Punch and Judy. Madame Blavatsky. Memoirs. Madame Tussaud. A Play. Role Models. The Grand Guignol. Automaton.
The Peculiar Crime Unit novels by Christopher Fowler always make me smile. The recently released, The Memory of Blood is no exception. While fans will enjoy the return of Bryant and May, even those new to the series can enjoy the story. It is a delightful who-done-it with a splash of the arcane. Alas, this particular story has no underground London scenes or corrupting of youth.
Briefly, the major plotline involves people associated with a mystery play. During a cast party, someone is murdered. The chief suspect is the puppet Punch. More deaths follow. Again, the Peculiar Crime Unit’s fate rides on the success of the case. The minor plotline involves the death of Bryant’s editor. Is it natural causes, a local delinquent, or something more sinister? Bryant is definitely center stage for most of the novel. Janice Longbright shows why she is the heart of the PCU. Land faces the truth about his relationship with his wife. Alas, Crisppin make only a token appearance. By the end of the novel, the PCU begins to discover why Oscar has been trying to shut them down.
I love this series. It is a perfect match to my personality. I enjoy all of Bryant’s odd meanderings. The novel has a nice touch of heart. Like the earlier novels, I learned something new.