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Strange Tide

(Bryant & May: Peculiar Crimes Unit #13)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,273 ratings  ·  185 reviews
The river Thames is Londons most important yet neglected artery. When a young woman is found chained to a post in the tide, no-one can understand how she came to be drowned there. At the Peculiar Crimes Unit, Arthur Bryant and John May find themselves dealing with an impossible crime committed in a very public place.
Soon they discover that the river is giving up other
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 24th 2016 by Doubleday
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  1,273 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This Bryant and May novel focuses on the River Thames, its victims and the deaths that occur in it or beside it. Lynsey Dalladay's body is discovered tethered to the river's shoreline. The Peculiar Crimes Unit (PCU) are the police team who takes the case and it raises the question of whether it is a suicide or not. Running alongside is the story of Ali, an ambitious refugee with a traumatic backstory that includes his journey to Britain. Ali finds himself in London acquiring a variety of ...more
This is probably now my favorite of what is one of my favorite series. Just when you wonder what Christopher Fowler can do with his lead characters, Bryant & May, he moves in unexpected directions and keeps the reader moving forward with him. At the start, continuing from the last book, the ravages of age are catching up with Arthur Bryant, but, naturally, not in any normal fashion. As he deals with his changing mind, which is still an invaluable tool and full of arcane knowledge of London, ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

I have previously read two other Bryant and May titles which I enjoyed (4 star reviews). I love their quirkiness and, in particular, Arthur Bryant's disordered mind and convoluted thought processes!

However this is a strange book, and one I could not get drawn into. There is a smattering of gems, and I learnt a lot of things I never knew, but largely the book was confusing rather than entertaining. By the time I was two thirds of the way through I was skimming large tracts and felt relieved, if
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
3.5 stars
I made a rookie mistake and started a series right in the middle without any background at all - in my defence audible lured me into it as this one was on special *shame on me*
I enjoyed it but I know I missed out on so much character input - it's quirky and funny and I loved the 'Miss Marple' with a modern edge vibe. Actually probably a bit more Poirot as Bryant is bonkers.
Will it stop me reading the one after this that I also got in the sale...nope *I clearly feel no shame*
It's my own
Alex Sarll
As usual, the latest Bryant & May is equal parts frustration and fascination. The detectives themselves are if anything better than ever, with Mays romantic streak coming to the fore again. Meanwhile Bryant, who has always been erratic and prone to distraction by London's secret history, finds that as his senses fail he is coming unstuck in time, literally wandering into Victorian times or the Blitz. And their case this time takes them down to Londons artery, the Thames, with plenty of ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First Sentence: Nothing gave Arthur Bryant greater satisfaction than making his first blotch on a fresh white page.

The body of a woman chained to a stone and left to drown by the Thames isnt that unusual a crime. But finding only one set of footprints which lead one direction does make it more unusual. As more bodies are found, and Arthur Bryants mind becomes less stable leaving the team floundering, could this be the end of the Peculiar Crimes Unit?

Not every contemporary mystery opens with
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Kind of a mixed mind on this one. Bryant and May are always entertaining. Its been hard watching Bryant and May the last few books battling Bryants mental issues. Fortunately, the issue was finally resolved. Bryant delivered his usual witty zingers against his boss. I feel like I increase my vocabulary every time. I also get incredible history lessons about London. The problem I had was with the plot. Because of Bryants issues it felt like it dragged the story down while the other characters ...more
Susan in NC
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Long live the PCU! Saved from an ignominious end, the cast and crew of the Peculiar Crimes Unit are back from the brink yet again at the close of this book and Christopher Fowler promises there will be at least one more adventure to come.

