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Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May #11)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,174 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
London's wiliest detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May, are back on the case in this fiendishly clever new mystery . . . and when a cemetery becomes the scene of a crime, neither secrets--nor bodies--stay buried.
Romain Curtis sneaks into St. George's Gardens one evening with his date, planning to show her the stars. A centuries-old burial ground, the small, quiet park i
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
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Legends & Folklore of London
65th out of 119 books — 15 voters
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45th out of 100 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Diane S ☔
Jan 06, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very seldom pay attention to the author blurbs on the back of the book, but I was drawn to this one by Karen Marie Moning, "Grumpy Old men does CSI with a hint of Dickens. Such an apt description because these detectives in the PCU are nothing if not unorthodox and oh so amusing. Bryant in particular is a true individual, he knows all the strange people that populate the hidden corners of London.

This case involves the Tower of London when all their ravens go missing and grave disinterring or
Sep 23, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing
The Peculiar Crime Unit still exists but continues to have problems. Now it is under the aegis of the City of London not Westminster. And as they once again wonder about the future (well all but Arthur Bryant who never seems to worry himself with such things) strange things happen in the city. A report comes in of a man rising from his grave. Needless to say this sparks an investigation moving in very non-tradition directions (in addition to the more usual police work). But then we are dealing ...more
First Sentence: From Raymond Land to All Staff: So, it’s a new beginning for us.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit is now under the jurisdiction of the City of London and, as usual, their new top boss would like to see an end to the group. However, two crimes are keeping them in the game. A young man appears to see a body rise from a grave and claims it spoke. Have Resurrectionists returned? But what did the young man see that resulted in his murder a few days later? Someone stole the seven ravens, symbol
Susan in NC
Dec 10, 2014 Susan in NC rated it it was amazing
I'm so thrilled that Christopher Fowler continues writing this brilliant series; I was so afraid with the last few installments that we were going to lose the Peculiar Crimes Unit - or worse, Arthur Bryant or John May, which would be the same dire result! But despite encroaching age, modern technology and mind-boggling bureaucracy, the PCU rolls on like the mighty Thames...

Any long-time fan of the series is familiar with the unusual investigative techniques and sources utilized by Arthur Bryant
Aug 14, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book starts off with a pair of teenagers, Romain Curtis and Shirone Estanza, on a date in St George's Gardens. Originally a graveyard, it is now mostly a garden, though it soon becomes obvious there are still bodies about:

"He saw the man standing above him, middle-aged, with greying hair and occluded eyes, clearly and irrevocably dead, dressed in his best black business suit, his arm still rising, the claw of his right hand extended as if to clutch at the living. Then the moon was unveiled
This is my second outing with the eccentric duo Bryant & May.

The Bleeding Heart begins, as it did with The Burning Man, the cast of characters listed on the 'staff roster', and is accompanied by another memo from the disgruntled PCU Chief, Raymond Land.

The Peculiar Crimes Unit has been moved from being part of the Metropolitan Police to the City of London Police.

Orion Banks, The City's Public Liaison Officer has been assigned, on what the team believe to be an advisory role, to the PCU, but
Jill Hutchinson
Mar 09, 2016 Jill Hutchinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The Bryant & May Peculiar Crime Units series is totally insane, totally unbelievable and fantastic! I love these books which are a mix of obscure information, impossible crimes, and wonderful characters....led by the very eccentric Bryant and dapper ladies man, May, elderly detectives who have kept the Unit together through thick and thin. Always in trouble for totally disregarding police rules and utilizing their myriad of contacts who range from psychics to experts on the history of ...more
Carol Peace
May 03, 2015 Carol Peace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to get this book from the Dead Good book group and from the cover it looked more like and old tale rather than a new book. I was surprised when I started it though to find a very 'new' kind of crime. It did have reminders of the grave robbers but it is so much more than that.
Christopher Fowler has such an imagination that whilst reading I found myself wondering how on earth he would come to a conclusion. The oddest investigation team of Bryant and May are brought the case of a body
Sep 02, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this a four, because I can't help but enjoy the whole set up of characters, and strange plots, and preposterous ideas that go with these books.
This one seemed a little off compared with others,Bryant seemed somewhat tame in comparison to his usual mass cap self, but it gave time to learn a bit more about other characters.
Juli Rahel
When I was around fourteen I went through an intense phase of loving detective and crime fiction. I practically devoured Elizabeth George's novels and loved the thrill of being terrified by the bad guys and saved by the good ones. This fascination waned off as I focused more on literary fiction but every now and then I still pick one up to entertain myself and see whether I'm still up to figuring out who the bad guy is before the end. This was definitely an enjoyable, if very different, ...more
This is the first of this series (of about 12) that I've read and, I'm afraid, on this outing I can't summon up the same level of enthusiasm as some seem to have with Fowler's creations.

