Happy Birthday, John and Arthur!

Bryant and May

Today is the launch of my tenth Bryant & May novel, not too shabby for a series I was told could never take off in a million years because it didn’t have enough sex and violence.

A charming, if alarming, review has appeared in the ever-excellent Crimetime by the equally excellent Barry Forshaw, author of the British Crime Writing Encyclopaedia, an astonishing two-volume reference work that’s also fun to read in the loo (if you can lift it). Crimetime is a knockout read, by the way, and you can find it here;

‘Christopher Fowler is something of a British national treasure. Not content with being one of this country’s most idiosyncratic and imaginative writers of horror fiction, he brought his particular skills to bear on what has become a crime fiction series quite unlike anything else being produced in the UK. What is particularly cherishable about the Bryant & May series is its ability to function on a variety of levels: as a straightforward exploration of detective story tropes (with a duo of protagonists who are memorable in their eccentricity), as a constantly rejuvenated paen of praise to the city of London (few writers have such an acute sense of place as Fowler); as a delicious parody of the whole crime fiction form (but with sufficient seriousness to keep ridicule at bay) and – perhaps most significantly — as a series of narratives that exert an Ancient Mariner-like grip on the reader. As before in these quirky narratives, the reader is taken on a fascinating (and often bizarre) journey which is notably difficult to read in short measures – the insidious Mr Fowler demands our total attention. Just remember that if you unwisely start reading the book two stops before your destination…’

So now that I’m a national treasure, can I get a government grant to have my windows repaired?

In ‘Bryant & May and the Invisible Code’ you’ll meet several new characters including Bryant’s new neighbour, his doctor and the sinister Mr Merry, who we’ll hopefully be seeing more of. And there’s another stunning cover by artist David Frankland.

At the risk of pushing my luck I’ve started to outline two further adventures for the old gits, although in the meantime there’ll be plenty to keep you entertained, including a radio play for Hammer, a theatrical play called ‘Falling Stars’, a sequel to my memoir ‘Paperboy’ called ‘Film Freak’, due out from Transworld in April, ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, my graphic novel from PS Publishing in October, my non-fiction book ‘Invisible Ink’ from Strange Attractor Press around the same time, and my first big suspense thriller.

Oh, and this was in my in-box this morning, which was nice. (Catchphrase, anyone? Bueller? Anyone?)

22 comments on “Happy Birthday, John and Arthur!”

  1. Stephen Groves says:

    Hi Chris,
    Great News

    It looks like being your year .Unfortunately it dosn’t look to good for Mrs Stalky’s saleable organs or body parts.So many books to buy.

    all best

  2. John Howard says:

    No need to be alarmed admin, when you are that good then these are the sort of reviews and response you should get. ( nearly typed in god instead of good – a step too far methinks ). I also understand where stalky is coming from. I suspect there will need to be a lot of unexplained entries on the bank account. More power to your elbow and don’t let Barcelona distract you too much.

  3. John Howard says:

    Oh yes, I am impressed by the TP like.

  4. J. Folgard says:

    Nice and well-deserved! Bryant & May (and their PCU cohorts)reconciled me with crime fiction several years ago (before then I thought it was all precious armchair detectives or made-for-tv thrillers), so here’s to more. Like many characters you follow for a long time, they’ve become some sort of peculiar, imaginary friends.
    On a completely unrelated side note, yesterday I got my copy of PS’ Black Cat Mystery, along with another of their Harvey volumes. The books are nicely produced and you foreword is fun piece! Cheers-

  5. Paul Graham says:

    Today, Mr. Fowler will mostly be using a Fast Show catchphrase.

  6. agatha hamilton says:

    Good luck to you, John and Arthur! And Barry Forshaw is spot on.

  7. Dan Terrell says:

    I’m not surprised that Sir Terry “like”-d you. He has himself created a number of good and pleasingly quirky characters in his Discworld books. Arthur and others would fit right in. (Love his witches – watch out for the short, heavyset one with the pipe and the after-a-pint-or-two breath.)
    And it’s good to see you’ve placed the suspense thriller, as I’m deducing you have.
    After the doldrums of the first quarter, what a big change this is with things moving again.
    Share John’s hope that Barcelona doesn’t distract, but I’m sure the people running the worldwide GSP will be pleased. “Well that’s a relief. Fowler’s either in London or Barcelona.”

