Back To Work! Here’s What’s Coming Up…


First, a few details about the book which is landing here in just three weeks’ time…

The Lonely Hour‘ is the biggest Bryant & May novel yet, and sees the detectives back in the present day after the sixties romp of ‘Hall of Mirrors’. In fact it picks up right where Wild Chamber ended, with the unit back up to full strength and new challenges ahead, although you don’t need to have read a word of the series before to appreciate the new story.

I have a few extra copies of both the paperback of ‘Hall of Mirrors’ and the hardback of ‘The Lonely Hour’, and will be awarding them at the launch to some of the punters who turn up at Waterstones Covent Garden looking for a warm radiator and a cup of tea. I’ll also have a competition on the site this week for a signed and dated first edition of ‘The Lonely Hour’ plus the paperback of ‘Hall of Mirrors’.

I don’t appear to have been invited to Harrogate Crime this year, but I’ll be in Glasgow at Aye Write! in two weeks. They have a great line-up. Competition in the book world is fierce and I often feel I am lucky to be published at all, but this, as my mate Joanne Harris says, is exactly what how they want us to feel. Vocational careers are traded against regular jobs – in short, we are paid less for enjoying our work more.

It doesn’t stop us from writing, but it turns writing back into something of a Victorian leisure activity for the upper classes, and we’re not seeing anything like the number of working class writers coming through the system that we had in the sixties and seventies, which is a terrible tragedy. Literacy and the pleasure derived from it is a gift that should be granted freely to all.

Very shortly I’ll be trying to find a buyer for my compendium of short stories, currently entitled ‘Kinder to be Cruel: Complete Short Stories 1985-2019’. If there are no takers I’ll raise the money on a crowdfunding site.

You may recall the publishing disaster that was my first thriller, ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You’ AKA ‘Little Boy Found‘ (author identity changed, paperback version binned). I had planned a sequel, for which the outline was rewritten eleven times and grisly scenes were removed at the editor’s request before she suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. But, foolishly, I have not given up on the genre and have now very nearly finished my new stand-alone thriller, which will be called ‘Summer Dies‘.

And in October watch out for ‘Bryant & May: England’s Finest‘, for which there is now jacket copy, viz.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit has solved many extraordinary cases over the years, but some were hushed up and hidden away until now. Arthur Bryant remembers these lost cases as if they were yesterday. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember yesterday, so the newly revealed facts could come as a surprise to everyone, including his exasperated partner John May.

Here, then, is the truth about the Covent Garden opera diva and the seventh reindeer, the body that falls from the Tate Gallery, the ordinary London street corner where strange accidents keep occurring, the consul’s son discovered buried in the unit’s basement, the corpse pulled from a swamp of Chinese dinners, a Hallowe’en crime in the Post Office Tower, and the impossible death that’s the fault of a forgotten London legend. All of the unit’s oddest characters are here, plus the detectives’ long-suffering sergeant Janice Longbright gets to reveal her own forgotten mystery.

These twelve crimes must be solved without the help of modern technology, mainly because nobody knows how to use it. Expect misunderstood clues, lost evidence, arguments about Dickens, churches, pubs and disorderly conduct from the investigative officers they laughingly call ‘England’s Finest’!


21 comments on “Back To Work! Here’s What’s Coming Up…”

  1. Tracey Abbott says:

    Very excited to be coming to waterstones to see/hear Mr Fowler

  2. Diane Englot says:

    Oh it all sounds THRILLING!!

  3. Clark Whyte says:

    See you in Glasgow – yay

  4. Michael warden says:

    I have finished reading Hall of mirrors and actually I think its one of the best of Bryant and May books to date I realy enjoyed it, it filled some of the gaps .I think I have read most of them ,
    Sorry Chris but you would not have earned any royalties from me as I get my copies from the local Library . However I do not feel to bad as I`m helping to keep our library open , they are closing faster than pubs .

  5. Jo W says:

    We’re looking forward to seeing you at Waterstones,Chris, so we hope that you don’t get floored by another nasty piece of fish before then. 😉

  6. Kris says:

    Can’t wait! But I’m going to have to reread all of them first so I can remember who did what and when and how and where 🙂

  7. Richard Burton says:

    The Lonely Hour cover art is gorgeous, and the colours are great.
    I generally select new authors based on covers rather than any intellectual approach. Is this normal, or really shallow? If it is normal then we should all go around bookshops turning the B&Ms to face front to aid new sales.
    I’ve got a writing query I’d like to float out of context to all and sundry. Do really ridiculous, impossible events work as dramatic finales in books? Never-gonna-happen things like the helicopter chasing the Eurostar down the tunnel in the IM movie. Or are they annoying?

  8. Roger says:

    “Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember yesterday”
    Nor can I. I can remember what I read yesterday, but that’s a different thing. I’ll try to get there if I can remember tomorrow.
    Do you still want for Nobody Wanted Wolves?

  9. Roger says:

    Do you still want for Nobody Ordered Wolves?

    See what I mean?

  10. admin says:

    Yes, Roger, I still want Nobody Ordered Wolves! I bid (bad? Bade? Bidded?) for it on eBay and was pipped at the last second by someone. I’m rubbish on eBay.

    And Richard, your question answered in an upcoming column…

  11. Matt says:

    I love these entries on your blog it really makes me feel like a friend that is sitting by the fireside having a chat and finding out what other pals are up to..

    I’m so excited to know there is lots of stuff coming. I enjoyed Little Boy Found BTW.

  12. davem says:

    Looking forward to receiving ‘The Lonely Hour’ on 21 March.

    Not that I can afford it, but how much would you require a buyer to pay for ‘Kinder to be Cruel: Complete Short Stories 1985-2019’?

    If to doesn’t work out, I will certainly support the crowdfunding.

  13. Martin Tolley says:

    Matt and Mr F. – Ditto re Little Boy Found. I enjoyed it and thought it made a change from the formulaic “psychological” thriller which these days seem to be just about serial killers; usually performing acts of violence on hapless women.

  14. Porl says:

    I cant believe Im missing the launch ;-( or that youre not coming to Harrogate, now that I work here!!!

  15. Wayne Mook says:

    All looks good.

    So when you be having a crack at a London Historical Saga?


  16. Mark Whitaker says:

    I have the complete series of Bryant &May in paperback, but I have ordered The Lonely Hour in hardback as I just couldn’t wait for the paperback!
    However, this does mean I will also have to buy the paperback when released, as my slight OCD would hate my bookcase to look out of sorts!!

  17. Jeanette says:

    Richard Burton my first B & M book was’Off The Rails’. I walked into the library to to choose a book,and there sitting on a table were some books recommended by the librarians and the cover of ‘Off the rails’ was enough to grab my attention.

    Now the proud owner of B & M books since book 9.

    Loving the cover of The Lonely Hour.

  18. Richard Burton says:

    Jeanette – you’re right, the B&M covers do raise the books from those around them! I think my first was The Memory of Blood which I thought looked like a seaside holiday in hell!

  19. snowy says:

    Richard, I do have something to say, [probably much, too much] about your writing question. But I’m holding back until the column arrives. [Just in case you thought it was going unnoticed.]

  20. Glasgow1975 says:

    Yay for Aye Write! I shall drag my carcass out from under my two cats and forgo my much needed beauty sleep lie in specially!

  21. Would love to come and say hello on Thursday but working, sadly. However, the book should arrive that day, so will rush home and get started. Good luck Chris!

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