Friday, October 09, 2009

99. Seventy-Seven Clocks

This book follows Arthur Bryant and John May in 1973 as their experimental unit, the Pecular Crimues Unit, or PCU, moves to a new location.  PCU and the two detectives quickly become the focus of attention as a bizarre set of murders take place targeting an old English watch-making family.  May is a urbane and GQ kind of guy while Bryant is rumpled and eccentric.  They think differently which has always led to their impressive crime-solving success.  But these particular crimes may be the undoing of the unit as there seems to be little pattern or reason for such wildly odd, almost Victorian murders.  The family's attorney dies with a snake bite, one brother is killed by an exploding watch while the other has his throat slit by a substitute barber, the sister dies from poisoned face powder.  The extended family is gathered together but are critical of the police effort and not cooperative at all.  Through it all, May and Bryant rush around London trying to find clues in outlandish ways while keeping their tempers when dealing with the Whitstable clan.  I really enjoyed the characters of Bryant and May.  Their sarcasm and sensitivity blend so well.  Also, Fowler writes with a great deal of humor which I always enjoy in a mystery.  The description of the watchmaking guild as well as other London locales I've never heard of added to my interest.  I found the whole book to be an engrossing thriller, keeping me involved from start to finish.  My only complaint is that the solution to the crimes is quite outlandish, bordering on Jules Verne type science fiction.  Even so, Fowler wrote it so that it made sense; it just wasn't something I could have figured out on my own.  I just found out my sister has several more in this series so I'll probably be borrowing on in the future.
Rating:  4


  1. I need to follow your advise and read the first one or two in a series before buying a bunch of them. Hopefully, I'll get to this series soon.

  2. This sounds interesting. Do you read mostly mysteries. Almost to that 100! Congrats!