Your Cut-Out-N-Keep Bryant & May Plot Guide Part 4
16 Bryant & May HALL OF MIRRORS
In which Mr May Spends a Weekend in the Country
And Mr Bryant Gives the Game Away
In 1969, ten guests stay in an isolated country house, Tavistock Hall, for the weekend, but one of them is harbouring thoughts of murder…
Young detectives Bryant & May are tasked with protecting Monty Hatton-Jones, a whistleblower turning Queen’s evidence against a corrupt architect. The pair are obliged to attend the house party disguised with false identities, and so the scene is set for the perfect country house murder mystery – except that it proves to be nothing like the ones in Golden Age novels; these are the dying days of the grand weekend, and now that the good times are coming to an end, the guests are betraying their desperation…
The mansion in question is owned by a penniless, dope-smoking Lord who has built a hippy encampment in the garden and is selling the estate to a secretive millionaire. Luckily, the detectives have a decent chap on the inside who can help them; one-armed Brigadier Nigel ‘Fruity’ Metcalf.
The weekend has just started when the millionaire goes missing and murder is on the cards. But army manoeuvres have closed the only road, and without a forensic examiner the detectives can’t solve the case. When one of the guests is felled by a falling gargoyle, Bryant & May must place their future reputations on the line. In the process they discover that in ‘swinging Britain’ nothing is quite what it seems…
You are cordially invited to a weekend in the country. Expect murder, madness and mayhem in the mansion!
17 Bryant & May: THE LONELY HOUR
In Which Mr May Makes A Mistake
And Mr Bryant Goes Into The Dark
On a rainy winter night in the wrong part of London, outside a run-down nightclub, four strangers meet for the first time at 4:00am.
A few weeks later the body of an Indian textile worker is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hampstead Heath. The Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate, and as the victim was found surrounded by the paraphernalia of black magic, Arthur Bryant and John May set off to question experts in the field.
But the case is not what it appears, for when another victim seemingly commits suicide somewhere in the London night is a man who knows what people fear most, and he always strikes at 4:00am.
In order to catch him the unit switch to night shifts. While May takes a technological approach, Bryant quizzes academics and misfits, but the case that reveals impossibilities at every turn. The victims have no idea what they’ve done wrong, and the murderer doesn’t exist. But impossibilities are what the Peculiar Crimes Unit does best, and the trail takes them from the poorest part of the East End to the wealthiest homes in North London.
As they explore a night city where all the normal rules are upended, they’re drawn deeper into a case that involves murder, arson, kidnap, blackmail, bats and the psychological effects of loneliness on Londoners. But this time it’s an investigation that can only end in tragedy…
18 Bryant & May: England’s Finest
At London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit there have been investigations that could never be discussed, and once again detectives Bryant and May agree to open the files on previously unseen investigations. This second volume of Bryant & May’s missing cases not only contains everything you need to know about the city’s oldest crimefighting duo, it reveals the truth about some very puzzling circumstances. Like its predecessor, it has a Christmas theme.
What happened to Covent Garden’s seventh Christmas reindeer? Why would somebody murder a friendly postman on his rounds? Why does London’s ‘Devil’s Triangle’ cause so many strange tragedies to occur on one spot? What is London’s strange true history of the Forty Footsteps? And what does the Antichrist have to do with an elderly widow’s impossible burglary?
Take twelve wild crimes, mix in the members of the nation’s oddest police division and you have a seasonal feast of mystery and mayhem from the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit…England’s finest.
19 Bryant & May: Oranges & Lemons
When the Speaker of the House of Commons suffers a bizarre accident in the street, he leaves behind a clue involving oranges and lemons. The government needs to know if he was of unsound mind. If so, has he given away parliamentary secrets?
It should be the perfect case for Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit, but unfortunately one detective is in hospital, the other is missing and the staff have all been fired. As their long-suffering boss sets about reuniting the unit, a series of strange crimes threatens to undermine the very foundation of London.
If Bryant & May, ‘two old men in a woke world’, can set aside their differences and discover why some of London’s most influential figures are in danger they might do more than just save the unit – they could stop the entire city from descending into chaos.
The unit’s unconventional methodology is tested to destruction as the team races to prevent anarchy. All levels of society are increasingly under attack, and as Bryant causes chaos from Westminster to Wapping it appears that he has finally met his match – for his nemesis knows as much about the secret life of London as he does, and is planning a devastating finale…
20 Bryant & May: London Bridge Is Falling Down
The 20th Bryant & May book reveals the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s biggest secret and shows how it has repercussions in the present. When a 91 year-old lady, Florence Hoffman, wastes away from neglect in a flat on a busy London high street, the story is held up as a tragic example of what has gone wrong with society.
The detectives discover that she had been threatened and became too frightened to go out, but they’re in for a shock. Florence had once worked for the PCU, but there’s no-one left who can remember her – not even Arthur Bryant. She was party to a secret she shared with other women. When Bryant & May track down her friends they find a second elderly lady dead and a third in fear of her life.
The one thing that links them all is London’s oldest bridge. Clues point to a secret passing between the women for decades, something everyone has forgotten about. In a world of instant communication, how can there be no trace of it?
Their search takes them to Soho’s oldest haunts and through the forgotten alleyways in the City of London in a search for the truth. It will lead Bryant and May to a surprising final confrontation with the CIA in New York.
- Bryant & May’s Peculiar London
The nation’s oldest serving detectives have spent a lifetime investigating crimes in the murkiest corners of London. Who better to take you through the city’s less savoury side?
Bryant & May are going to show you a city of odd characters, lost venues, forgotten disasters, confusing travel routes, dubious gossip, illicit pleasures and hidden pubs. They’ll be making strange connections and showing you why it’s impossible to separate fact from fiction in London.
The detectives are joined by friends from across the capital. Some of them are the top experts in their field while others are incredibly unreliable. They’ll explain why some streets have genders, why only one pair of Londoners got to meet Dracula, why both a department store and a prison played tricks on your mind, how a theatre got stranded in the past, why a building didn’t exist when you could see it, what excited Charlotte Brontë about urban life and where the devils are hiding in London. Along the way they’ll bluff and bamboozle you, capturing the city’s restless spirit by wilfully wandering off course.
Be warned; if you join the old boys and their friends on this magical mystery tour, who knows where you’ll end up? After all, history is what you remember but London is what you forgot – and Mr Bryant has forgotten a lot.
London has always been the third character in the Bryant & May novels. Now the city takes centre stage in Bryant & May’s Peculiar London.