I have read most of the Bryant and May stories and also Mr Fowler's two autobiographical books. I have enjoyed all of them, mainly because the author writes engagingly and moreover displays an extensive knowledge of London, which helps to give the stories a convincing background, especially if you know the places he describes. I now find myself on page 378 of "Seventy-Seven Clocks" and beset by fatigue, ennui and some kind of reader's cramp. There are a hundred pages left and I am faced with the decision: shall I skim to the end or plod on? Really, Mr Fowler, if I wanted to read a 550-page (almost) novel set in London, wouldn't I be better off with Dickens? I've lost interest in the characters: some of them I've forgotten. What happened to Joseph, a main character who disappeared on page 305? I notice that the copy I'm reading has been discarded by Renfrewshire Libraries: should I take a lesson from the canny Scots? Maybe I should have stuck with Edmund Crispin and Gladys Mitchell. However, I have decided to carry on to the end. I hope it will be worth it: otherwise Bryant and May are going the way of all burnt-out matches.