The Old Codgers Are Lurking In London Now

Bryant and May

Between now and the official party for ‘Bryant & May: Strange Tide’ I’ll be doing what I usually do – hiding signed copies of the hardback in London’s open spaces. Two dozen signed copies will be left between Piccadilly and the Euston Road over the next few days, partly because it’s great to watch who they’re picked up by.

There’s not much point in trying to second-guess where I’ll be though, as they usually vanish in seconds. I’m amazed at the way in which free stuff disappears in London. I just hope the books get read and don’t turn up on eBay!

For anyone who doesn’t yet know about the book, here’s a synopsis.


In which Mr May Hunts a Riverside Killer

And Mr Bryant Gets Into Hot Water


The river Thames runs through London like an artery. When a young woman is found chained to a post in the tide, no-one can understand how she came to be drowned there. At the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May find themselves dealing with an impossible crime committed in a very public place.

Soon they discover that the river is giving up other victims, but as the investigation extends from the coast of Libya to the nightclubs of North London, it proves as murkily sinister as the Thames itself. That’s only part of the problem; Bryant’s rapidly deteriorating condition prevents him from handling the case, and he is confined to home. To make matters worse, his partner makes a fatal error of judgement that knocks him out of action and places everyone at risk.

With the PCU staff baffled as much by their own detectives as the case, the only people who can help now are the battery of eccentrics Bryant keeps listed in his diary, but will their arcane knowledge save the day or bring disaster? Even when there’s a clear suspect in everyone’s sights the one thing that’s missing is any scrap of evidence.

As the investigation comes unstuck, the whole team gets involved in some serious messing about on the river. In an adventure that’s as twisting as the river upon which it’s set, will there be anything left of the Peculiar Crimes Unit when it’s over?

MAY: I watched you head off into the fog and honestly thought I’d never see you again.

BRYANT: I have the theatrical gene. I said goodbye to London, but London isn’t quite finished with me yet.


22 comments on “The Old Codgers Are Lurking In London Now”

  1. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris, I’m reading it now on my birthday. Very enjoyable so far.

  2. Rachel Green says:

    Mr Fowler, I love you. You are the best of British writers.

  3. Matt says:

    Mine came from Amazon a few days ago, via Germany, Very odd if you ask me. Are the books printed in Germany? Its the first time I haven’t had my B&M on the day of release. Amazon delivery has become worse since they adopted their own courier service and dumped all other delivery methods.

    Anyway enough of that, loving it so far…. Thanks Chris for all your efforts.

  4. Ford says:

    Erm! Ingot mine the day before release! My local bookshop (it’s part of a chain …. Of two shops!) let me have it the day before release! Gotta support those small bookshops

  5. linda ayres says:

    I have almost finished it…Really enjoying it, they just seem to get better and better.
    keep up the good work…wish I had time to ‘stake out’ and try and grab a signed copy.. hope those that do will appreciate them.

  6. Matt says:

    Hi Ford, I would most certainly support my local small trader book shop…. If I had one in my town or the next nearest town. Unfortunately B&M are not stocked in my area so I shop on-line. Good for you that you got it that way and early too!

  7. Ford says:

    Matt, I’m surprised my town has a small Indy bookshop!

  8. Shirley Bishop says:

    Just a quick note: On p. 104, Bryant imagines himself in 1890s London, with a ship in the river taking convicts to Australia. But the last convict ship to Australia left Britain in 1867. I mention it only because I know history and facts about London are important to you. (Well, and also because I’m a nitpicker.)

    I’m in Seattle, Washington, but I order your books from Britain because I’m always so eager to get the new one!

  9. Mr. Fowler: I’m hooked, have read 3/4 of the Bryant -May books, will then reread them as they are full of detail that might have been overlooked. Are there any plans to produce a series on the BBC with Arthur and John. Thank you for creating an entertaining and illuminating collection of mysteries.

  10. mel says:

    What fun. Do you ever hear back from people who have picked up copies?
    Just got my copy last week and am waiting for some quietish time to start it.

  11. davem says:

    Received mine a few days ago, now on my reading pile … looking forward to it.

  12. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris,I’ve finished Strange Tide, excellent stuff, top notch writing, and even more extensive use of quotations.Wild Chamber is a intriguing title.

  13. admin says:

    One day a TV series will be made, of that I am convinced. I do have a script (not by me) that’s out there at the moment…

  14. Peter says:

    I am reading it at the moment. Sofar it’s yet another great episode in the B&M series!

  15. chazza says:

    If a TV series does appear, B&M played by David Walliams and Matt Lucas or – if produced by the BBC – Olivia Coleman and Miriam Margoyles or Idriss Elba and RuPaul???

  16. davem says:

    Arthur Bryant – David Jason
    John May – Michael Caine

    Get on the phone now Chris 😉

  17. Helen Martin says:

    I wonder how big this international community is. We all seem anxious for our heroes to be on tv and that should help make it happen, but I wonder whether we’d really enjoy it if it did. Things would be changed or omitted. Author might well not be consulted. It’s a risky business.

  18. Charles (another one) says:

    Brilliant writing, again. And so glad that Mr Bryant gets…

    I love your continuing exploration of the Thames, in all its guises. I was going to write her, but then thought ‘what of old father Thames?’ And good to see new Londoners reflected in the story; how true that we are all Londoners after a few years (months?).

    After walking through that part of London yesterday, keeping my eye’s peeled for small black packages, I hoped they were wearing overcoats.

  19. AC says:

    Here in the US, the book won’t be available until December but the audiobook is already on Bryant and May have gotten me through some very tedious days at work. This one was especially enjoyable.

  20. Kathy Keenan says:

    Just finished Strange Tide! I love, love, love this book! I think this the best thing you’ve written in a while and it’s certainly the most fun read I had in a while. I love Dicken showing up! Can’t wait for the next installment with Arthur firmly back in the saddle and John an older slightly wiser man! Thanks for returning our Renfield too!

  21. Kathy Keenan says:

    AC – you can buy the British version from I can’t wait another six months to read a Bryant and May. All of my copies are the British versions. I you like Bryant & May you should try Ben Aaronvitch’s Rivers of London series. In fact, I keep waiting for Peter and Nightigale to show up!

  22. Viv Geller says:

    I was so saddened after reading Burning Man. Ironically, my husband was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment at exactly the time I was reading it. When I learned that another book was coming out, I couldn’t wait until it came out in the US, so I ordered it from the UK. I had to know what was going to happen to Bryant. As with every other Bryant and May mystery (I’ve read them all), I enjoyed every moment. The intelligent and clever writing, well-crafted plots, the arcane yet often often relevant facts about history and London and, most of all, the laugh-out-loud humor keep me awaiting the next installment. Thank you Mr Fowler.

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