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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler

The Invisible Code  is both funny and serious.  Aging detectives Arthur Bryant and John May are part of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.  Well, there you go.  

Christopher Fowler describes Bryant and May as Golden Age detectives in a modern world.  Much of the modern world puzzles them, including technology, but they press on.

What qualifications are required for a crime to be designated peculiar?  The Peculiar Crimes Unit (fictional) was established during WWII to handle cases that might cause public scandal or public unrest.  These two qualifications allow for a lot of leeway, and when a young woman dies in a church for no discernible reason, Arthur Bryant wants the case. 

Denied that case, Bryant and May are summoned to the office of the man who wants to disband their unit.  Both are surprised and wary, especially when Oskar Kasavian asks for their help in discovering the cause of the strange behavior his much-younger wife has begun to display.

The beginning has lots of funny, witty remarks, but the situation soon turns more serious, and Bryant (with his false teeth clicking), May (the smooth talker), and their team find themselves investigating more than one murder, uncovering secrets, and  hindered by those in power.  

Favorite characters:  Arthur and his friend Maggie Armitage, the white witch (although her role is very small).

This is my first of the Bryant and May series, but I really liked the characters.  Has anyone else read this series?

NetGalley/Random House Publishing/Bantam Dell

Mystery.  Dec. 17, 2013.  Print version:  368 pages.


  1. I haven't read anything by this author, but I've heard great things about his books. I think I have one or two of his books on my TBR shelves, as a matter of fact. Maybe it's time I get those down and read them!

  2. Unique protagonists, but I did like them and wanted to know more about them!

  3. I've read (and really enjoyed) the first one in the series, Full Dark House, and hope to get hold of more of them eventually - a really quirky read, and that edge of the fantastic makes it even more so.

  4. Yes, that is exactly where I want to begin! So glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Definitely quirky, but charming.