All his heroes work in the 'Peculiar Crimes Unit', a somewhat bizarre off-shoot from the London Metropolitan Police, so perhaps I was expecting something different from what I got. Yes, it started with an incident that was 'peculiar' but the only supernatural aspect was in the minds of those who witnessed it and
Ray Palen
Apr 03, 2015 Ray Palen rated it it was amazing
You know when the crime-fighting unit in this brilliantly conceived series is called the PCU --- Peculiar Crimes Unit, you are in for a treat. In the deft hands of author Christopher Fowler you will not be disappointed.

The lead Detectives of this close-knit and eclectic squad are Arthur Bryant and John May. They are described as being two sides of the same brain. Both brilliant in their own way --- Bryant is bizarre, sloppy and at times uncouth while May is pragmatic, buttoned-up and the ultimat
Apr 23, 2015 Sallee rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is an English mystery set in London. Full of twists and turns, well plotted and full of interesting characters, it held my interest all the way through. Being American, some of the English slang was puzzling but interesting. The main characters were unique. The heart of the Peculiar Crimes Unit is Arthur Bryant and John May. Bryant is a version of our American Colombo and his partner May is very organized almost to the point of being OCD. This unlikely combo of senior detectives and their ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
The Peculiar Crimes Unit is now under the supervision of the City of London police, more particularly a supervisor named Orion Banks, the complete technocrat, who would as soon shut the unit down. After all, all they're investigating now is the mysterious effort to dig up a coffin in a cemetery, and the strange theft of the ravens at the Tower of London. Yes, there is a hit-and-run fatality that might be associated with the coffin, but surely there are better things to do with police ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Kyrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Although this book didn't give as much history of London as their other books, I really liked the actual cases they were trying to solve.

The zombie/graverobbers were intriguing and the theft of the ravens was also clever.

I read it during a hectic time, and it was easy to pick up where I'd been interrupted, so I was glad of that trait, too.

Oh, goodness! I'm caught up, at least until the next one comes out.

I get a bit tired of the PCU being underestimated, but I keep hoping things will get bett
Pam Baddeley
Jun 06, 2016 Pam Baddeley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Number 11 in the Bryant and May series, and a cracking good read. As I suspected last time, Mr Merry is the new villain but with a good twist. This story is more Bryant's than May's, the more eccentric detective having the lion's share this time around, but that is fitting as it is Bryant who has to face his childhood fears and ultimately prevail. The crimes are the usual strange blend of the surreal and the ridiculous, being body snatching and stealing the ravens from the Tower of London, and ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Ilinca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not my favorite (I think Ten Second Staircase still holds that place, and it may or may not be the first one I read in the series), but it's still lovely to see the two old buggers get down to it again. And the narrator is awesome; I'm gonna choose audio over reading the actual book every time, simply because of him. I'm glad the series is going on and hope Fowler isn't bored with it. I'm not.
Dec 30, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it
As usual, an excellent plot, great characters and amusing dialogue. This time is grave robbers and missing ravens, all neatly tied together, sort of.

