Merry Christmas From Bryant & May!

Bryant and May

Merry PCU Xmas!

‘You should just think of it as a day off,’ said Alma Sorrowbridge. ‘Relax, have a glass of sherry, eat some mince pies and watch Bruce Forsyth.’

‘As it seems the entire country has been doing since the old king died,’ complained Bryant, pulling his ratty maroon dressing gown around him and sinking further into his armchair. ‘It’s not like this on the continent. They don’t spend the day wearing paper hats and moaning about pine needles. All the cafes are open, everyone’s laughing and drinking champagne. I’m stuck indoors stuffing myself with nuts and trying to make head or tail of the Dr Who special.’

‘My friends from the church will be over later,’ said Alma, unwrapping a chocolate orange.

‘Oh, wonderful. A bunch of old dears shoveling in Christmas cake and caterwauling their way through Silent Night. No thank you. I bet John’s not stuck at home, he’ll be at a glamorous party full of starlets somewhere.’

‘Why don’t you call him?’ Alma suggested.

‘What, and make him think I’m bored? He wouldn’t want to see me,’ sniffed Bryant, ‘not when he can be out having fun. What would I say, come over and have some of Alma’s famous elasticated turkey gravy, we can watch the rerun of the Queen’s speech together?’

‘Very well,’ said Alma, heading for the kitchen. Her lodger was an unpleasant old man at the best of times but he was always at his worst over Christmas. She closed the kitchen door and picked up the phone.

John May sat in his bare white apartment in Shad Thames and looked out at the empty river. He had hoped that his son and daughter might call from Canada, but the phone had remained silent all morning. There were two Christmas cards on his mantelpiece, and one of those was from BMW reminding him about his MOT. He was wearing his best suit, polished shoes and a tie. He had never known how to relax. This is what happens when you get older, he thought gloomily, your friends all die or move somewhere horrible. Arthur’s probably snuggled down beside a roaring fire, Alma cooking, the Christmas tree twinkling.

When the phone rang he assumed it was a wrong number.

‘If that’s carol singers throw a bucket of water over them,’ called Bryant as Alma went to answer the door.

‘Surprise,’ said John May. ‘Happy Christmas.’ He held out a brown cardboard box. ‘I didn’t have time to wrap it.’

‘Well, isn’t this nice, you just turning up like this,’ said Alma, watching her flatmate for a reaction.

‘She called you, didn’t she?’ Bryant accepted the box as May seated himself beside the fire. ‘She’ll wheel in half a ton of Christmas cake now. What’s this?’

‘The private notes on the Dagenham trunk murder,’ said May with pride. ‘It was never solved.’

‘I’ve got something for you,’ said Bryant, reaching into his armchair. ‘The witness reports for the Shepherd’s Bush blowtorch killings. Clear a space on the table.’ He rubbed his hands together with ill-disguised glee. ‘Maybe Christmas won’t be so bad after all. I feel a mince pie coming on.’



34 comments on “Merry Christmas From Bryant & May!”

  1. Jeanette says:

    Merry Christmas Christopher. Merry Christmas to all Bryant and May characters and us Bryant and May readers. I will be waking on christmas morning to the London’s Glory book.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    Merry and/or Happy Christmas to all who frequent this place but especially to Admin and his partner. No grumbling about seasonal events or weather just a happy time with relatives and friends. A very happy Christmas to the poster who was married today(?) at the registry office with the reception preceding the wedding.

  3. Mike Brough says:

    I know the feeling. I had a couple of days off last week and couldn’t settle down to relaxing, either. Actually looked forward to getting back to work and some knotty problems to solve.

    Is this a sign that you’re worried that useful time is running out?

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Went back to check. It is Alan M who was married today – as Snowy pointed out in the previous entry.

  5. Rh says:

    ‘Marley was dead’ … A great beginning for a murder mystery but even better as a Christmas story! Happy Christmas to all!

  6. Vincent C says:

    Merry Christmas to all.

  7. Gareth says:

    Thank you. Merry Christmas, Christopher!


    Hi Chris,
    You and Pete have a great Christmas,
    Cool card by the way thank you.


  9. davem says:

    Happy Christmas Christopher – thanks for giving us so much joy in reading.

    Having said that, any dates for a new B&M graphic novel?

  10. Chris Hughes says:

    Compliments of the season and a happy and peaceful New Year to all.

  11. Ruth says:

    Thank-you for all your posts throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you and yours and all contributers here x

  12. Helen Martin says:

    We’ve reached the solstice so it’s all uphill from here! Let the feasting begin!

  13. agatha hamilton says:

    Happy Christmas everyone, and thank you Christopher for all your posts – and books. Love them.

  14. Stephen says:

    Merry Christmas Chris.

  15. Helen T says:

    Merry Christmas Christopher. Thank you for Bryant and May. They are a joy.

