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White Corridor: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery (Bryant & May #5)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,390 ratings  ·  147 reviews
It’s the classic locked-room mystery—a member of the Peculiar Crimes Unit killed inside a sealed morgue populated only by the dead and to which only four PCU members had a key. To make matters worse, the Unit has been shut down for a forced “vacation,” and Bryant and May are stuck in a van in the Dartmoor countryside during a freak snowstorm. Now they’ll have to crack the ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Bantam (first published May 29th 2007)
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Community Reviews

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The best yet! I loved the banter between the characters. Here is one example:
"The doctrine of salvation by faith is the essence of Gospel teaching", said Alma hotly, "It's protestant not pick n' mix! I don't approve of throwing all these religions together with non-believers." "There's no such thing as a non-believer", Bryant stated, "Everyone believes in something, whether it involves alien visitations or simply being nice to each other and repairing a fractured world with good deeds. A cabalis
Jill Hutchinson
How can you not love this series of books about the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) led by the aged detectives Bryant and May? The stories are truly surreal and more fun that the proverbial barrel of monkeys. In this entry, the boys are trapped in a blizzard where a murder takes place. Meanwhile, back at the PCU, one of their own is found dead under suspicious circumstances and the team must try to solve it in the absence of their mentors. Of course, the story is completely far-fetched and the author ...more
The fifth Bryant and May mystery. With the Unit’s future on the line due to an unexpectedly scheduled royal visit within hours, the Peculiar Crimes Unit must solve a locked room mystery --- the baffling murder of their ancient pathologist, Oswald Finch. Alone with a corpse in the morgue, he appears to have been murdered, while investigation reveals he had flare-ups with several of the Unit’s own that morning. But Sergeant Janice Longbright must attack the problem alone, because Bryant and May fi ...more
As always; taut, intricate, loopy characters who are a lot more sensible than they appear. I am not usually overfond of book series which have strong ordinal continuity, but it suits the Bryant & May series. You would need a programme to keep up with the cast of characters otherwise.

Loved this book. Absolutely love the series. I love the writing which is consistently top notch and the dialogue which is unforced and natural. The pacing is taut (which is difficult when half the book is played
My latest foray in to the world of Bryant & May.

Must say I found the background intro a bit laborious.
Story wise it was good to get away from London. I know how much Christopher Fowler loves writing about London, however to me it can get a bit preachy at times.
The twist at the end was a surprise, didn’t see it coming.
There are a wonderful few lines concerning Jehovah Witnesses and a toaster.
Made me laugh out load.
One final thing, given my review of “Ten Second Corridor” I found it amusing t
This is the second book I have read by Christopher Fowler and both have been from his Bryant & May series.

Arthur Bryant and John May are Golden Age Detectives in a modern world. They head the Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU), London's most venerable specialist police team, a division founded during the Second World War to investigate cases that could cause national scandal or public unrest.

It's an unusual and original set up, two crimes have to be solved and these are cleverly interwoven whilst
Susan Ferguson
A strange story - but I rather liked it.

John May and Arthur Bryant are the head of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. They are a relatively obscure unit in London, dealing with the obscure crimes very few know about. They are both aging and are afraid the unit will be closed when they are gone. Their acting supervisor has decided he is closing the office down, so Arthur talks John into helping him take stuff to a spiritualist gathering. He borrows a van from a neighbor and he and John set off. Unfortuna
Nancy Oakes
White Corridor is installment number five in the Bryant and May series (aka the Peculiar Crimes Unit series). In this book, the author has given his readers two mainstay elements of classic mystery -- the locked-room murder (in which a member of the PCU is killed in a most impossible fashion so that suspicion points to the others) -- and weather so incredibly bad that it prevents our heroes Bryant and May from having any hope of returning to London to help with this crime. It wouldn't be so bad, ...more
WHITE CORRIDOR (Police Proc-Bryant & May- England-Cont) – VG
Fowler, Christopher – 5th in series
Doubleday, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780385610674
*** While the Met’s Peculiar Crimes Unit is closed down for repairs, Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May had off for an international convention of psychics. Caught in a blizzard and stuck in their van, they are tasked with solving two crimes
My favorite of this series so far.
Lots of unexpected twists, and I darn near froze reading about the snowstorm in which Bryant and May were trapped. I didn't expect any of the solutions.

Reading this for the second time. This takes the two detectives out of London and strands them in a blizzard on a side road leading to Plymouth. There is a murderer amongst the stranded motorists, but meanwhile back in London the Home Office villain is sure he has finally been able to shut down the PCU. When Bryant & May return to London they have to finish up the investigation they had been monitoring by cell phone from the blizzard, including the need to determine how their pathologist die ...more
c2007: Okay, so what the blurb doesn't tell you is that there is another murder that happens throughout the book which I found to be more creepy than any of the others in the series. I do wish that the continuing theme of possible closure of the Division would come to a conclusion and that there would be a bit more happiness. Good to find out that there may be more of May's history to be revealed. Probably, one of the best lines in the book when describing a croissant - "Only the French could in ...more
This is a rather odd entry in the Bryant & May series. When the PCU is confronted with a most unusual locked room mystery, Bryant and May are trapped in a blizzard.

Why is this important? Well, the dead body belongs to crusty coroner, Oswald Finch. Furthermore, it looks like an inside job. Can the PCU solve the mystery without its heart and soul?

