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

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,564 Ratings  ·  163 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

(showing 1-30 of 2,711)
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Jan 05, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jun 28, 2011 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Nov 25, 2011 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
Meh ... as Sara would say. Am I getting tired of the two elderly detectives? I think I am. What has been driving me crazy is the time (or is it the number of pages?! it takes to get the plot (or is it me?) in gear.
At the end of the day, I like it when in the first twenty pages of a novel, I understand who is who and the plot is on track.
Take Robert Galbraith, or D.E. Stevenson, and there you are.
I might just drop Bryant and May altogether.
Oct 11, 2014 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2014 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2015 Kyrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.

Dec 08, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 24, 2009 Jeanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Rebekah Turpin-coker
Jun 20, 2016 Rebekah Turpin-coker rated it it was amazing
I'm always a big fan of Bryant and May, but this one was particularly good. Two murders, lots of improbability and tons of snow. If you like the PCU books, you'll love this one.
Feb 09, 2015 Judie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Pam Baddeley
Feb 28, 2016 Pam Baddeley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fifth in the series is a lot better than books 1, 3, and 4, although it doesn't for me come up to the standard of the second Bryant and May novel, The Water Room. Be that as it may, the story is rather more varied than the last couple of volumes, with definite and separate plot strands: B & M are stranded in a snowdrift in the west country and have to help their London colleagues by phone who are trying to solve an unexpected death that has come too close for comfort (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Catherine Thompson
Once again, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is threatened with closure. There's a sneaky plan afoot to bring a minor (and very crotchety) royal on a tour of the office. And Bryant has shanghai'd May into accompanying him to a spiritualists' convention in darkest Devon. But there's more... and worse. One team member has been found dead in, well, peculiar circumstances, and it looks as if the only person who could have done it is... another member of the PCU. Meanwhile, Bryant and May have been caught in ...more
Enjoyable, different, though nothing really to shout about.
Jan 23, 2010 Kimberli rated it really liked it
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.
The majority of this book was an easy and entertaining read. I liked hearing about each of the characters and it had enough quirk to be fun but not absurd. The ending was a little disappointing: the PCU mystery was wrapped up a smidge to neatly for my liking and I have mixed feelings about the reveal of the other mystery plot (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 19, 2011 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Aug 24, 2015 Edgar W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2014 Jane Routley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
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.
Sep 05, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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 "...
Jun 03, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 29, 2016 Jlnpeacock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Since the detectives solving the crimes are in their 80's I imagined the book would be more for entertaining than any serious crime solving. The detectives are a bit unorthodox and have an expressed desire for no religion, but the mysteries presented were excellent and the characters were quite believable. There were two mysteries being solved concurrently and the suspense was good. I have not found a book that has provided me with tension for the ...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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