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The Memory of Blood

A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

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Paperback published by Bantam (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
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.

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


From the Hardcover edition.
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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.

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


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
ISBN: 9780345528643
Other books byChristopher Fowler
  • The Victoria Vanishes

    The Victoria Vanishes
    A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
    Murder doesn’t get more peculiar than this. A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs. What’s even more peculiar, Arthur Bryant happened to see the latest victim only moments before her death—at a pub torn down eighty years ago! It’s only the beginning of a case littered with clues that defy everything the veteran detectives know about the profiles of serial killers and the methodology of crime. What do the Knights Templars, the secret history of English pubs, and the discovery of an astounding religious relic have to do with this recent crime spree? More important, do the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s two living legends have enough life left in them to stop a murderous conspiracy…and a deadly cupid targeting one of their own?

    Ten Second Staircase

    Ten Second Staircase
    A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
    It’s a crime tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit: a controversial artist is murdered and displayed as part of her own outrageous installation. No suspects, no motive, no evidence—but this time they do have an eyewitness. A twelve-year-old claims the killer was a cape-clad highwayman atop a black stallion. Whoever the killer really is, he seems intent on killing off enough minor celebrities to become one himself. As “Highwayman Fever” grips London, Bryant and May, along with the newest member of the Unit, May’s agoraphobic granddaughter, April, find themselves sorting out a case involving artistic rivalries, sleazy sex affairs, the Knights Templars, feuding street gangs, and a decades-old crime spree that split up their partnership once before—and threatens to end it again…with murder.

    White Corridor

    White Corridor
    A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
    It’s the classic locked-room mystery—a member of the Peculiar Crimes Unit killed inside a sealed morgue populated only by the dead and to which only four PCU members had a key. To make matters worse, the Unit has been shut down for a forced “vacation,” and Bryant and May are stuck in a van in the Dartmoor countryside during a freak snowstorm. Now they’ll have to crack the case by cell phone while trying to stop a second murder without freezing to death. For among the line of trapped vehicles, a killer is on the prowl, a beautiful woman is on the run, and an innocent child is caught in the middle….

    Full Dark House

    Full Dark House
    A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
    A bomb rips through present-day London, tragically ending the crime-fighting partnership of Arthur Bryant and John May begun more than a half-century ago during another infamous bombing: the Blitz of World War II. Desperately searching for clues to the saboteur’s identity, May finds the notes his old friend kept of their very first case and a past that may have returned…with murderous vengeance. It was an investigation that began with the grisly murder of a pretty young dancer. In a city shaken by war, a faceless killer stalked London’s theater row, creating his own sinister drama. And it would take Bryant’s unorthodox techniques and May’s dogged police work to catch a fiend whose ability to escape detection seemed almost supernatural—a murderer who decades later may have returned to kill one of them…and won’t stop until he kills the other.

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