Where Shall I Set The Next Bryant & May?

Bryant and May

Dear diary, this week was rather more up and down than I’d hoped for.

I bounced back from a debilitating virus that had lingered since January only to be knocked over by a courier bike in Bloomsbury, and am now laid up with a torn thigh muscle. But I’m doing better than my freelance friends who are suddenly finding themselves without work because they’re employed by US clients who have stopped travelling. The coronavirus (tragedy in the East, bizarre social panic in the West) has knocked out most of the international book fairs so publishers are coming up with ways of getting commercial life back to normal. Most US film premieres here have been cancelled, so pals of mine who’ve been working on the James Bond launch are suddenly unemployed.

Meanwhile my thriller is finished and standing in the wings waiting to take flight. My ‘Complete Short Stories’ has yet to find a buyer (I may end up having to do it myself) and several other books are on the runway revving their engines.

Next week I’ve been asked to provide my publisher with an outline for another Bryant & May novel. I have a plot in mind but have not settled on the locations for the book that provide it with atmosphere. It occurred to me that I should turn the question over to my advisory board ie. you lot, and see if there’s anything in particular you feel I have overlooked. I thought about a story set in London’s museums and art galleries, or in workplaces – I’ve covered churches, pubs, theatres, parks etc. Museums were touched on in ‘Seventy Seven Clocks’ and an office block was the setting of ‘Breathe’, the science fiction novel I wrote that I don’t think anyone saw (mercifully – it was a simple transcription from a doomed screenplay). So I’m casting about for new locations and am considering Metroland. All Bryant & May location suggestions will be considered in the good-natured spirit of argument!

56 comments on “Where Shall I Set The Next Bryant & May?”

  1. Bennett Hammond says:

    If you’re gonna leave town, why not go north: B&M in Scotland! The buried streets of Embro.

  2. Dave Johnson says:

    Chris – throwing in my two farthing’s worth, and suggesting the locale of the Celtic heroine Boudica
    (see Wikipedia) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica
    You’d certainly enliven your research by visiting the lovely proprietor of the Boudica Inn. I saw her in
    a Josh Gates anthropological episode – and instantly fell in love.

    If I may throw in an unrelated suggestion, I’d love to see you use the white which Maggie Armitage as the
    main character in a tale, with Bryant and May helping out. .

  3. admin says:

    Strangely enough Boadicea (the spelling I grew up with) made an appearance in an earlier Bryant & May novel.

  4. DavidChapman says:

    I wonder if Worcestershire or Warwickshire might be a good setting for a B&M. Worcestershire is home to Wych Elm/Hagley Woods mystery (“Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?”) while Warwickshire has a number of grim historical murders (including the “Murder by Witchcraft” investigated by Fabian of the Yard) which could be fuel for Bryant’s ruminations. But why would they make their way to the Black Country?

  5. Juan F Fariñas says:

    I’d love to see them in Brighton, I can imagine them around the lanes and the burned pier.

  6. Glasgow1975 says:

    I think I read Breathe!
    Have we had models? Bryant & May do London Fashion Week – scope for almost any type of venue
    I think I’ve said this before, but Bryant & May let loose in The Royal Palaces bumping into HRHs willy nilly and sharing Tupperware trays with Her Madge . . .

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