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Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood (Bryant & May #9)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,055 ratings  ·  172 reviews
On a rainswept London night, the wealthy unscrupulous Robert Kramer hosts a party in his penthouse just off Trafalgar Square. But something is wrong. The atmosphere is uncomfortable, the guests are on edge. And when Kramer's new young wife goes to check on their baby boy, she finds the nursery door locked from the inside.

Breaking in, the Kramers are faced with an open wind
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published 2011 by Doubleday
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The Ghost Map by Steven JohnsonThe Water Room by Christopher FowlerRivers of London by Ben AaronovitchThe Victoria Vanishes by Christopher FowlerLondon Urban Legends by Scott Wood
Legends & Folklore of London
7th out of 106 books — 10 voters
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin CotterillThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Widows of Broome by Arthur W. UpfieldThe Case of the Wayward Fae by H.L.  StephensReprobate by Martyn V. Halm
Mysteries of a Foreign Nature
38th out of 60 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,103)
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This may be my favorite of the Peculiar Crime Unit series books yet. A locked room crime. The London theater world and the ultra rich. A gorey and sex filled play. Oh so many things to consider. Once again Arthur Bryant and John May lead their cohorts into a battle of sorts to find a killer. And now they are operating in high social circles which might impede an investigation.

There were areas of London society where even the law
was powerless. The gap between rich and poor was not just
one of w
Review fro Badelynge.
Christopher Fowler's wonderful creations, elderly detectives Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit are called in to investigate the brutal killing of a young baby taken from its cot in a locked room, shaken to death and callously thrown out the window. And on the floor next to the cot lies a life size Mr Punch doll. As ever Bryant dives into the esoteric aspects of the case while May employs solid police work. The book kicks off with some documents detailing the histor
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ehhhhhhhhh, it was cute but ... i think what happens with some of these series mysteries is that once you get past the initial surprise and delight of the funny characters and situations they start to feel empty. I felt that way with the fourth Flavia De Luce and I've felt that way with the past couple Bryant and Mays. And there used to be more character development in the early books, this one is just kind of a silly plot with nothing much else.
First Sentence: The following undated document appeared on Wikileaks and is now the subject of a government investigation.

During the cast party, someone has murdered the theater owner’s infant son. The bedroom is locked from the inside and neither blood nor fingerprints are found; only the life-sized puppet of Mr. Punch, lying on the floor.

A cast of characters is always helpful, but usually not very inventive. From Page One, it is clear this will not be your usual read with your usual character
Stuart Nager
This is the first book I've read in the series (#8), and I enjoyed it enough to now go and start from the beginning.

Two seemingly doddering detectives in London head up the PCU (peculiar crimes unit): Bryant (a real eccentric) and May. This murder mystery is set in the world of London Theater and puppetry, two things that I'm very interested in, so that is what interested me in the first place.

There are enough twists and turns, and non-linear thinking, leading to the end, that it kept me engro
I enjoyed this mystery, felt it was one of the better ones, EXCEPT for a baby getting killed. I found that very disturbing, thus the lack of more stars.

I enjoyed the history behind the Punch and Judy and the history of London Theater.Madame Blavatsky was a hoot. My favorite quote in the book was one of her fortunes: Nobody Does Yoga in Wales.

There was also another murder not really relating to the case. It is a definitely to be continued thread.
I thought hooray, another Peculiar Crimes Unit book to take away the taste of stupid formula thrillers and self-righteous political preaching masquerading as novels.

Seriously. I'm having a good baseball season and a really good trout season, but reading season has been rough lately.

Anyway, I'm giving this one four stars mostly out of loyalty to Mr. Fowler, who stubbornly insists on writing books for adults. (As opposed to adult books, which nobody does anymore. Alas.)

