The Memory of Blood: Book summary and reviews of The Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler

The Memory of Blood

A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

By Christopher Fowler

The Memory of Blood
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Bryant's eccentric pedantry, May's hard-boiled attitude - amid his trademark mix of whimsical humor and macabre thrills." - Publishers Weekly

"Though no single element stands out, Fowler achieves a fine balance between the impossible crime, the juggling of suspects and motives, Mr. Bryant's flights of recondite erudition, the planting and decoding of clues and the obligatory plots to discredit and disband the PCU." - Kirkus Reviews

"Fowler's growing body of fans will snatch this one up, and readers who enjoy Golden Age-style mysteries with a spot of humor and gothic atmosphere shouldn't miss this." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Christopher Fowler Author Biography

Photo: Martin Butterworth

Christopher Fowler is the acclaimed author of seventeen novels, including the award-winning Full Dark House and six other Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries: The Water Room, Seventy-Seven Clocks, Ten Second Staircase, White Corridor, The Victoria Vanishes, and Bryant & May on the Loose. He lives in London, where he is at work on his next Peculiar Crimes Unit novel.

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