Shedding A Tear For Bryant & May

Bryant and May

Well, I just wrote the final page of ‘The Memory Of Blood’, Bryant & May’s ninth novel. In the last chapter I usually concentrate just on Bryant & May themselves, although I’ve been involving Raymond Land more lately. But it’s always a chance to say a few things I feel about them. It’s usually an elegiac moment that comes after a huge amount of plot information.

So I got to their final chapter this time and their little conversation in what is feeling increasingly like an extended farewell, and I got ridiculously choked up. It didn’t help that I was sitting here playing the soundtrack to the film ‘Evening’, which is incredibly sad. But for me, this is the key to the series – the unspoken bond that exists between these two characters who have known each other all their lives.

So I’m going to tell you now. There will be a tenth book – I’ve just signed the contract. It will be called ‘The Invisible Code’, and it may not get picked up in the UK. So far, ‘The Memory Of Blood’ has a US release, but not a UK one. That may well change, but it’s not a certainty. If I find that neither book gets put out in my native country, it will be a fairly clear indication that it’s time to call it a day.

Of course, if ‘The Invisible Code’ is the last book, it will be quite different in tone to the one I had planned. So I hope the decision will be made before I start it, as it will affect the outcome. Maybe I should hedge my bets and shove Bryant off the Reichenbach Falls just in case.

Meanwhile, Bryant & May’s own website is nearly finished, and you’ll be able to find all sorts of goodies on it. Details to follow…

31 comments on “Shedding A Tear For Bryant & May”

  1. Julian says:

    There is no justice in this world….if it doesn’t get a U.K. release. Just finished Victoria Vanishes..will have to ration the next few Bryant and May.

  2. J. Folgard says:

    I really hope both books will get a ‘proper’ UK release, because they’ll be easier & faster to get, and I prefer the UK trade dress.

  3. Steve says:

    Well, being in the USA, and a citizen hereof, I can only say I’m glad they’ll be here, silly artwork and all. It also pretty much guarantees a Kindle edition. I can’t begin to imagine that 10 will be the last. Apparently an author is without honor in his own home.


  4. Helen Martin says:

    Well, I for one order from Amazon.UK but I don’t know if that makes any difference at all.

  5. BangBang!! says:

    This is madness! I will also be getting them regardless. Oh blimey, don’t kill either of them off – that would actually really upset me. And I’m a proper bloke and everything!!

    You’re allowed to use ‘And’ at the start of a sentence these days aren’t you? Helen – help me out here!

  6. GumshoeDunn says:

    It’s true, also from the US, I find this news bittersweet. I’ve been collecting the so-called ‘silly artwork’ editions for years now. I will freely admit the British artwork is better, however, I only discovered Mr. Fowler because of the book covers over here. I literally did judge the book by its cover. Fortunately, I also judged it by its contents and have been reading them ever since.

    We’ll just have to find a way to make Bryant and May go viral in Europe. Suggestions?

  7. I.A.M. says:

    The covers which are belovèd by the habituées of this web-blog are thanks to one situation: the books being published by an English Publisher. The covers seemingly eschewed by many are due to the publishing of the books by an American Publisher.

    End result: the ninth and tenth books will display the ‘silly covers’, no matter from which variety of Amazon you may select.

    And any sentence which begins with a conjunction needs to be re-written so that it no longer does, as this demonstrates weak compositional skills. [glances back] …oh.

  8. Diogenes says:

    I just finished The Victoria Vanishes. I enjoyed it immensely but I was somewhat perturbed about the medical experiment described. Sarin is an organophosphate. It is not an infection and is not a toxin from a bacteria. You can’t be infected-inoculated with sarin so you cannot make a vaccine to it, although you can make an antidote.

  9. admin says:

    Thanks for the Sarin point – I tend not to worry too much about chemical/ medical details (although perhaps I should) on the principle that if I was writing SF and said the spaceship was power by nuclear ming-mongs you’d be OK with it.

  10. Steve says:

    I just happen to have a couple of spare nuclear ming-mongs in the storage shed. Should you need them to shoot B&M into space, let me know. I have plenty!

  11. Helen Martin says:

    The use of “and” in this form of writing is intended to connect your idea to the idea expressed in a previous entry, your own or someone else’s. Yes, it’s weak construction but it seems to be a modern shorthand form. I think “so” is used the same way. TMI
    People practice medicine and chemistry and a substance like sarin has known properties. Nuclear ming-mongs have only the qualities which you give them in spite of Steve’s storage shed. If I were to stumble over an incorrect piece of information it would mar at least that moment in my reading and even more if the book’s conclusion depended that “fact”. I was told yesterday about a novel written locally and set in Vancouver which gets streets wrong and restaurants placed in the wrong venue. It irritates, just as swapping the V&A for the British Museum would irk Admin.

  12. Roland Green says:

    Nooo. Just starrted reading these novels. Read a lot of the non B&M novels back in the noughties and am ecstatic about finding the B&M novels. Just finished Full Dark House and have ordered the next 7 novels. Starting The Water Room tonight! Will buy the 9th and 10th from the US if not available here. Keep on going!

