The Victoria Vanishes

So, normally, when I'm weighing the differences between book-cataloging websites, I think that GoodReads trumps LibraryThing, or at least most of the time. But LibraryThing will give me free advanced reading copies of books and that's pretty sweet.

The Victoria Vanishes is apparently the sixth book in a series that fall under the "Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery" series title. Apologies for not having read the previous few books, but when I requested it, I simply clicked to toss my hat into the ring for receiving a free English mystery, and I had no knowledge of the series' history.

I was charmed by our two main characters, Arthur Bryant and John May -- gentlemen detectives of a certain era, one of whom certainly merits the designation of "peculiar." Arthur Bryant is walking home, a bit sloshed, and lamenting his deteriorating powers of perception, when he forces himself to stop and observe everything around him. The one person he sees walking on the street is a woman walking into a pub -- and when she turns up dead (and the pub turns out not to exist in the present day), he wants to look into it... and finds quite a case of what appears to be a lonely hearts killer, preying on middle-aged women in pubs.

I might have enjoyed this more if I had actually read the books in order, because clearly we're coming to the end of this dynamic duo (as they are aging fellows), but I was still pleased with them, perhaps even enough so that I might read another of their mysteries. Bryant was the main character here, so I'm not sure if we alternate between May and Bryant stealing the spotlight. I liked May quite a bit, and I'm not sure if certain revelations that we come to in this book are hinted at before now. Such are the questions ones has when starting at the end rather than the beginning.

In any case, I sped through this book in about three days and it made for a nice Sunday morning to spend in bed.

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