The Victoria Vanishes
A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery
By Christopher Fowler
(Bantam, Hardcover, 9780553805024, 336pp.)
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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It’s a case tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs—including one torn down eighty years ago. What’s more, Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Indeed, this case is littered with clues that defy everything the veteran detectives know about the habits of serial killers, the methodology of crime, and the odds of making an arrest. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the PCU down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion in defense of two great English traditions—the pub and the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
That’s easier said than done. A lost funeral urn, the eighteenth-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, the Knights Templars, the secret history of pubs, and the discovery of an astounding religious relic may be enough to convince one of the pair to take back his resignation letter. But with Bryant consulting a memory specialist and May encountering a brush with mortality, do the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s two living legends have enough life left to stop a murderous conspiracy…and a deadly cupid targeting one of their own.
Chrisopher Fowler is the acclaimed author of fifteen previous novels, including the award-winning Full Dark House, and four other Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries, White Corridor, The Water Room, Seventy-Seven Clocks, and Ten Second Staircase. He lives in London.
“How many locked-room puzzles can Bryant and May unlock before their Peculiar Crimes Unit is disbanded? Many more, one hopes!” —Kirkus Reviews
“The team's heart and soul are its elderly lead detectives, John May and Arthur Bryant. Bryant is especially endearing cranky, absent-minded, brilliant and stuffed with obscure information about London.”—Seattle Times