  8. FabienneT says:

    I think Barry Forshaw’s review explains exactly why I enjoy the Bryant and May books so much! Very well deserved!

  9. Dan Terrell says:

    “..the worldwide GSP”. Obviously, it should have been “GPS”. A dyslectic GPS? Sounds like a plot device to me: A Bill Murray film? Or SF: “Less Than Total Recall”

  10. Helen Martin says:

    Very few authors get appreciations like that in their lifetime so it’s great when one does. I’m keeping an ear tuned for knocks on the door that may indicate a postal delivery.

  11. Chris Lancaster says:

    Good news about the suspense thriller, and hopefully about further outings for B&M. It all sounds positive; let’s hope that when your next book lands, all still sounds good. It’d be great for you to be as excited as Bueller singing Twist And Shout on the parade float, and not as down as Cameron realising the car park attendants have put lots of miles onto his father’s Ferrari!

  12. Wayne says:

    Busy Busy Busy…. Hope all goes well. I Got my copy a few days ago Amazon delivered before release date so I have already started it and love it.

    While I unpacked the New B & M my Partner mused over your popularity, Curious to know how many copies of the Hard back are printed and if the Paper back sells more etc…. So Christopher how many Do get printed and how does that compare to someone like Terry Pratchett?

    Looking forward to Film Freak and Graphic novel….

  13. Andy says:

    A TP like? Oooh! Suits you sir!

    You could always pop along to the Broken Drummers, the London Discworld Fanclub meeting at the Monkey Puzzle pub, Paddington, first Monday of every month. That’s next monday incidentally…

  14. Peter A says:

    Loving ‘The Invisible Code’ – for some reason it seems to be written in a ‘faster pace’ than Memory of Blood. Does that make sense? Either way throughly enjoying…

  15. Dan Terrell says:

    Enough already. You’ve got the new book. Fine. Enjoy. We on this side,like the Eastern Orthodox, we’ll celebrate in ten days.

  16. Lauri says:

    I downloaded mine from audible 8/2. Couldn’t wait for it to be available in Us. It makes a great listen. I’d like to second suggestion you pay visit to sf and Green apple book store. Do they have a store cat?

  17. David Chapman says:

    Hello Christopher.

    After 10 months in the darkest parts of the Solomon Islands without internet access (along with greater or lesser privations), I downloaded the latest installment in the Bryant and May corpus to my Kindle for the flight home. Seeing it as a recommendation on my Kindle was a happy sight to see, as I wasn’t aware before I left for the Islands that a new work was underway. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and an excellent new installment in the adventures.

    I hope that your publishing contract is renewed and that another B&M work is forthcoming.

    While in the Islands, I wondered whether you have considered the dramatisation of the B&M series for BBC Radio 4/4 Extra. I think that the Seventh Dimension on Radio 4 Extra would be the perfect place for some of these stories.

    Do you know if/when the Graphic Novel will be available in Australia?

    Thanks again for the excellent work.

  18. admin says:

    Hopefully, the graphic novel will be available everywhere from October. Welcome back!

  19. Tina Mawson says:

    Just finished The Invisible Code…excellent another triumph! I was there back in the Rune days and will always be with Arthur and John. Keep them coming and hopefully whoever said they would never fly is now suffering suitable karmic retribution.

    Thanks for keeping me hooked for nearly 20 years.

  20. Doug Kemp says:

    Another splendid read!
    Over the series, as a sort of visual-cinematic aid, for me Bryant has developed into a Michael Gambon figure and May as Lord Owen. Just saying like….

  21. Elisabeth Seagal says:

    Thanks Chris, another great Bryant and May. Brilliant. So now I want you to hurry up and write the next one…. lol Best detective series ever, those t.v. people are idiots.. x

  22. Hello Mr. Fowler and blog members,

    I just want to add my two cents as a recent discoverer of Bryant and May. I am now on my third volume going back to what I guess is the very first one ‘Full Dark House’. As a long time detective fiction reader and especially of British writers, I have to say that I’ve rarely enjoyed books as much as the B and M series. One receives a very readable history lesson from these books and there is so much material about so many things that I sometimes think the ‘mystery’ is almost secondary. What I particularly like is that as society and its tastes change, so do the protagonists unlike someone like the P.D. James Inspector who never seems to get any older. I very much look forward to reading the whole series and yes, on my ereader!


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