is often "interesting" to the British. The PCU is always in trouble with their superiors and often at the edge of a fiscal crisis.

In "The Invisible Code", Bryant and May are asked to look into the possible murder of a woman in St Bride's church in Fleet Street. That murder segues into other murders and one of their nominal superiors asks them - as a personal favor - to look into the mental and emotional disintegration of his young, Albanian-born wife. A strange caste of characters who are murdered and threatened are otherwise the standard group in a Bryant and May mystery. There's witchcraft and pregnant male cats and murder-by-poison, and all this given to the reader with a large heap of wit and an almost sense-of-innocence by the various cops, criminals, and hangers-on.

I've been reading Fowler's books for a few years now, after discovering them at Hatchards, a venerable London bookstore. They are funny, witty, and written to a British sensibility. I have been able to order them here on Amazon and I've always been pleased to find other Americans reading and reviewing them. Christopher Fowler's on his tenth "PCU" novel and they just keep getting wittier and more fun to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Invisible Code, 2 Oct 2013
The Invisible Code is the tenth novel in the Bryant and May series by author Christoper Fowler. Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit are hired by Bryant's arch nemesis Oskar Kasavian, a high ranking Home Office Security Chief, to investigate the cause of his wife's sudden and unexpected breakdown, she having attacked the wive's of other high ranking officials during an official dinner. At the same time, Bryant is convinced that the death of a young woman in a London Church for which there are no obvious clues has more to it than meets the eye. Their investigation will lead them into a world where outsiders are not welcome and uncover the secret codes of a closed London society.

This book has some quite topical themes in it and Fowler exposes these in a way that is unexpected and puts a different spin on things. He creates a great plot full of sub ideas that are particularly relevant in the light of recent world and UK events. Fowler's ability to see beyond the obvious is really quite intriguing and creates a great novel and series.

The writing has a highly comedic element to it and this book actually had me laughing out loud at some points. The character of Arthur Bryant is particularly enjoyable. The other thing that Fowler does well is to open up London. He takes you to places you never new existed and links them well to conspiracies and history serving up a great number of historical facts and ideas.

If I have one criticism it is that the book is not as 'Peculiar' as the other novels have been and is somewhat more straightforward despite a great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars good read, 29 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
first time i have read this author and i thought it a very good read
and will buy more soon
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch!, 28 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) (Paperback)
Excelleet continuation of the advenures of the two detectives, well worked plot and I can't wait to see what the pair of them get up to next.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10)
Bryant & May and the Invisible Code: (Bryant & May Book 10) by Christopher Fowler (Paperback - 6 Jun 2013)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews