The Victoria Vanishes
One night, Arthur Bryant witnesses a drunk middle-aged lady coming out of a pub in a London backstreet. The next morning, she is found dead at the exact spot where their paths crossed. Even more disturbing, the pub has vanished. Bryant is convinced that he saw them as they were over a century before, but the elderly detective has already lost the funeral urn of an old friend. Could he be losing his mind as well?
Reviewed on 20th December 2016
The sixth Bryant and May novel follows on very swiftly from the fifth, beginning at a wake. Stumbling home, Bryant has an unusual encounter that kicks off one of the most bizarre and puzzling investigations the Peculiar Crimes Unit has faced.
It's an absolutely fascinating plot that certainly makes for one of the best entries in the series. There's one moment that felt a bit unfair to the reader trying to follow along, but the balance of comedy, tragedy, action and mystery is perfect.
One of the things I've just noticed that I'm enjoying in this series is the rotation of character focus. While the whole series is of course about the two title characters, the secondary cast seem to be taking turns under the spotlight to examine their lives and motivations.
Another great story that makes me really glad that I continued reading, and that there are lots more of them lined up ready on my shelf.