cover image London Bridge Is Falling Down: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

London Bridge Is Falling Down: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Christopher Fowler. Bantam, $28.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-35621-0

Fowler’s excellent 20th Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery (after 2020’s Oranges and Lemons) finds the London police unit yet again at risk of being shut down. To avoid that fate, the PCU’s lead detective, über-eccentric Det. Chief Insp. Arthur Bryant, takes advantage of a loophole. Since the Home Office can’t reassign unresolved homicide cases to other police departments, Bryant searches for a recent fatality that can somehow be made into an open PCU murder inquiry. He finds one in the case of 91-year-old Amelia Hoffman, a shut-in who apparently died from natural causes, though someone hastened her demise by canceling food deliveries and check-ins by her caregiver. Along with his longtime partner, Det. Chief Insp. John May, Bryant delves into what he believes is a key clue, a souvenir of London Bridge that was thrown out of one of Hoffman’s windows. The trail leads to some surprising revelations about the PCU’s past and several indisputable murders. As always, Fowler does a masterly job of balancing humor with an ingeniously crafted plot. Devoted fans will be more than satisfied. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Dec.)