Thursday, April 05, 2012

What is Christopher Fowler reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Christopher Fowler, author of The Memory of Blood and previous Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries.

His entry begins:
Elizabeth Jenkins. She established her reputation as a biographer, producing volumes on Jane Austen, Henry Fielding, Lady Caroline Lamb and a pioneering work on Elizabeth I, but a fascination with a certain kind of suburban cruelty drew her to darker reaches, and her best novels reflect peculiarly English crimes. Harriet (1934) was based on the true account of a ‘natural’ – a Victorian term for someone of subnormal intelligence - who was systematically starved to death in 1877 by venal relatives chasing her inheritance. The book is exact and excruciating in its unsentimental detail, and...[read on]
About The Memory of Blood, from the publisher:
Christopher Fowler’s acclaimed Peculiar Crimes Unit novels crackle with sly wit, lively suspense, and twists as chilling as London’s fog. Now the indomitable duo of Arthur Bryant and John May, along with the rest of their quirky team, return to solve a confounding case with dark ties to the British theater and a killer who may mean curtains for all involved.

For the crew of the New Strand Theatre, the play The Two Murderers seems less performance than prophecy when a cast party ends in the shocking death of the theater owner’s son. The crime scene is most unusual, even for Bryant and May. In a locked bedroom without any trace of fingerprints or blood, the only sign of disturbance is a gruesome life-size puppet of Mr. Punch laying on the floor. Everyone at the party is a suspect, including the corrupt producer, the rakish male lead, the dour set designer, and the assistant stage manager, who is the wild daughter of a prominent government official.

It’s this last fact that threatens the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s investigation, as the government’s Home Office, wary of the team’s eccentric methods, seeks to throw them off the case. But the nimble minds of Bryant and May are not so easily deterred. Delving into the history of the London theater and the disturbing origins of Punch and Judy, the detectives race to find the maniacal killer before he reaches his even deadlier final act.

Whip-smart and endlessly entertaining, The Memory of Blood is an ingeniously intricate mystery from the deliciously inventive Christopher Fowler.
Learn more about the book and author at Christopher Fowler's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Victoria Vanishes (Peculiar Crimes Unit Series #6).

Writers Read: Christopher Fowler.

--Marshal Zeringue