Bryant and May and the Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler

I’m not sure how I came across this book. I may have been checking Amazon to see if there was a new Peculiar Crimes Unit book. At any rate, I found it, only to discover that it is not available in hard- or paperback form in the United States. The book is out in the UK, but as of September, 2012, there is no publication date listed in the US. However, it’s available as an audiobook from Audible.com, a subdivision of Amazon. That’s what I did. I’m not fond of audiobooks – I don’t spend that much time in the car and it’s difficult for me to just sit and listen to a book. However, I’m happy I have it. I very much enjoyed the reader, Tim Goodman. His voice is distinct and appropriate for each character, and his voice for Arthur Bryant is dead-on perfection. It is just as I imagine that Arthur sounds.

 One problem I have with audiobooks is the interruptions in listening. I listened to many passages several times, trying to find where I had left off. I don’t have an audio Kindle, so I had to copy it onto my iPod. (This lead to several very frustrating conversations with Apple.) However, my battle with technology has nothing to do with the book.

 The Invisible Code begins with an inexplicable death which Bryant wants to look into but isn’t allowed. Instead, there are hired by Oscar Kasavian, who has many times tried to shut down the PCU, to find out why his wife has suddenly started behaving strangely. A society photographer is stabbed to death in a nearby park, and the PCU discovers a link between the two deaths and possibly with Kasavian’s wife, too. The investigation sets Arthur Bryant on a trail that leads to Bedlam and Bletchley Park, which currently houses the National Codes Centre and the National Museum of Computing, and into the world of secret private clubs, madness, codes and witchcraft.

 As I have mentioned in another review, I love this series. I would give anything to have a cup of tea with Arthur Bryant. I hope he and the PCU live forever, and that Arthur never retires. Christopher Fowler has created a marvelous world with memorable characters.  

Once again, this tenth book in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series is notable for its use of London settings in the story. Descriptions of churches, museums, streets and history bring the city alive. My favorite mysteries have humor in them; I laughed aloud several times. Fowler has quite a turn of phrase, along with his individualized characterization.

Please, read the whole series from the beginning, starting with Full Dark House: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery. You won’t regret a minute of it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Bryant and May and the Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler

  1. Thanks for your kind words about my series. Yes, ‘The Invisible Code’s US delay is a source of annoyance but Random House is undergoing quite a shakeup and I hope my old duffers come out of it intact!

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