cover image Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors; A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors; A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Christopher Fowler. Bantam, $27 (432p) ISBN 978-1-101-88709-7

Set in 1969, Fowler’s solid 15th Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery (after 2017’s Bryant & May: Wild Chamber) lacks the series’ usual bizarre elements but in compensation offers a scenario right out of an Agatha Christie novel. When the efforts of eccentric detectives Arthur Bryant and John May to apprehend someone they believe to be an escaped murderer ends up sinking a ship, they’re taken off regular duties and assigned to watch over whistle-blower Monty Hatton-Jones, a company director who’s scheduled to testify against Sir Charles Chamberlain. Chamberlain, a wealthy London housing developer, has been charged with bribery. A few days before the trial, Bryant and May accompany Hatton-Jones to Tavistock Hall, a country house where their charge is spending the weekend. Tavistock Hall ends up cut off from the outside world because of some military exercises mistakenly scheduled for the area, an unfortunate circumstance that creates a closed circle of suspects after a grisly murder is committed. Fowler evokes the period as neatly as he crafts the plot. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Dec.)