TheVictoriaVanishesBryant49878_fSo in The Victoria Vanishes our favourite elderly detectives, Arthur Bryant and John  May become involved in yet another peculiar crime as women start turning up dead in London pubs. Not violently dead, you understand, but drugged and basically put to sleep. Bryant in particular has cause to be concerned as it becomes clear he saw one of the women shortly before her death entering a pub which, the following day, has mysteriously disappeared and possibly hasn’t actually existed since before the war. So, why are these women being killed? Why are they being killed in pubs? And what happened to The Victoria?

The joy of this novel isn’t just the plot, which is enjoyable and ingenious if a tiny wee bit far-fetched (a very minor quibble believe me), but the knowledge of and love for London which comes through every page. Fowler gives a list of the pubs frequented or at least mentioned in the book, and a number of them are in the area near my office (around Holborn, Fleet St, The Strand and Shaftesbury Avenue) and between us the Book God and I managed to identify a number that one or other or both of us had been in over the years we have lived in London. Sadly a lot of these pubs are beginning to be overrun by developers, but there are still one or two dotted around that are worth visiting, and they give a colourful backdrop to an enjoyable story.

And that brings August to an end and Crime Month is over for another year. I managed to read eight from what was quite an extensive list, and could quite happily have read more if the need to earn a living hadn’t inconveniently got in the way!

So it’s August Bank Holiday and in London it’s  warm and humid but there is a promise of autumn (my favourite season) later in the week, and I am two thirds of the way through the Annual Lord of the Rings Extended Version DVD marathon which finishes this evening with (of course) The Return of the King. It’s only five weeks until I go on holiday, and I have Carl’s RIP IV challenge to participate in so what more could a girl need? Apart from a new handbag, of course…….

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