Also, there’s a secondary suspense plot playing out in the blizzard, which is completely bizarre. In my opinion, this entry is just not up to snuff.
London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit was established to solve crimes that the regular police department couldn’t or wouldn’t solve. It was headed by Senior Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May, who are both past retirement age, and are known to use rather unorthodox methods and resources, including psychics and witches, to help them achieve their goals. The PCU is a very tight-group all fighting two common enemies: crimes and the strong desire of the police department to dissolve it.
Another good installment in the series. I can see development in the characters, the writing and in plot development, all of which made this very enjoyable reading. In fact I have the next book, The Victoria Vanishes: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery on my table waiting to be started.
Another in the Bryant and May series. This time two parallel story lines play out with the duo snowbound on a rural motorway tracking a vicious killer, while their team is back in London trying to quickly solve a inconceivable murder all on their own before in order to save the unit from permanent closure. Enjoyable as usual but I'd probably place this lower on my rankings of "favorite installments." But still a great read.
Incredibly tedious for the first two-thirds of the way, and I almost gave up, but the story finally comes together and starts moving, and becomes the mystery I've come to expect from Fowler. I'd give three stars because all the groundwork laid in the first 250 pages or so pays off nicely in the end, but I can't discount the trial it was to get there.
Edgar W
Mr. Fowler is one of the most imaginative writers I have ever come across and this novel is no exception. What a surprise ending! I'm sure many will love this one. Reading his Bryant and May Mysteries have been one of my favorite entertaiments. Thank you Mr. Fowler.
This one is a bit of a dissapointment compared to the others. Not so much action. Bryant and May decide to go to a convention and get stranded in a snowstorm. While there, they persue a murderer and by phone help figure out who murdered someone right in the office.
Jane Routley
I picked up this beguiling book at a garage sale and now wish. I'd bought the rest of them. Charming characters and a wonderful couple of plot twists. Not many other detectives consult a London White witch when they need technical advice.
This is the best one so far in this series. Bryant and Mays are stranded in Dartmoor in a blizzard. There is a serial killer among the stranded motorists along with them. In London, Oswald Finch, the forensic pathologist, is found murdered in his locked laboratory. There is the body of a young girl on the table and it looks as if Finch was just beginning his autopsy. The team must solve his death, even if it looks as if it is one of the team themselves, before a royal visit takes place. Bryant a ...more
I am enjoying this series because the stories are more than just the usual murder mystery.

Words to remember for crossword puzzles:
page 7 and 37 oubliette (dungeon w/trap door in ceiling)
page 27 and 194 heliotrope (purple)
page 31 micturate (sounds more intellectual than pee)
page 41 ameliorated (make something bad better)
page 62 palmiers (elephant ear pastries)
page 69 and 80 astrakhan (lamb's wool)
page 82 charabancs (buses)
page 108 and 140 the author's favorite: internecine

On page 90 "...
Another Bryant & May mystery, I listened to the audio book, which is the first in the series that I have listened to rather than read. It took a little time to get used to the voices, but I enjoyed it. This book picks up right after the last, set in modern day. Oswald Finch is finally retiring from his role as unit pathologist and Bryant & May get stuck in a blizzard on their way to a convention in the south west. Despite that, there are still mysteries for the team to solve, including a ...more
I believe the person who gave me this book was told it was supposed to be similar to Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. It is not. It is about police detectives and it takes place in Europe but that is about where the similarities end. The book is about two detectives who are close to retirement and work in a crime unit that deals with the odd crimes the regular units don't want to deal with which allows them teh use of unconventional methods to solve them. While reading the book, the author ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series in a wintery sort of mood
Shelves: bibliotheque, 2012
* * * 1/2

The fifth Bryant and May mystery features a locked room and some long-distance sleuthing. A member of the Peculiar Crimes Unit is found dead in the autopsy room and only four people had the key. Normally our esteemed senior detectives would solve the case themselves, but they're stuck on the highway to Dartmoor en route to a spiritualists' convention. They also have a killer on the loose, prowling the lines of snowbound cars. And as if that isn't enough, there's yet another plot afoot t
#5 in the Bryant & May "Peculiar Crimes Unit" mystery series set in London. In this episode, acting director Raymond Land closes the unit for a week while the computers and electronics are updated, so Bryant convinces May to accompany him to a spiritualist convention out in the rural west country. The two elderly detectives set off and run into a horrendous snowstorm that leaves them stuck in a ditch and stranded along with dozens of other travelers--one of whom is a murderer, as they discov ...more
Lee Baker
Don't you love it when a random pick of books in a bin in a local news agency turns out to be a great read. This was my experience with White Corridor. It's a great holiday read with a lively cast of characters. The best thing about the book is that it's opened up a new author with a series of books I can find and enjoy. The twists and turns of the plot are amazing and the descriptions of the PCU offices and their staff make me want to get to know them better. Enjoy
Slow starting, but an interesting and different read for me. This is set is London and written in what feels like authentic English prose, probably part of the slow start for me. After a bit though, I got into the swing of the language and the setting and the unfamiliar words and really liked that part. The two lead characters are Arthur Bryant and John May and they work (and originally established) the PCU, Peculiar Crimes Unit. Apparently they get the cases the regular police can't solve and u ...more
Since discovering the Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries, I have read several of them. I have to say this one has emerged as my favorite so far. It is excellent! It involves two very strange stories and both are mesmerizing. I had not figured out how either mystery was going to end, but the endings of both were very interesting, to say the least! I can't wait to read more books from Christopher Fowler!
This was a slow book that I forced myself to finish. While parts of it were interesting, I just didn't care about the characters or situations. The solutions to the mysteries were hokey. I did not realize that this was part of a series, so that may be partly to blame to my confusion throughout the book. The author kept introducing new characters with little background so it was difficult to understand their relation to the rest of the book. The first third of the book was exposition and backgrou ...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)
  • 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)
  • Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart (Bryant & May, #11)

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