It's a little creaky. The ma
The Memory of Blood is a smart, well written mystery with a kooky cast of characters. PCU is brought in on the case when a murder takes place behind a locked door and an antique Punch Doll is the only evidence left at the scene. The story is peppered with intriguing plot twists and plenty of red herrings to keep
the reader engaged. I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries.
Steven D
I love Fowler's books. They always have a love of London (my home town) and London history/lore. This one has more of English cultural history as opposed to just London history. Bryant and May are wonderfully developed characters. Their relationship is one of long standing friendship that goes back over decades. It shows differently in this book than others in the series. Somehow more restrained, more trust between them. Anyway, I'm a fan so can't help but love the stories.
Jan Edwards
Another chapter in the Peculiar Crimes Unit files. Eccentric detectives follow up on crimes with a supernatural twist.

The most refreshing thing about these investigators is their lack of baggage. Eccentric they may be - but they get on with the job in hand without the emotional setbacks so many fictional sleuths seem obliged to cart around with them.

Christopher Fowler writes as always with such style, humour and amazing skill.
Alison C
Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit series is a mix of serious crime, strange personalities, impossible events and great humour; and the most recent in the series, The Memory of Blood, brings all those elements together in a unique brew. The Peculiar Crimes Unit, led by octogenarians John May and Arthur Bryant, is called upon to investigate a crime in which an infant is killed and thrown out of a window from an apparently locked and empty room; the only clue is the positioning of a valuabl ...more
With exceptional writing and characterization this was an enjoyable read. The two detectives May and Bryant are as different as any two people can be. May does things methodically, while Bryant delves into history, art, and books to find answers. The author's fantastic descriptions should be mentioned. Here is a description of a very minor character: "Nimrod Granville was one of the few men working in London who made Arthur Bryant appear healthful. Tussocks of snowy hair were clumped about the f ...more
not as quirky,or outlandish as some of the earlier books, in fact there seemed to be very little of the usual odd goings on... but still a great story, with two of my favourite characters... who get better with each book.
a simple who dunnit really, with small list of suspects, but the reveal as always comes with those tiny clues I never, as the reader, pick up on.
looking forward to next one.
The first one I read and got me hooked on the author and this whole series. Highly recommend.
Pamela Mclaren
Another fun, quick read by Christopher Fowler, who can make two geriatric policemen quirky and smart. As usual they are trying to solve a murder that turns into four, while threatened with extinction of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Funny and witty.
Derek Durant
This is the first book I've read in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look forward to reading the rest of the titles featuring the classic characters of Bryant & May.

Alicia Harabin
Not the most complex of plots or suspenseful apprehensions, but interesting characters and plenty of fun Punch and Judy history. Another thoroughly enjoyable Bryant and May adventure.
Just Finished (54) The Memory of Blood: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery. It's always a joy to read another in this series of oddball mysteries. Arthur Bryant and John May started the Peculiar Crimes Unit during World War II, and despite their age, continue to investigate cases that are unusual in nature, such as the Leicester Square Vampire, the Deptford Demon, the Odeon Strangler and more.