Well worth your time, as is this entire series.
Catherine Cheney
Dec 28, 2014 Catherine Cheney rated it really liked it
This was on it's way to 5 stairs until the very end. And not because of the resolution, but because the ending just didn't match (for me) the tenor of the story. 4 and a half stars, though, and I am still a tremendous fan of this series.
Mar 21, 2015 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love this series of mysteries! I know a scholar very much like Bryant! If only one were published every week!
Apr 29, 2015 Aisling rated it it was amazing
So clever, so funny, just a wonderful series. I am already missing the PCU and eager to return.
Oct 27, 2016 Gee-Gee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another romp

There is a bit of a formula to Bryant & May, but the stories are never the same. Once again, impossible connections come to light and Bryant saves the day just before the Unit is shut down.
Debbie Brink
Oct 07, 2016 Debbie Brink rated it it was amazing
This is what happens when the spirit of Douglas Adams goes walkabout with the spirit of Agatha Christie. Chaos! Mayhem! Seers and spooks! Murder! Murder? Murder!

A thoroughly engaging cast of various authority figures, apparent pensioners-to-be, mooncalf detectives, and genuinely creepy bad guys makes for a read that had me, personally, giggling from page the first, and sad that it was all done by page the last. I recommend it highly! Now I must find the whole series, from the beginning.

Tracey Billson
Oct 03, 2016 Tracey Billson rated it really liked it
Yes those peculiar folk at the PCU (Peculiar Crimes Unit) solve the weird and wonderful events that no other police department wants.
Reading one of these books in the series called Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler is like taking an old fashioned funfair ride. You buckle up full of anticipation at the start. The ride immediately propelling you into darkness and the unexpected. It takes many twists and turns and sudden plunges into the depths. And at the climax you are whooshed back out int
Keith Nixon
Apr 05, 2014 Keith Nixon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this, the 11th Bryant & May novel, The Peculiar Crimes Unit has moved under the City of London’s jurisdiction and has a new head – the go-getting career woman Orion Banks. She doesn’t understand the PCU and sees it as a risk to her future, so Orion wants the Unit to solve crimes the ‘proper’ way, by the book and only with her approval. But that’s not how Bryant, May and the rest of the team work, because the crimes they investigate are far from ordinary.

Their first case is, as usual, unus
Oct 03, 2016 Doreen added it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Couldn't get through it.
Maria Thermann
Jan 24, 2016 Maria Thermann rated it it was amazing
Set in London, the story revolves around the adventures of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, which has just come under the jurisdiction of the City of London Police, having been ditched as a hopeless outfit of old fogies by the Metropolitan Police. A new boss, an ambitious bitch of a woman called Orion Banks, is determined to rid the world of this useless unit, where nobody conforms to modern methods of policing, namely crime prevention and towing the party line, instead, the Peculiar Crimes Unit wants ...more
Ann Sloan
Dec 16, 2014 Ann Sloan rated it it was amazing
It must be Christmas because my favorite authors are bestowing gifts on me! Another Bryant and May!! And another Amos Walker!! And another Mma Precious Ramotswe. Glorious Christmas break.

Yes, the boys are back. I wish I could visit their agency and talk to Arthur and John. I have no doubt that Arthur would be difficult to live with, but I do enjoy the frequent visits, especially the kittens. This is the team’s 11th adventure.

This tale begins in a cemetery (not a graveyard). Two teens witness a
Alison C
Mar 18, 2015 Alison C rated it really liked it
Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart is the eleventh novel in the long-running series by Christopher Fowler, about two octogenarian detectives assigned to the Peculiar Crimes Unit in London. The PCU has recently been moved from the jurisdiction of the Met to the City of London, an organizational change perhaps intended as a further step on the way to dissolving the unit altogether. Orion Banks, a media consultant with the City of London, is placed in charge of "incentivizing" and "optimizing" ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Ralph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Fowler is back with a new novel featuring the oldest police detectives in London, Arthur Bryant and John May, who began their careers back when “that man” was rattling sabers in Berlin. This latest outing begins eerily enough, with the dead rising from their graves, then moves on to high treason, murder, crimes against nature, and skullduggery in the corridors of power. In the last book I read (and reviewed) by Fowler, he had too many team members who were not much more than part of ...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 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)
  • Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood (Bryant & May, #9)
  • The Invisible Code (Bryant & May #10)

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