FICTION

The Invisible Code: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

Bantam. Dec. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780345528650. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345539588. M
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In this latest volume of the adventures of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit (after The Memory of Blood), Detectives Bryant and May, who have been with the unit since its founding during the Second World War, are looking for a new case to work on. The unexplained death of a young woman in one of the city's many churches holds promise, but the elderly sleuths are summoned to the office of their unit's unsympathetic overseer. He is concerned about his younger immigrant wife. She is having "episodes," raving about witches and conspiracies, and drinking too much in public, none of which is to the benefit of a husband in the highest ranks of the civil service. The two sleuths cautiously investigate, expecting a trap, as they know their unit has made many enemies over the years. May begins interviewing suspects and collecting evidence while his partner uses a more holistic approach, visiting some of his more esoteric friends: amateur historians and a white witch among them.
VERDICT Fowler continues his series of thoughtful and rollicking mysteries, providing twists and turns and much information about the offbeat history of one of the world's greatest cities. Newcomers to the series may struggle to catch up with the relationships among the characters, but longtime fans will be thrilled and satisfied by this latest offering.

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