Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: The Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler

The Invisible Code by Christopher Fowler is #10 in the series of Bryant and May Peculiar Crime Unit mysteries. It was published December 17, 2013 by Bantam.

Two children playing "Witch Hunt" follow their selected witch to St. Bride's Church. Inside the woman collapses and dies with no apparent cause of death obvious. Arthur Bryant expects that this case will be handed over to the Peculiar Crimes Unit, but instead the city police investigate it.

Then, Oskar Kasavian, the head of Home Office Security who also happens to be their nemesis, calls them and asks them for help. His wife has been acting increasingly erratically, and he wants them to get to the bottom of it.

When a second death links the 2 women's cases, Bryant and May end up all over London looking into the case to catch the killer whether arcane or not.

This is a good mystery. It has some dark humor to it, which certainly doesn't hurt. "As a student of human nature he would have made a fine pastry chef." "The Peculiar Crimes Unit was the flea in his ear, the pea under his mattress, the ground glass in his gin, but at least he had lately abandoned his attempts to have it closed down."

As it goes along it waffles between hinting at an arcane solution to the mystery and a logical scientific type answer. As a result, when the answer does come, it's a bit of a surprise. I didn't guess the outcome in advance which was nice. This was my first Bryant and May mystery. I am wondering if all their mysteries are as twisty and delightful as this one. These 2 detectives may be as the author says in the afterword, Golden Agers, but they are sharp as tacks. It's a pleasure to see them work.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked it.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my  honest opinion.