London theatre producer Robert Kramer's infant son is thrown from a window from a locked room, apparently b
Mar 28, 2014 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Booklover's Calendar of 2014 - Thursday, March 27, 2014:
Fans of the BBC's television show Sherlock should adore this mystery series set in modern London, but with a satisfyingly Victorian soul. Arthur Bryant and John May are in their sunset years at the Peculiar Crimes Unit when they are called in to solve the locked-room murder of a child. The backdrop is a traditional Punch and Judy show, and those readers who find puppets freaky will get plenty of fodder for their anxieties on these pages. Ev
Oct 10, 2011 Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Reliably brilliant, full of wit, character and a love of the bizarre and macabre.
One again, I have found myself picking up a Peculiar Crimes Unit book. And once again, I have not been disappointed. Christopher Fowler has such a witty, creative way of cultivating a mystery reminiscent of the great Agatha Christie with a touch of modern morbidity. The Memory of Blood is rife with action-packed sequences paralleled by moments of in-depth researching and one-of-a-kind crime solving. The PCU books never cease to teach me something new about things I would never expect to be impor ...more
Kristy Lashbaugh
I read this first in the series. It provided enough backstory to be interesting without having read the previous books. I went back and started reading through the stories and have enjoyed each one of them thoroughly. Starting at the end usually leads to a lot of spoilers ruining the previous books, but in the case of the Bryant and May series, Fowler is able to provide essential details that enrich the reading experience without including spoilers that would take away the fun of the previous no ...more
Sue Selmes
I have read 9 of this series and have enjoyed all of them. They are about a peculiar crimes unit led by 2 elderly men who are helped by an assortment of characters. it's like returning to see old friends and it doesn't matter if you read the books out of order. The crimes in the main plot seem to be connected to Punch and Judy and we get given information about this thrown in. The stories are funny and quirky and there are plenty of distractions so you think you know who did it but can't be sur ...more
Bryant and Mays have a weird (even for them) case on their hands. A local theater owner has a party for his cast and supporters. During the party someone goes into the bedroom of their infant son and throws him out of the window. The only clue is next to the window is a Punch puppet. When they begin to look into the case, the accountant for the theater owner is found hanging from a bridge with the Punch and Judy Hangman puppet lying close by. This is a good episod3e of this fun to read series.
Adam Stone
The Memory of Blood is very much Bryant and May by numbers with all of the best bits of all the previous eight novels (i.e. the characterisations of the regulars in the peculiar crimes unit, and the sort of crimes that come their way, which are never straightforward and simple) all present and correct and lots more of minutiae about the history of London (which is a hell of a lot more interesting that I thought that it would be) and some more esoteric subjects which are not usually mentioned in ...more
Ray Palen
What I enjoy best about Christopher Fowler’s hugely entertaining Peculiar Crimes Unit series starring Inspector’s Bryant and May --- and there are many things to enjoy --- is the fact that each novel can be read on its’ own without having to know the entire series.

Mind you, I think it’s a good idea to stick to chronological order whenever reading a series --- if for nothing else just to see the chemistry between the various characters grow with each successive novel. Fowler himself indicates at
Susanne E
Another solid addition to a reliably entertaining series. The actual case in this one, a series of gruesome murders involving a theatre troupe and Punch and Judy puppets, wasn't my favorite of Fowler's inventions, but as usual the complicated web of London trivia, history, geography and mythology made up for everything else. After living in London for a year, I admire Fowler's use of London almost as the "third character" (as he puts it himself) even more, and I finally have an inkling of what i ...more
THE MEMORY OF BLOOD. (2012). Christopher Fowler. ***.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I discovered that he is a prolific British author of – mostly – crime novels featuring the duo of Bryant and May. This novel is either the ninth or tenth in that series. He has also authored books in the sci-fi/fantasy world, and writes a periodic column about “Neglected Authors” for a London newspaper. Back to this book. Arthur St. Johns Bryant and John May are both Senior Detectives of London
Shaz Goodwin
I’ve read previously #7 in this series (Bryant & May on the Loose) in the days before blogging and I chose #5 (The Water Room) for my choice in The Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge. When I saw #9 The Memory of Blood on Netgalley, having enjoyed the other two stories so much, I requested approval.

At the beginning of the uncorrected proof copy is a breakdown of the purpose of the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) and the characters. It was great to see the same characters … I knew I was going
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Christopher Fowler is an English novelist living in London, his books contain elements of black comedy, anxiety and social satire. As well as novels, he writes short stories, scripts, press articles and reviews.

He lives in King's Cross, on the Battlebridge Basin, and chooses London as the backdrop of many of his stories because any one of the events in its two thousand year history can provide ins
More about Christopher Fowler...

Other Books in the Series

Bryant & May (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Full Dark House (Bryant & May, #1)
  • The Water Room (Bryant & May, # 2)
  • Seventy-Seven Clocks (Bryant & May, # 3)
  • Ten Second Staircase (Bryant & May, # 4)
  • White Corridor (Bryant & May, # 5)
  • The Victoria Vanishes (Bryant & May, #6)
  • Bryant and May on the Loose (Bryant & May, # 7)
  • Bryant & May Off the Rails (Bryant & May, #8)
  • Bryant & May and The Invisible Code (Bryant & May #10)
  • The Casebook of Bryant & May
Full Dark House (Bryant & May, #1) The Water Room (Bryant & May, # 2) The Victoria Vanishes (Bryant & May, #6) Seventy-Seven Clocks (Bryant & May, # 3) Ten Second Staircase (Bryant & May, # 4)

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