The last several books have been increasingly melancholy in tone as our beloved Arthur Bryant seems to be facing a rare strain of Alzheimer's - which would inevitably be the end of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. We see clearly in this case the PCU cannot survive and
Judy Lesley
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is so easy for me to love a Bryant and May novel. They give me the things I want most when I pick up a mystery novel. This one has an explanation for what has been ailing Arthur Bryant - author Christopher Fowler says he has been giving us clues through the last three books but I have to confess to not being eagle-eyed enough to pick up on them - so now I'm happy again that Arthur and John are actually investigating normally without Arthur's health issues intruding to such a large extent. ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Quite good fun.
My View:
Wacky and bizarre, this episode is full of eccentricities and over the top behaviours by our beloved Arthur Bryant and for a short while Bryant is convinced that he is developing a type of dementia or the like ) read the clues scattered like crumbs and you will draw your own conclusion.

This is another enjoyable episode in the life of The Peculiar Crimes Unit I love the trip down memory lane and the weaving of past and present stories to create this new mystery. Fun,
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, crime
I found this entry in the series wonderful in its London lore but the everything was better before those awful banker/corporate stooges sucked the joy out of it all gets tiresome. What also got tiresome was the Arthur Bryant storyline for the first two thirds of the book. The last third has made me decide to go back and read the series from the start.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Apparently I didn't enter this when I first read it. Well. This is #13 and the characters are pretty well set, even Crippen the unit's cat and the two Daves who seem to be permanently working on the building when they aren't seconded to covering the phones - which must breach some regulations I'm sure. We have a new "enemy", Barbara Biddle from internal investigations who is investigating the unit's procedures on behalf of the Missing Link.
The first thing that people arriving in London try to do
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, london
Another excellent Bryant and May novel with a complex plot (how does Christopher Fowler come up with such great plots?) and return of all the favourite characters. Even the 2 Daves get a little more of a role in this one (with a surprise for them at the end). Certain things with Bryant are resolved, which was a relief!! And yes I missed the clues in previous books....
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I cannot say that I have read every Bryant & May book out there but I have read a few and I can say that this for me was one of my favorites. The last book I had read was at the beginning of Arthurs mental deterioration so to have a conclusion to that saga was quite nice.

This story starts out on rather a low note for the peculiar crimes unit (PCU). Their lead investigator Arthur has been benched due to his deteriorating mental state. The rest of the PCU is a bit lost as how to handle
Elaine Tomasso
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of Strange Tide, the 13th outing for The Peculiar Crimes Unit.
It is many years since I have read any of the Bryant and May series so I was interested to see what they are up to now. Arthur Bryant is having memory and blackout problems which are attributed to Alzheimer's so he is grounded by the powers that be while the rest of the team seem rudderless without him when left to investigate a body found chained to a ring on
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
After I read the book preceding this one, I was extremely worried that the Peculiar Crime Unit series would disappear due to the apparent mental problems that were plaguing Arthur Bryant for which there appeared to be no cure. But, in this book, leave it to Christopher Fowler to devise a solution that works, saves the day, and I can now look forward to more of the PCU. Whew!!!!

The River Thames is one of the main characters in this convoluted story about several deaths in and around the river.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
Much as I love this series, this seems a weaker title than usual. Arthur Bryant is diagnosed as having dementia, but even his doctor has never seen a case like his. Fortunately, Bryant is not so far gone that he cannot diagnose himself and seek the treatment he needs. (Kids: Don't try this at home!) Meanwhile, the Peculiar Crimes Unit has discovered that there have been several mysterious drownings near the Thames. The next thing they know, John May himself is accused of one of the murders. Can ...more
Eileen Hall
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just another day at the office for the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
A girl's body is found tied to a pole in the Thames.
This is yet another great story by Christopher Fowler.
Very funny (especially the scene with Boadicea and the Roman Centurion)!
Why there isn't a TV series I'll never know.
Very, very highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Random House via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: london, mystery
If you are not reading the Bryant and May mysteries, you are missing out on some of the best mystery novels currently being written. What I like most about this series, is that it is as much about London history and legends as it is about the actual crime being investigated. The next time I'm in London, my guidebook will be courtesy of Arthur Bryant.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Always a joy to read a Bryant & May mystery - and this one is no exception.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Please god, hurry up with the next in the series!
Jlnpeacock Peacock
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Bryant and May books are a treasure of London history and information. The characters are fascinating and the mysteries are challenging enough to hold interest throughout the book.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, found it as an e-audio on my Librarys website. Ive been reading them a little out of sequence but it doesnt seem to matter too much (although Im glad I read Burning Man before this one to put some of the story into context!). Ive now managed to get the first book from Amazon as I do prefer to read books chronologically normally! ...more
Andy Yule
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was new to this author/series, but thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the writing style, which occasionally made me laugh out loud.
James Swenson
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of Bryant & May: Strange Tide through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Strange Tide is the fourteenth novel in
Christopher Fowler's "Peculiar Crimes Unit" series. This installment should satisfy long-time fans, but can also be enjoyed by readers who aren't familiar with the story to date. Completionists may begin with Full Dark House.

