Top positive review
4.0 out of 5 starsI'VE HEARD OF THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER BUT BTHIS IS A BIT EXTREME.....
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 18, 2021
They’re holding a cast party at the New Strand Theatre, celebrating the premiere of The Two Murderers. A Grand Guignol murder mystery which includes among its characters several Punch and Judy dolls, authentic old Victorian era models. Then the producer’s baby is thrown out of a window, dead on impact with the pavement. The problem? The baby’s bedroom was locked, there are no traces of blood or fingerprints, and a life-sized puppet of Punch is the room’s only occupant when they break open the door. Everyone at the party is a suspect and they’re an odd, often unsavory crew, but it’s hard to nail down who was where when and no one seems to have the opportunity or means to broach the room, toss the bay out of the window, and escape with the door still locked from inside. In short, it’s a perfect case for London’s most unusual and unorthodox crime team, the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Understaffed, underfunded, and suspect in the eyes of their superiors, who want to close the unit down, still the unit, led by two eighty-year-plus senior detectives, Bryant and May, soldier on to success. May is a rational, by the book detective. Bryant is not. He’s all intuition, sudden enthusiasms. He researches the oddest books –London’s Disused Underground Stations 1920-1959, volume 3, is one—and the experts he calls on to help him include a witch –actually, more than one—an expert on pocket theaters and puppet theaters, and someone who used to work at Mme. Tussaud’s preparing wax effigies of notables for display. Everything in the case is a stretch but Fowler’s writing skills, his wit, sly to broad in attack, and his unfailing good humor, are bound to win you over. I’d read individual entries in this series before but am now reading them all in the order in which they appeared. It’s fun.