#Review - Bryant & May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler @Peculiar @readalibi

Bryant & May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler
Series: Bryant & May #11.5
Random House Publishing Group - Alibi
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Date Read: November 5, 2015 

In this fast-paced Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery, available as an eBook short story, detectives Arthur Bryant and John May must crack a puzzling Christmas case with some extra assistance from Santa’s little helpers.

Includes a preview of Christopher Fowler’s upcoming Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery, Bryant & May and the Burning Man!
The streets of London are covered in twinkling lights and freshly fallen snow, but the mood inside the Christmas department of Selfridges is decidedly less cheery. Bryant and May have arrived there to investigate the death of an eleven-year-old boy who inexplicably fled the store after a routine visit to Santa’s Wonderland. Their only clue is a torn scrap of blue cloth discovered at the scene. Now, Bryant and May are making a list of suspects, but they’d better check it twice to catch a shifty culprit in disguise.

I love a good mystery.  I had actually never heard of the Bryant & May series when I saw this short story listed on NetGalley.  I am always on the lookout for a new mystery series so I decided to read this short piece as a way of sampling the author's writing and try to get a feel for the series.  This story was really short but enjoyable.

This story is part of the Bryant & May series which is a long standing detective series.  I doubt that anything in the short story will end up being important to the series but it was a nice episode in Bryant & May's caseload.  There really wasn't much of a mystery to be solved but it was really interesting to see how they went about solving the case. 

This story focuses on the death of an 11 year old boy just outside a department store.  Bryant and May are called in to investigate the death.  They focus on the store's Santa since the boy had just visited with Santa before running from the store.  There were a couple of pieces that needed to be fit together in order to solve the mystery. 

I liked the way the writing in this story flowed.  The main characters were just wonderful.  They had a camaraderie that was a lot of fun.  Their personalities really complimented each other well.  I would imagine that long time fans of the series will want to pick this one up just to spend a few minutes with Bryant & May. 

I would recommend this story to both long time readers of the series and the inexperienced like myself.  I would definitely be interesting in checking out one of the full length books in the series after reading this story. 

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Alibi via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
Photo: © Martin Butterworth

Christopher Fowler is the acclaimed author of the award-winning Full Dark House and eleven other Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries: The Water Room, Seventy-Seven Clocks, Ten Second Staircase, White Corridor, The Victoria Vanishes, Bryant & May on the Loose, Bryant & May off the Rails, The Memory of Blood, The Invisible Code, Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart, and Bryant & May and the Burning Man. In 2015, Fowler won the coveted Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library Award in recognition for his body of work. He lives in London, where he is at work on his next Peculiar Crimes Unit novel, Bryant & May: Strange Tides.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook


  1. Never read anything by this author before, but it's good to read short stories of an author's work to get a feel for their writing. Glad that you enjoyed this enough to want to read more. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is amazing how important a short story can be. I have found so many authors that I enjoy because of short stories. I have also decided to stay away from other authors simply because I didn't care for their story at all. I would definitely be interested in reading this series.

  2. This is a series I've heard of but never read so I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. A short story sounds like a good way to get acquainted with a series. I'll have to look for this one!

    1. As much time as I spend reading and shopping for books, I am amazed to find a long standing series like this one that I haven't heard of before. I am always on the lookout for a new series to start even though I really need to finish many of the ones that I have already started.

  3. Replies
    1. Melissa, you are absolutely right. I think the cover is great. I think that the cover is really what made me take a second look and eventually pick it up. Covers are important!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...