The Victoria Vanishes Review
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Gothic meets mystery in Christopher Fowler’s The Victoria Vanishes. Senior Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May are getting up there in years, but—even with one facing his own mortality and the other consulting a memory specialist—they can still solve crimes with the best of them.

As the Peculiar Crimes Unit faces yet another possible shutdown, middle-aged women are being targeted by someone who murders them in plain view of crowds of people in various pubs around England—except no one sees the crimes happen. One of the women is found outside a pub that no longer exists—and it hasn’t for decades—yet Detective Bryant is positive that he saw her go into The Victoria not long before her death. An impossible mystery? Not for the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

Bryant and May search for a serial killer who leaves them tips—not only as to who he is, but also about something else that’s going on beneath the killings. It’s almost as if the killer wants to get caught. But why? As the case unfolds, it becomes tangled in a lost funeral urn, the Knights Templar, the secret history of pubs, and various other strange clues.

Right from the beginning, readers will love how these detectives think and act. They’re witty and sometimes downright hilarious. But the story also provides a baffling mystery that borders on the bizarre and unexplainable. Throw all those ingredients together, and you’ve hooked this reader for life. And The Victoria Vanishes brings all that and more.

The Victoria Vanishes is sprightly, comical and, yes, peculiar. And you can’t help but get caught up in its mystery. You’ll race through the pages, desperate to find out what’s going on, unable to put the book aside even for a second.

Quick-witted characters and an uncanny mystery make The Victoria Vanishes one of the best mysteries I’ve read in ages. I highly recommend picking up a copy—and I look forward to reading other mysteries in Mr. Fowler’s Peculiar Crimes Unit series.

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