The names "Bryant & May" in the title have the flavor of "Holmes & Watson" -- an eccentric genius and a straight man.
Heather Duff
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Bryant and May never fail to entertain me, their crime solving exploits have given me many hours of happy reading and this, the 13th book in the series is wonderful as always.

I have never been to London but the way it is described in these books make me want to jump on the next plane, it really is the star of these books, well after the dapper May and the wonderfully eccentric Bryant.

Strange Tide takes us to the river, the mighty Thames to be exact. A woman is found, dead, tied up to a post.
Diane Dickson
Okay. well I love these books and I have read them all and pre-ordered this one and looked forward to it.

I enjoyed it. But, I thought that at times the comedic aspects were a little overdone. According to this book nearly every character seemed to spend their time covered in foodstuff. I know Bryant is an eccentric and clumsy old man but I found it just a bit too far when there was crumbs and drool and egg yolk and so on all over the place.

I love the information in these stories, it's one of
Elite Group
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unusual crime solved by two unusual detectives!

This is the first time that I have read any of Christopher Fowler's 'Bryant and and May' series. As this is the thirteenth book I suggest that maybe it's not the best place to begin.

However, I was instantly drawn into the plot involving the rather 'unusual' detectives working in The Peculiar Crimes Unit. Bryant and May start their investigation with a young woman who is mysteriously found drowned whilst tied to a post in a secluded spot along the
Daphne Sharpe
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this a fantastic read full of humour, intended or not!! Arthur Bryant and John May are two senior detectives in the Peculiar Crimes Unit in London. Arthur is suffering from early onset of Dementia and throughout this novel is subject to flashbacks that span many centuries and prove to be instrumental in solving the mystery of a woman, chained up to a stanchion on the old London beach.
This story encompasses illegal immigrants, magic tricks, explosions and good, old fashioned police
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Having never read a Bryant & May story before I think I was at a disadvantage. I didn't know who anyone was, or what on earth was going on! For the first third of the book I was unsure who was who, or what was real, and what to believe. However, even with these disadvantages, I found that I ended up enjoying the book. There were lots of interesting facts, lots of London references which, having lived there, I enjoyed, and the story worked well in the end, though I think it would have been ...more
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Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name

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

Other books in the series

Bryant & May: Peculiar Crimes Unit (1 - 10 of 17 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)
  • Bryant & May Investigate the Victoria Vanishes (Bryant & May #6)
  • On the Loose (Bryant & May #7)
  • Off the Rails (Bryant & May, #8)
  • Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood (Bryant & May #9)
  • The Invisible Code (Bryant & May #10)

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“Do you want me to come to the hospital? she offered."
Bryant's blue eyes widened. "Good Lord, no, why would you want to do that? I'll take a paperback. Reading a book is the finest way of attaining inner peace.”
“It is said that the hallmark of a gentleman is that he is only ever rude intentionally. Arthur Bryant was no gentleman. His rudeness came from an inability to cloak his opinions in even the most cursory civility. He believed in good manners at the meal table and bad manners almost everywhere else.” 0 likes
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