Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler: A review

Here's another Bryant and May mystery. They are always fun reads and Ten Second Staircase does not disappoint. (Although, having now finished reading the book, I still have no idea where that title came from or what it means.) 

In this one, Bryant's and May's unit, the Peculiar Crimes Unit of the London Police, is just about to be disbanded as part of a departmental reorganization. But where will that leave our two octogenarian detectives who have no desire to retire?

In order to forestall that imminent closure, the detectives need to solve a couple of cases, one old and one new, both of which have their basis in the historic London mythology of classic crime. 

To aid in their investigations, this time around their unit has a new addition, May's granddaughter, April. And, of course, she has her own set of peculiarities in that she is agoraphobic.

The modern-day mystery here involves a series of second-tier celebrities being killed in very elaborate ways. A witness to one of the crimes is a twelve-year-old boy who insists that the perpetrator was a masked highwayman riding a black horse. Well, he should be easy enough to find in London, right?  

There's a lot to like here. Fowler is, of course, a very talented writer who appears to assume that his readers enjoy the English language as much as he does. Here, he provides us with snippets of history which help to fill in the mosaic of the story he's telling and he does it with a rich trove of that beloved language. Moreover, the social commentary was enlightening and frequently quite amusing. Overall, I found my time spent with Bryant and May to be (once again) time well spent.



  1. This does sound like a good one! Though I'm a little sad the title doesn't seem to tie into the mystery at all...because it's a great title. ;D


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