Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler

A new Bryant and May 'Peculiar Crimes Unit' mystery is always eagerly awaited by fans of Christopher Fowler's British crime series and this one lived up to the anticipation for me. 'Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart' (2014) showcases Arthur Bryant, the more eccentric detective of the venerable old pair. Bryant always meanders to the solution by studying ancient London archaeology and myths and consulting his extensive network of psychics, witches and warlocks and other arcane researchers and experts. This mystery somehow brought together New Resurrectionists (grave-robbing medical students) and missing ravens from the Tower of London. The PCU is now under attack, or management reform, by an MBA-wielding young woman who spouts lines like, 'I've objectivised an agenda for an informal intracommunicational face session... I'm here to discuss administrative flexibility and workforce incentivisation, bringing you up to speed on the public interface components of your skill sets.' (39) To which Bryant reacts just as we all wish we could in that kind of meeting,
'Bryant tapped at his hearing aid. 'I'm sorry,' he said loudly, 'I think this thing's on the blink. I can see your lips moving but all I can hear is rubbish.' (40)
Wonderful satire of this kind of management style and the usual arcane London history and archaeology plus smart, unconventional, but highly successful characters make this a perfect mix for fans.
Resurrectionists (1847), by Hablot Knight Browne.

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