  16. admin says:

    Thanks, Regulars, and to Newbies, please don’t be too shy to jump in – we’re a friendly bunch here, prepared to talk about any topic under the sun. I’m a very lucky author!

  17. Jackie Hayles says:

    Your books have brightened up a lot of my days over the past year. Thank you – when I am reading one of them, there is always something special to look forward to, and I can never wait to get back to them … then I curse myself for finishing them so quickly.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 to you and everyone here.

  18. JF says:

    Happiness for a teacher is having winter break start and having The Burning Man in hand! Thank you Mr Fowler for creating such a whimsical reality with the Peculiar Crimes Unit! Happy holidays and a catnip mouse for Crippen!

  19. Peter says:

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you for the special Christmas Bryant and May! It was a real treat!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  20. Terenzio says:

    Yes, and we are lucky you decided to create two such memorable characters along with some wonderful adventures for them and us to enjoy. Hope you picked up a few lovely ornaments for the tree in Strasbourg. In the November issue of France (the magazine) there was a brief paragraph on Strasbourg (one of the three best Christmas markets, the other two being Colmar and Mulhouse). Joyeuses fêtes and Bonne Année 2016 to all!

    À bientôt…occasional poster….and the one in the gorgeous purple dressing gown and cutsie wolfie sleepers (a Christmas gift from last year)…not as elegant as my last pair of sleepers and probably they don’t go with the dressing gown, but so adorable you can’t help to love them.

  21. Adam says:

    Merry Christmas, peace and goodwill to all!

  22. Ed says:

    Thank you Chris. It was this year that I discovered Bryant and May and the PCU. What a treat. Thank you for q wonderful entertaining year. May I wish you and yours the happiest of Christmases.
    PS and a a special Happy New Year to one your most creative characters and my favorite…Janice Longbright

  23. Chris N says:

    Just finished The Burning Man, and I’m already having withdrawal symptoms, so the above Bryant & May Christmas was most welcome!

    My wife now gets the thrill of starting the book 🙂

    I think I’ll have a mince pie.

    All the best of the season to you Christopher and your family, from another Chris.

  24. MI says:

    Merry Christmas to all, from a newbie here! Just wrapped London’s Glory and now starting Burning Man, for which I’d been waiting a long time (or so it felt!). Thank you, Christopher, for your brilliant books.

  25. Jo W says:

    Happy Christmas and New Year to you,Chris and Peter! Enjoy yourselves, then get back to the keyboard! I’ve finished Sandmen and then devoured London’s Glory in two days, about to start on Roofworld (finally tracked down a copy). Due to meeting ‘a man after my own kidney ‘and losing same, I have a lot of recuperation time to fill. For every minus there’s a plus! Happy holidays to all my fellow posters (except Bill,who is still being prosecuted.) 😉 Cheers all!

  26. m says:

    Merry Christmas to all. Just finished London’s Glory and it was fantastic.

  27. snowy says:

    “Bill Stickers is Innocent!”

    Bah, Humbug! Merry Xmas* you lot.

    [* Other festivals, not involving ‘magic sky babies’ are available.]

  28. John Griffin says:

    Merry Xmas and thank you Chris for giving an old Holmesian some new heroes.

  29. Helen Martin says:

    I’m such a literalist that I have to ask: Jo, have you really donated a kidney? If so, bully for you and best wishes for your recovery.

  30. Jo W says:

    To Helen Martin- Hi! No,there was something wrong with it, so it had to go! Thanks for asking and I hope you and yours have a great 2016 🙂

  31. Helen Martin says:

    Jo W – I don’t know whether to be relieved or not, but here’s to recuperation any way, and a healthy 2016.

  32. Lauri the gypsy says:

    I was just feeling sorry for myself that there wasn’t an unread Bryant and May to be read when I came across this. Time to start rereading in order.

  33. Linwood Hines says:

    Mr. Fowler, et al. Thanks to that “reading-drug” dealer, Otto P., and his nefarious minions, I’ve discovered Bryant & May – after reading one of the stories somewhere in one of O.P.’s volumes (sold cheap – meant to get the reader hooked on one or another of the authors’ characters – in order to sell high priced books when a fix is needed) – why couldn’t I be satisfied with Holmes and Watson….

    Needless to say I thouroughly enjoyed London’s Glory, and now want more! The gift to myself was started on Christmas night, with a proper pipe and some well aged tobacco (thank you for Bryant’s pipe smoking – it’s only quite right), and now will search out the others, tho’ I probably can’t wait until next Christmas. BTW should you ever want to have B&M on a case revolving around London’s (and mother England’s) vast and glorious pipe and pipe tobacco history and trade, I would be happy to direct you to particulars. Happy new year to you and your readers!

  34. mike pitcher says:

    looking forward to Strange Tides, having devoured everything Bryant and May available ,have now decided timothy spall for the part of Bryant[ still ruminating over the May part. Happy New Year to admin and all his .slavish devotees.

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