Bryant & May: Heading Into Trouble

Bryant and May

It’s about time we had an update. So, Bryant & May Vol 16, ‘Hall of Mirrors’, is still in hardback, and the first LK Fox novel, ‘Little Boy Found’, is still an e-book. I’ve just finished touring the hardback of ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ and will shortly be working on the paperback release.

As for books to come, I’m working on two new novels; a new stand-alone thriller and a very peculiar British epic (it being the only genre I’ve missed so far apart from chick-fic – do they still say that?).

Meanwhile, there are still two new Bryant & May books owed to Penguin/ Doubleday/ Transworld. The first will be ‘The Lonely Hour’, and will be a return to the present day after the sixties shenanigans of ‘Hall of Mirrors’.

The inspiration for this is from something I’ve noticed about the current crop of mystery novels – they’re retreating into the past. There aren’t so many present day city crime novels around now. I enjoy Mick Herron, Val McDermid and Lee Child, I struggle a little bit with rural novels because they’re not my world, but I’m surprised no-one is really diving into the urban hell of London – or perhaps they are and I’ve missed them. Recommendations please!

So ‘The Lonely Hour’ looks at urban isolation, in which Bryant & May get a crash course when they temporarily switch the Peculiar Crimes Unit to night shifts. The tone is darker than normal, but of course there’s some humour too. Oh, and bats.

Following that will be ‘England’s Finest’. The first collection of Bryant & May cases, ‘London’s Glory’, sold so well that I’ve been asked to do another one. Both titles are taken from old Bryant & May matchbox labels. There’s a good chance we’ll follow the US pattern and release a Bryant & May story from the book as a Christmas e-single first.

But it won’t all happen if I don’t stop blogging and start writing!

22 comments on “Bryant & May: Heading Into Trouble”

  1. SteveB says:

    Try Joseph Knox, Sirens – Manchester not London, but I think will tick your urban crime hell box. I just finished it and its sequel.

  2. Wild Edric says:

    I seem to remember a fantasy novel being mentioned a while ago?

  3. Martin Tolley says:

    I think the term is chic lit. Northamptonshire libraries has it as a classification for ebooks, and includes Virginia Wolff as one of the authors!

  4. Jo W says:

    Thanks,Chris,you are giving us much to look forward to- so stop blogging so often and get on with the new books! 😉
    P.S. Don’t forget to make time for fun and rest those minces occasionally.

  5. admin says:

    Thanks Jo. It’s raining in Barcelona this morning, so I’m hunkered down with my laptop working on the 2nd draft…

  6. Denise Treadwell says:

    If it wasn’t raining, what would you be doing?

  7. J. Folgard says:

    I’ll second Sirens, I’ve just read it two days ago but I’ll definitely come back for the sequel. I also enjoy Oliver Harris’ Nick Belsey novels, beginning with the Hollow Man, for the seamy and morally bankrupt Hampstead they depict -plus, seeing his protagonist getting away with the most preposterous lies and various offences is a joy!

  8. Eliz Amber says:

    My first choice is a modern-day mystery set in London, and I’ve more or less exhausted the selection available. Of course, it’s helpful when you have some idea of where things are – I read a book set in New York, and I simply have no concept of where Central Park is in reference to to Queens. With London, I know exactly what Green Park looks like because I’ve been there.

    I’ve enjoyed JK Rowling’s mysteries quite a bit, as well as Deborah Crombie’s Gemma and Kincaid series. (Crombie is American, but she’s got a decent ‘Brit picker’ to go over her work.) In the end, it starts with the characters – John and Arthur have become quite dear to me, but the rest of the crew, including many who feature only in cameo appearances, could easily carry their own books.

  9. Mike says:

    Try AA Dhand’s Bradford books, two published, third out soon. Not London, but Urban gritty.

  10. Denise Treadwell says:

    Hellen, upon reflection, he could have meant, ” food for the eyes “. It was a bad translation. mmm

  11. Greg Delaney says:

    An offbeat collection of books set in London is Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series. They are different and entertaining. Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth series is also very appealing. Both sets of books are different from the norm and bothe sets are great reads.

  12. Ian Luck says:

    Greg Delaney – I love both series you mention, and to those, I’ll add the following:

    The Vinyl Detective series, by Andrew Cartmel;
    The County Guides, by Ian Sansom;
    The Babylon Berlin series, by Volker Kutscher,
    And any of the series of books by Boris Akunin – the sequence begins with ‘The Winter Queen’.
    I’m very partial to Kim Newman’s ‘Anno Dracula’ sequence, too. Brilliantly written, barking mad, and great fun spotting the literary and movie ‘Easter eggs’ (which can be blamed on the graphic novels featuring ‘The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’ Neill – every frame a joy.)

  13. Mike says:

    Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series are great fun.

  14. Ian Luck says:

    Mike – Damn! I quite forgot about him!

  15. Mike says:

    I even enjoyed both tv series Ian, found them very true to the spirit of the books. Not often I praise the idiot box.

  16. Helen Martin says:

    I’ve just started a Montalbano story and think it’s going to be pretty good, if strange. When I started reading Bryant and May I told my son that I was google earthing the places. He said to never mind that, just enjoy the story. He’s right in many ways. I don’t know New York even a little but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a mystery set there. It would only be a problem if the setting was the main element in the book.
    I wonder if people are leery about writing modern city stuff because things change almost from day to day and they’re afraid of sounding dated to say nothing of having moved away from the area they know best. The place I can most easily evoke is the area in which I grew up which is not city at all or the area in which I’ve lived for over 40 years now which is suburban. If you write about suburban there tends to be a sense of whatness and self examination which doesn’t yield straightforward mysteries.

  17. admin says:

    Cheers, all – there’s my book budget gone!

  18. Jan says:

    Thing being with the B+M books Helen the locations are important they are more than convenient settings, more than just a back drop. In a sense they are telling you a different story or the same story at a different level.

  19. Helen Martin says:

    That is true, Jan, and I’ve gone back and googled the places in several of them, although sometimes all that’s needed is a map. Reading them through first just for the “story” (that sounds like an insult but isn’t intended as one) is fun and then you can detail search afterward.
    It’s only once you’ve done that that you can appreciate someone “running down to London” from Oxford, say. Distance is a moveable feast and can be measured in mileage or time.

  20. Peter Lee says:

    Further to the recommendations for “Sirens” by Joseph Knox, I’d like to add that I really didn’t enjoy that one at all. However, his second novel “The Smiling Man” is an absolute cracker, and is far, far better in my opinion.

  21. Jo Mcintosh says:

    Having recently finished Hall of Mirrors and being impatient for the next Bryant & May novel I have gone back to the beginning and am re-reading Full Dark House.

  22. Ian Luck says:

    Jan – not connected with this post, but answering a query of yours: the Fleet Air Arm Memorial is on the river side of the Ministry Of Defence building. It represents Daedalus, but looks like a huge black winged daemon with empty eye-sockets. I love it, but find it tremendously sinister. Now back to our advertised programme.

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