The Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler

89%

11 Critic Reviews

Fowler also neatly explains the hidden and very dark, social and historical symbolism of Mr Punch and his theatrical cohorts.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

Christopher Fowler’s acclaimed Peculiar Crimes Unit novels crackle with sly wit, lively suspense, and twists as chilling as London’s fog. Now the indomitable duo of Arthur Bryant and John May, along with the rest of their quirky team, return to solve a confounding case with dark ties to the British theater and a killer who may mean curtains for all involved.

For the crew of the New Strand Theatre, the play The Two Murderers seems less performance than prophecy when a cast party ends in the shocking death of the theater owner’s son. The crime scene is most unusual, even for Bryant and May. In a locked bedroom without any trace of fingerprints or blood, the only sign of disturbance is a gruesome life-size puppet of Mr. Punch laying on the floor. Everyone at the party is a suspect, including the corrupt producer, the rakish male lead, the dour set designer, and the assistant stage manager, who is the wild daughter of a prominent government official.

It’s this last fact that threatens the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s investigation, as the government’s Home Office, wary of the team’s eccentric methods, seeks to throw them off the case. But the nimble minds of Bryant and May are not so easily deterred. Delving into the history of the London theater and the disturbing origins of Punch and Judy, the detectives race to find the maniacal killer before he reaches his even deadlier final act. 

Whip-smart and endlessly entertaining, The Memory of Blood is an ingeniously intricate mystery from the deliciously inventive Christopher Fowler.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Christopher Fowler's The Invisible Code.

Praise for The Memory of Blood
 
“[The Memory of Blood] breathes new life into the locked-room mystery. . . . Spiced with a little screwball-comedy dialogue and a touch of the occult.”—The Washington Post
 
“Great fun.”—The Seattle Times
 

About Christopher Fowler

See more books from this Author
CHRISTOPHER FOWLER is a Londoner born (in Greenwich) and bred. For many years he jointly owned and ran one of the UK's top film marketing companies. He is the author of many novels and short story collections, from the urban unease of cult fictions such as "Roofworld" and "Spanky," the horror-pastiche of "Hell Train" to the much-praised and award-winning "Bryant and May" series of detective novels -- and his critically acclaimed first volume of autobiography, "Paperboy." He lives in King's Cross.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Bantam. 353 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Memory of Blood
All: 11 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 15 2012

Though no single element stands out, Fowler achieves a fine balance. . .

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 20 2012

Fowler makes the most of his odd couples’ personality traits. . .amid his trademark mix of whimsical humor and macabre thrills.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Nolan on Apr 13 2012

May and Bryant make a stellar team, though their solutions (here reached at the last possible second) prove as bizarre as the preceding events.

Read Full Review of The Memory of Blood | See more reviews from WSJ online

Financial Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Adam LeBor on Sep 30 2011

Fowler also neatly explains the hidden and very dark, social and historical symbolism of Mr Punch and his theatrical cohorts.

Read Full Review of The Memory of Blood | See more reviews from Financial Times

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Dirda on Apr 25 2012

So, if you’re in need of a refreshing light novel for the spring. . .consider “The Memory of Blood.

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20Something Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on Mar 29 2012

While certainly true, this latest installment is a particularly good place to begin for those unfamiliar with the series. I

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Londonist

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Brown on Oct 24 2011

The fast-paced main plot. . .is neatly interlaced with a secondary thread concerning the possible theft of Arthur Bryant’s memoirs.

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Thinking About Books

Excellent
Reviewed by David Marshall on Mar 26 2012

The Memory of Blood is an intoxicating ride. Not, you understand, that there’s any need to consume copious amounts of alcohol to maximise enjoyment. Christopher Fowler has produced a champagne mystery where merely opening the covers and breathing in the first bubbles leads to instant bliss.

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Book Loons

Good
Reviewed by Bob Walch

These two octogenarian British detectives and their quirky, unconventional methods have captured the imaginations of scores of readers.

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Euro Crime

Good
Reviewed by Mark Bailey

This is another strong Bryant & May novel from Christopher Fowler with the usual intricate plot, full of both twists and turns and strong characters who are nine-tenths believable and one-tenth fantastical.

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Jera's Jamboree

Below average
Reviewed by Jera on Apr 09 2012

Despite my dislike of puppets coming to life, I found this fascinating.

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Reader Rating for The Memory of Blood
89%

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