Bryant & May's Hidden Cases

Christopher Fowler
P.C.U Logo Remembering those Sherlock Holmes stories where Holmes enigmatically refers to an untold case as 'that scandal of the Bohemian pilchard snatching' and moves on to the investigation at hand, I started smuggling references of missing cases into the Bryant & May novels at a very early stage. The Leicester Square Vampire was suitably sorted out (in a tale that explained Janice Longbright's relationship with her mother) in an early Bryant & May novel, but the rest of the hidden crimes remained unexplained - until now, because I'm preparing a book that breaks open the files on those cases yet untold. The Belles of Westminster, the Deptford Demon, the Odeon Strangler and the Chamber Of Horrors Maniac (not to mention the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling scandal!) will hopefully all get their say, along with a host of other tales from the old chaps' mutual past. I always loved books of short stories that explored other aspects of familiar characters. I have Adrian Conan Doyle's volume of Sherlock's mentioned investigations, which he wrote with John Dickson Carr (Carr did most of the heavy lifting for those tales) and the two volumes of 'The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes', which were made into a TV series in 1971. I should be able to announce more long-term plans soon (I'm working on a whole raft of novels, short stories and er, other stuff, in case you think I just swan around the world all the time unaware of my obligations). Having missed my slot in the early death stakes, I'll just have to soldier on and earn respect from the 'Amazed He's Still Around and Working' critics. So - new Bryant & May Hidden Mysteries book - you have been warned!


Ralph Williams (not verified) Tue, 09/09/2014 - 14:20

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I always wondered if all of the "new" Sherlock Holmes books were based on research that including "Sherlock Holmes" in the title of a novel doubled the sales?

I also enjoyed the Doyle & Carr's "Exploits of Sherlock Holmes" (and many of the Solar Pons stories) but the more recent ones are a mixed bag, often because I get the feeling the author is trying to fit the Sherlock name to their own story (often relocating him to the US) rather than being in love with the style and feel of the Conan Doyle originals.

My personal favourite for making something of one of Conan Doyle's missing cases was "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" by Rick Boyer, and, tangentially, the Doctor Who story "Talons of Weng Chiang", although the Giant Rat looked very suspicious!

pheeny (not verified) Tue, 09/09/2014 - 20:45

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Sounds fabulous!

Very much looking forward to hearing more

agatha hamilton (not verified) Tue, 09/09/2014 - 22:18

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Yes, I think we all love these hidden mysteries. Really look forward to new B and M along these lines.

Brooke Lynne (not verified) Tue, 09/09/2014 - 22:20

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The titles alone make it worth the wait for these untold case histories. I hope the first one is The Little Italy Whelk Smuggling scandal. As Sherlock Holmes said of one his untold cases, "That one is a little bit recherche.`"

Jo W (not verified) Wed, 10/09/2014 - 05:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Something to look forward to indeed! Bring on the Deptford Demon!:-)

K Page (not verified) Wed, 10/09/2014 - 12:08

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The collection 'Shadows over Baker Street' is an interesting combination of Conan Doyle and H P Lovecraft

Colin Stanton (not verified) Wed, 10/09/2014 - 15:57

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My Mum won the competition a few years back with 'The belles of Westminster' case, she will be thrilled a story will be wrote about it!

snowy (not verified) Wed, 10/09/2014 - 23:23

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Picking up from 'Shadows over Baker Street', there is a collection of stories in 'Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the DUrbervilles' by Kim Newman.

Rather than suffer my explanation, here are a couple of quotes from proper reviewers.

"It's witty, often hilarious stuff. The author portrays the scurrilous flipside of Holmes's civil ordered world, pokes fun at "guest stars" from contemporary novels and ventures into more outre territory than Conan Doyle even dared." --Financial Times

"Kim Newman has done something really audacious with Conan Doyle's criminal genius... The notion of reinventing Moriarty and Moran as malign dopplegangers of Holmes and Watson may have been done before, but not with the firecracker exuberance that Newman brings to it." --Independent

One of the tales, "A Shambles In Belgravia" can be read for free on the BBC website.

[While you are there you could click the link to the tale of "The Lady Downstairs" written by somebody calling themselves 'Christopher Fowler'.]

Alan Morgan (not verified) Thu, 11/09/2014 - 05:43

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Limehouse Ratboy please, Mr F :-)

Made my day seeing that.

Peter Lee (not verified) Thu, 11/09/2014 - 11:22

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Hoping that the "raft of novels" includes more B&M...

Helen Valentine (not verified) Fri, 12/09/2014 - 04:29

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Can't wait to read about all these cases with tantalising names!!