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

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,395 Ratings  ·  207 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
...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published 2011 by Doubleday
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Rivers of London by Ben AaronovitchThe Ghost Map by Steven JohnsonLondon Under by Peter AckroydThe Water Room by Christopher FowlerLondon Under by Peter Ackroyd
Legends & Folklore of London
14th out of 119 books — 15 voters
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95th out of 168 books — 18 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sue
Dec 04, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Michael
Apr 08, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2013, 2015
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
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Peter Auber
May 13, 2016 Peter Auber rated it liked it
Shelves: ctc-readings
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise
Sep 29, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
The Peculiar Crimes Unit delves into the world of the theatre as they investigate the death of a baby removed from his cot, strangled and thrown out of the window of a room locked from the inside while downstairs the launch party for a new play has assembled numerous members of a theatre company, all of whom are now suspects. Examining the body and what little evidence was left behind, it soon becomes apparent that the crime scene was an elaborately staged display meant to indicate that the ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Jul 15, 2016 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am determined to read all the Bryant and May Peculiar Crimes Unit books!! This series is so delightful and is somewhat like the Nero Wolfe books in that the story is secondary to the perfectly drawn characters. The author is a master of the ingenious and slightly cock-eyed style of writing that makes each book a joy even if the plot is totally insane and could never happen in the real world.

In this book, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called into a case which seems to revolve around the historic
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Lizzy
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.
Cynthia
Nov 23, 2012 Cynthia rated it liked it
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.
LJ
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
...more
Stuart Nager
Aug 04, 2012 Stuart Nager rated it it was amazing
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
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Patrick
May 28, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it
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
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Roberta
Nov 19, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, series
A good enough locked-room mystery with some interesting history of Punch & Judy but perhaps a little less quirky than some other books in the series. The absence of Edna Wagstaff is made up for by the presence of Madame Blavatsky. There were also very few dictionary words in this book. What's more, a couple words that would have qualified as dictionary words were discussed by the characters in the book in such a way as to supply the reader with a definition. How wimpy is that? So I was left ...more
Steven D
Feb 19, 2012 Steven D rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2012 Jan Edwards rated it really liked it
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.
Louise
Nov 21, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it
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.
Sherrie
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.
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.
Sarah
Jan 17, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it
A classic murder in a locked room plot, in a theatrical context. But definitely Meh! Only 2.5 stars because I'm (still) tiring of the characters and because, after multiple red herrings, the final outcome comes in a rush in chapter 49, falling completely flat, since the explanations are so tenuous.
JoAnna
Jul 19, 2016 JoAnna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It almost took me whole year to finish this book! I just did not like it!!! Its not that it was poorly written, its just it was not the book for me! It felt really slow paced and I didn't care much for any of the characters! Sorry Mr. Christopher Fowler, I tried!
Alicia Harabin
Apr 03, 2012 Alicia Harabin rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
Derek Durant
Apr 01, 2012 Derek Durant rated it it was amazing
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.

Scott
Oct 10, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Reliably brilliant, full of wit, character and a love of the bizarre and macabre.
Colleen
Dec 13, 2014 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: whodunnit
The first one I read and got me hooked on the author and this whole series. Highly recommend.
Ape
Oct 23, 2016 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, crime
This was a really good, clever, page-turning murder mystery. And it has certainly picked up since the previous book seemed to falter a little. I don't know if this book has set them up for one final investigation which will be the end of their careers. But even as a stand alone book this is really worth a look.

I do love the characters Bryant and May. They're quite different, but two old eccentric detectives who would have retired years ago if they didn't have such a passion for the job. Bryant i
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Wolf
May 23, 2012 Wolf rated it liked it
This is a review of the audio CD of 'Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood', the ninth story in a series but my first taste of Bryant and May.

The recording is entirely acceptable. The reading is generally good. Certain accents are clearly not the strong point of the actor doing the reading - a female Asian detective has a very strange voice that sometimes sounds closer to West Indian than anything else, for example. The general characterisation, however, is very well done and overall the tell
...more
Julie
Oct 12, 2016 Julie added it
Very enjoyable. The Peculiar Crimes unit is quirky, random and in the end all about solving the crime. A fun read with interesting historical facts.
Shaz Goodwin
Apr 11, 2012 Shaz Goodwin rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ray Palen
Dec 20, 2012 Ray Palen rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Alan Korolenko
Sep 22, 2016 Alan Korolenko rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Bryant and May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit become involved in a "locked room" mystery involving the death of a baby. As this is Bryant and May, Punch and Judy dolls are involved and fully investigated. Basically this is a who done it procedural (hinging on such momentous issues as how a person holds a cigarette) but the wonderful characters created by Fowler really keep the story moving. Once again Arthur Bryant and his unorthodox investigation techniques are the only hope of solving what ...more
Miles
Oct 06, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it
Shelves: 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 window, an empty cot, and a grotesque antique puppet of Mr Punch lying on the floor. It seems that young Noah Kramer was thrown f
...more
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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
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)
  • On the Loose (Bryant & May, #7)
  • Off the Rails (Bryant & May, #8)
  • The Invisible Code (Bryant & May #10)
  • Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May, #11)

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“Clutter, either mental or physical, is the sign of a healthy curiosity.” 16 likes
“The true mark of English conversation is not being able to tell when you've been insulted. I think the more sophisticated society becomes, the more it hides behind the masks it manufactures.” 5 likes
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