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Publisher's Summary

One night, Arthur Bryant witnesses a drunken lady coming out of a pub. The next morning, she is found dead at the exact spot where their paths crossed. Even more disturbingly, the pub has vanished and the street has changed.

Bryant is convinced that he saw them as they looked over a century before - is elderly detective losing his mind? Then it becomes clear that a number of women have met their ends in London pubs and the likeliest suspect seems to be a mental patient. But knowing who the killer is and catching him are two very different propositions.

As their new team at the Peculiar Crimes Unit goes in search of a madman, the octogenarian detectives ready themselves for the pub crawl of a lifetime, and come face to face with their own mortality...

©2008 Christopher Fowler; (P)2008 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Sarah
  • BLOOMINGTON, IN, United States
  • 09-03-12

Another great Bryant and May

What did you love best about The Victoria Vanishes?

As always, the story kept me guessing to the end without witholding clues or information

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bryant - he's sherlock but older and grumpier

Which character – as performed by Tim Goodman – was your favorite?

Bryant - Tim Goodman really makes the old man pop

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I looked for opportunities to listen to just a few more minutes, just a few more!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • K
  • 06-16-17

Recommend highly

Excellent delivery. I appreciated it was just the text. No music or anything added. Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May books are fantastic reads. Anyone who has been to or is interested in the city of London will appreciate the history he includes.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enough of the Home Office

I'm not sure if I'll read another book in the series. I've skipped around a bit. I'm tired of the same issues in each book with Cassabian (sp?). He's always sneaking around, using public funds for his dirty deeds. His character needs to be revealed for what he is and written out!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lesley
  • West Kempsey, Australia
  • 04-07-09

Dated

This was obviously an old story which had been 'updated' by the insertion of references to modern technology. The characters were straight out of the 1960s. I wish it had been a more honest book. The premise was interesting, but it was a character driven work and the characters only just limped over the believable line for me. An OK listen, but not one I'll go back to.

5 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • R
  • 12-17-08

brilliant thriller

This is another fantastic book about the fabulous older detectives Bryant and May.Rich characters with a plot that could rival any other.Definately among the best ever,try out the other books by Christopher Fowler.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Catriona
  • 05-03-09

perhaps better for those who know the series

I think a large problem I had with this was that I was coming in towards the end of a series with established characters. Indeed the first few chapters deal with the wake for a character from previous books. A lot is made of the fact that he died because of a mistake a sergeant made, but we are never told what it was; presumably it was in the previous story.
As a result I just couldn't warm to the characters. The author, through Bryant kept lecturing us, mainly about London pubs, but occasionally on other subjects. I might have found it amusing, but in fact it bored me. It wasn't helped by the fact that when an author lectures his readership he should make sure he gets other facts straight. This one twice made mistakes about the Land Registry, (where on earth did he get the impression that the Land Registry notarises documents when notaries in this country generally deal with matters for other jurisdictions?) and once about how leases operate. These wouldn't have jarred so much if he hadn't been holding himself out as so much of an expert.
The plot itself was quite peculiar, but I think meant to appeal to those who like puzzle mysteries. Others may well like this book; I just wasn't in the mood for it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr Caterpillar
  • 09-26-15

Not my idea of peculiar

What did you like best about The Victoria Vanishes? What did you like least?

I liked the premise. A detective duo fighting crime for decades, usually successful but having to live with their occasional mistakes.<br/>But I thought the PCU - the Peculiar Crimes Unit - would be dealing with much more interesting cases. Fowler has form as a fantasy writer - I thought the books would be about apparently supernatural crimes that turn out to be mundane. Or at the very least they'd be "impossible" crimes - you know, locked room murders and so on. Indeed the vanishing Victoria of the title clearly counts as an "impossible" element of the crime, but it's little more than a detail. It's as if a murder took place *next door* to a locked room.<br/>The actual mystery is about a serial killer murdering women. Not my scene. Certainly not interesting enough to warrant the length.

If you’ve listened to books by Christopher Fowler before, how does this one compare?

I haven't, I'm not familiar with any of Fowler's other work. But the peculiar thing is (do you see what I did there?) the whole "they're going to close us down" storyline made me groan inwardly, thinking, "Not this again!" Presumably it was Fowler's intention to convey a sense of the Home Office constantly trying to close them down so that even new readers would get caught up in the tedium of it, but it didn't make it any more entertaining.

What does Tim Goodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I got to the end. I think I would have given up quite early if I'd just read it. I've given him 5 stars because he differentiates the character voices well.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

I'm not a filmgoer any more. We've got a decent TV and Bose sound system so we'd rather wait till films come out on Blu Ray - then we don't need to worry about idiots nattering behind us, and we can pause for breaks.<br/>If the book were to be filmed, I'd probably get around to seeing it. Eventually.

Any additional comments?

There were some good bits that made me laugh. From memory:<br/>"Bob Dylan performed there. So did Oasis."<br/>"Is that some sort of pop group?"<br/>"It's more a Beatles tribute band."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Flower fan
  • 07-22-15

Excellent series

The narrator of these stories is first class. I particularly enjoy the way he changes voices for each character which for me enhances my enjoyment of the book.
I love the stories about Bryant & May. Yes they are unusual & perhaps not for everyone but I have yet to read one I haven't enjoyed.
The story's don't end when the murderer is unveiled. The tale is also as much about the various characters & their lives as about the crimes.
If you don't enjoy a crime story with a bit of a unusual slant then give this a miss but if you do give it a go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Sue
  • 10-12-14

Great

Have you listened to any of Tim Goodman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, in other Bryant and May books, and I think he's great. It is always clear who is talking, and listening to him gives the book an additional dimension

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I would have given this book 5 stars solely for Arthur Bryant's funeral oration - I have listened to it 4 times, and it always cracks me up!

Any additional comments?

I think I have enjoyed this more than the others - but perhaps I am getting used to all the characters now, which helps.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 06-24-14

A good listen

What made the experience of listening to The Victoria Vanishes the most enjoyable?

It was a well written meaty story

What other book might you compare The Victoria Vanishes to, and why?

Don't know, but a good mystery that kept you guessing

Which character – as performed by Tim Goodman – was your favourite?

Bryat and May

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No, not that kind of book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Broadland Wanderer
  • 01-15-11

Why haven't they been televised?

This was the first of the Bryant and May series we came across. Yes, it was out of sequence but we were hooked! Christopher Fowler weaves an intriguing tale, just how can a London pub be there one day and yet totally disappeared the following day?

The narrator, Tim Goodman, brings the characters to life, the somewhat irascible Arthur Bryant, the suave John May, both long past retirement age and at times employing methods that would never be countenanced in modern police forces!

The Bryant & May series are a must listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • JAJ
  • 02-21-09

Detective story

This story did not go in the direction I expected. There was nothing supernatural about it, it is not like the Tardis in Dr Who! One of the main characters I felt was read a little too old, but the story was easy to follow and well read otherwise. The characters had their humourous side at times and the story continued to unfold to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 02-11-16

Tim Goodman is the only one to read these stories

Love these Books but only if Tim reads them, I will wait a year for the Audio Book