  13. Steve says:

    Being a person who has spent a significant amount of time on the Rez (Indian reservation)and developed close personal relationships with quite a few Lakota (Sioux), I suppose I could find the “facts” about Native Americans by which many people swear – not to mention the entire concept of the “Noble Savage” which is still alive and well in Europe and the UK – incredibly irritating. But I don’t. I find it hilarious! Oh, and of course the mis-translations and sub-titles in movies like “Dances With Wolves”. Where else would you find “Go to sleep” being translated as “Quit fooling around”?

    But that’s just me, and I grant you I have a strange sense of humor. Still Helen, I do take your point. Really.

  14. Steve says:

    Chris? Have you changed your name to Admin?

  15. Steve says:

    Oops, I seem to have forgotten my “quote-itis”.

    That’s better.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    a 9th and 10th book..YIPPEE (as we say out West!)

  17. Diogenes says:

    One day when there are scholarly articles written about Bryant and May as if it was a biography, like the Sherlockians, there will be an ingenious explanation of the seemingly-contradictory description of the sarin experiments.

    I look forward to the Complete Annotated Bryant and May.

  18. GumshoeDunn says:

    I believe we don’t even have to wait that long, although I share your sentiment Diogenes, for didn’t Raymond Land chastise Arthur for mixing some facts around in his memoirs? I believe Mr. Fowler has already defended against all contingencies, they are just Arthur stretching the truth for entertainment.
    Now it would be funny, if Admin were to write a short introduction for the new book as to how he ‘acquired’ the text from Arthur, you know in some musty trunk in his attic or something. On a similar note, if you quit at book ten I’m going to be forced to start a fan fiction site where like minded individuals will make internet pastiches and then we are going to send them to you and beg you for the love of god to make us stop writing such drivel and give us another story!

    It’s not a half bad idea though, anyone want to start a fan fiction site? I guess that would be a little strange, I think they’re usually reserved for teens who want to see their favorite fictional characters hook-up. Hmmm On second thought…

  19. Diogenes says:


    Christopher has said there will be a B and M website up soon. I’m really looking forward to it. I bought the Complete Annotated Sherlock Holmes. I can’t get over how seriously they take it all as being a bio of Holmes.

  20. Andy says:

    If you want a book that deals with a fictional subject totally seriously, try and find a copy of “The Island of Sodor- It’s People, History and Railways” by Rev. William Awdry. This is the fictional island where all the Thomas the Tank Engine stories take place, but in the guide it could be mistaken for the real thing, just the odd mention of places “…where Thomas had problems with the troublesome trucks…” gives the game away.

  21. Helen Martin says:

    I will look for that book because there is a small boy in Toronto who is being fed Thomas the Tank material and this would be a great addition to the collection – in a couple of years.

  22. Chris Lancaster says:

    It’s great to hear that there will be one (or two) more B&M books, but it will be a massive shame if they don’t get a UK release. I haven’t read the blog in a few weeks so things may have changed, but when you mentioned a possible UK TV series for B&M, I was imagining great things for you off the back of that with regard to the books.

    Even if there’s no major publisher for the new book(s), it would be good if those nice people at PS picked them up, at the very least.

  23. Helen Martin says:

    Having checked Amazon in case there are reprints of The Island of Sodor but all I discovered was two copies in Canada for $470 and the same in Britain for 275 pounds. I don’t think our little Torontonian will get one this Christmas

  24. Mr Forgetful says:

    I have not one iota of understanding of the publishing industry (especially given that “difficulty publishing” and “Bryant and May” can appear in the same sentence), but would you ever consider self-publishing, say electronically through Amazon? It would be a terrible shame if the Bryant &May final two books were not easily available in the UK.

  25. Sabrina Fair says:

    Having just discovered Bryant & May in our local library (Dublin, Ireland), I certainly hope the two recent ones get picked up in the UK. Sure, I’d buy them from if they don’t – I have found them the most engaging crime fiction books I’ve read since Michael Innes and wouldn’t want to miss reading them; but our shelves are already creaking – hence recently joining the library.

  26. nigel ward says:

    What a piece of fate ,saw the victoria vanishes in our local library,and could not believe it was the person we lived opposite in greenwich .Needed a good read ,victoria vanishes will not be the last I read of this series .Nigel Ward (milford Haven)

  27. admin says:

    I often wondered what happened to the Ward family – how is Pauline?

  28. Agatha Hamilton says:

    Can hardly believe that ‘The Memory of Blood’ or ‘The Invisible Code’ will not get a UK release – but please, as long as we can get them from the US that’s something and you must keep going – do not stop writing about Bryant and May. I love them, particularly Arthur and his enthusiasms, but he is well balanced by the cooler and more opaque John. I also love the way you weave in the history and psychogeography of London, pubs, undergound rivers, the Tube, etc. I can only repeat – do not give up on B and M!

  29. Patty Gale says:

    When will Memory of Blood hit the shelves in the U.S.? I’ve just finished the other eight, and I’m addicted. I can’t help but think that Mr. Bryant would fall in love with me if only we could meet!

  30. admin says:

    I’m not sure when it will hit the shelves, but as soon as I know, you’ll know…

  31. Matt says:

    Who do we need to email to get a UK release!

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