‘Strange Tide’ US-Style Is Out Today!

Bryant and May

‘Is there anyone else in the crime genre currently writing anything as entertainingly off-the-wall as Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May series? Fowler eschews all recognisable genres, though the cases for his detective duo have resonances of the darker corners of British Golden Age fiction. And if you aren’t already an aficionado – and have a taste for the outré — I suggest you try Strange Tide and find out what the fuss is about.’ – Crime Time Magazine


‘Strange Tide’ is out today in America. My pals over there are running a little later than in the UK but the gap is closing nicely now. From ‘The Bleeding Heart’ onwards, the books feel as if they’ve started to become broader and more epic in scope, and ‘Strange Tide’ continues that expansiveness into an area I’ve not explored much in the past – the great river that runs through London. The book stands alone from the others – as do they all, really; they certainly don’t have to be read in order. In fact, I would much rather you didn’t. I always include a catch-up section near the start of each novel.

In three months there will be another volume, ‘Wild Chamber’, and of course the delightful audio editions will continue to appear, and the book is available in an e-edition. There are now very few style changes between the US and the UK versions, with only a tiny handful of the most extreme ‘deep English’ phrases removed for clarity.


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.

11 comments on “‘Strange Tide’ US-Style Is Out Today!”

  1. davem says:

    Love the cover

  2. Brooke says:

    I prefer the cover of the UK edition. The delay in publishing the US edition made me mad so I had a London client purchase Strange Tide and bring it over, along with London’s Glory. The UK edition cover is subtle, more atmospheric and evocative. The US edition cover hollers “this is a book about London,” in case US readers don’t understand.

    Now that I have established a route to get my fix, I look forward to the UK publication dates of further adventures of Mr. Bryant and Mr. May.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Interesting the way even Americans prefer the UK editions. I think it may be because we (Admin’s readers in all locales) take the stories more seriously than those American covers intend.

  4. Anchovee says:

    Those US covers are all a bit Hetty Wainthrop. Who are they appealing to?

  5. Sandra Nelson says:

    Just finished Strange Tide. As always, enjoyed it very much. So glad Bryant has his mojo back, with benefits. Bryant and May never disappoints. I’m very curious about who the Daves have found in the basement tomb. I do like the Daves. I feel that they make a genuine contribution to the unit. Onward to The Wild Chambers!

    Sandra Nelson

  6. admin says:

    Don’t get me started on the US covers! I understand that they had to be different from the UK editions because there are specific semiotic signals sent out by the UK covers, but I’m having a WTF moment with the cover of ‘Strange Tide’ US – what’s with the roses?

  7. snowy says:

    If you deconstruct the whole cover, it falls to bits much like semiotics itself.

    Roses: a wreath being drawn out through the opened bridge by the tide. [Can’t draw a proper wreath in that perspective, it would look like a furry log – or worse.]

    And then the usual:

    Circling birds: Death motif.
    Moon: Tide.
    Buildings: London.

  8. Raams says:

    I’m so sad I have to wait for months before I can read a new in in fhe US! But I just finished listening to the latest via audiobook and I loved it! The audiobook narrator is really good. So happy Bryant is back. I knew it was the …. I still think Ciaran Hinds and John Noble are the perfect dreamcast for the two detectives.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    It was bad enough when we lost Dan Terrell (RIP) but if we ever lose Snowy we are doomed!

  10. Raams says:

    Was Arthur ever married? I seem to remember he was married, based on an earlier book. But in this book, he only mentions asking her. A little confused.

  11. Kelly Fulbright says:

    I just finished reading ‘Stranger Tides’. Enjoyed very much. I have been rereading the Bryant and May series. They are even better the second time around. Curious though, is Arthur Bryant = Alec Guinness as Professor Marcus with a dash of George Smiley or the other way round? That’s who I visualize as I read. I would so enjoy seeing the PCU brought to life on any stage/screen.

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