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The Water Room Audiobook

The Water Room: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Christopher Fowler has won a widespread following for his senior-citizen detectives Arthur Bryant and John May. Here a woman is found drowned in her basement - with nary a drop of water to explain the crime.

Strange cases: listen to another Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery.

©2004 Christopher Fowler; (P)2005 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Traditional mystery buffs with a taste for the offbeat will relish British author Fowler's wonderful ... contemporary whodunit." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (461 )
5 star
 (178)
4 star
 (150)
3 star
 (84)
2 star
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1 star
 (13)
Overall
4.1 (292 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (297 )
5 star
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4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Cholmondeley Santa Barbara, CA United States 10-19-09
    Cholmondeley Santa Barbara, CA United States 10-19-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    160
    ratings
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    414
    40
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    4
    6
    Overall
    "Baby Boomers Rejoice: This is a book for our time."

    I never give mysteries a five, but this one deserves it. What a find!

    2. Characters. John May is rational, extraverted, orderly, popular and a student of human psychology. Arthur Bryant is introverted, intuitive, disorderly, difficult, and a student of everything except human nature. They have been partners for nearly fifty years. To stay together in the PCU they have refused promotion, and they are doing everything necessary to resist the forces pressuring them to retire.

    In spite of the fact that they have been together for so long, each has the capacity to surprise and to annoy the other.

    2. Narrator. Tim Goodman is as good as they get. He subtly slips from his role as omnipotent narrator to any of the dozen voices he has created for the story,and like the other excellent readers, he can change his distinctly masculine voice to one that is clearly feminine without a noticeable change of pitch and without sounding ridiculous.. You always know who is talking, but no single voice demands more attention than any of the others.

    3. Plot. One of my criteria for a good Audiobook is length. Dickens is, by far the best buy, but this one, at 14 hours, is excellent value for one credit. The plots are clever and coherent. If you are not paying attention you can listen to parts of the story for a second or third time and enjoy them that much more.

    4. Writing. I give Dan Brown a 1-. Donna Leon and Sue Grafton go between 2 and 3. Fowler is a solid
    His prose is fresh. He uses words and phrases I've never heard, and the dialogue - especially between John and Arthur is so well and lovingly crafted that I'm tempted to buy and read a hard copy of the book.

    42 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynnette B. Crocker 11-14-08

    storagejunkie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    Overall
    "Great story and narration!"

    This was a really good audiobook. The story had just the right amount of mystery and humor. And the narrator was superb. I wish Audible had more of the Peculiar Crimes mysteries and more of this narrator's works.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 05-06-10
    Janet Davis Hammond, LA United States 05-06-10 Member Since 2001

    glass lady

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    258
    17
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    Overall
    "Really great fun"

    I bought this book last fall and realized that it was the second in a series. Being a serial reader, I located the first book and read it. Then I jumped into this one. I can honestly say that this author is getting better with each book (and no, you don't have to read book 1 first - they mention events from it but it's not required). As others have said, the prose is delightful; dialogue outstanding; Bryant and May are a terrific pair, well-suited to each other. Fowler assumes that he is writing to an audience that is bright and does not stoop to explain the obvious. After a few hours of listening, I searched the web for London's lost rivers to get a general map of the area.
    Tim Goodman does an excellent job with the narration and the voices for all the characters - from the women to the tramp.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LA 05-12-09
    LA 05-12-09

    Musician, reading addict, Canada!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    150
    17
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    "8 glasses a day!"

    A wonderful listen - the narrator is flawless, making each character distinct and brilliantly conveying character. The story is compelling and filled with obscure London lore but never dull. I was a little worried at the beginning, which was not indicative of what develops right away, but sticking with it is well worth your while.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Kenthurst, Australia 06-07-11
    Lee Kenthurst, Australia 06-07-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    23
    7
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    Overall
    "Engrossing story, eccentric characters"

    The Water Room featuring vintage detectives Bryant and May is an engrossing mystery filled with a host of eccentric characters brought to life by the excellent narration of Tim Goodman. Close listening is essential so that you don't miss any of the detail that brings this story and the characters to life. I loved it, and found myself sitting in the car just to keep listening - and like reading any good book was disappointed when it caame to an end. It might be an acquired taste, but for me the Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries are a taste that I will keep coming back for.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary 05-13-11
    Hilary 05-13-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    200
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    410
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    Overall
    "Fascinating and fun"

    Have been reading Bryant and May for years and so happy to find them on audible. To those listeners who are too young to know, their names are a gentle bit of fun in themselves. "Bryant and May" were the manufacturers of the most popular British brand of matches, in those years when they were a household necessity.

    The narrator has perfectly captured these elderly detective friends as well as all the other diverse and amusing characters in the PCU. Their cases are peculiar and fascinating with many unexpected twists and turns. The wealth of unusual and interesting facts about London and its history, is an additional pleasure, but presented so easily within the story that you soak up the information almost unconsciously. A complete listening pleasure, and I look forward to collecting all the other Bryant and May audiobooks.

    Thank you audible.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 08-16-11
    Karen 08-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
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    83
    38
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    4
    Overall
    "Peculiar crimes and peculiar characters...."

    ...abound in this delightful book, the focus of which is The Peculiar Crimes Unit in the London Metro Police, where Arthur Bryant and John May have been posted in lieu of retirement. What a pair they are! And they are surrounded by eccentric and fascinating characters. You'll get a good dose of London trivia/history in this book, as well as a clever mystery that is unraveled bit by bit. It took me about 15-20 minutes to get into the rhythms of this book, which then carried me along like the London rivers it features. Tim Goodman's narration is as good as it comes; he does a splendid job of transitioning from character to character in a book that tells alot of its story with dialogue. I adored this book. Definitely a cut above the average mystery. Mr Fowler writes with intelligence, wisdom, humor and compassion. I've already ordered the next in the series.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paul big pine, CA, United States 03-04-10
    paul big pine, CA, United States 03-04-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Overall
    "pretty fun"

    some good accents, lots of atmosphere, lots of good background, engaging characters. The author knows a lot about the subject: it's an anatomy of the water system, and, like the anatomy of melancholy, perhaps a bit too long. Still, enough different than the run-of-the-mill whodunit to keep me listening.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan 01-22-09
    susan 01-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    Overall
    "I joined Audible for this series."

    I loved these books. Satisfying mysteries that make me laugh out loud. I hope to see more books by Christopher Fowler available.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP United States 04-28-14
    KP United States 04-28-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    380
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not For Me After All"

    This is the second Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery I've read. While the first was not my favorite, I thought the characters had some endearing qualities, and so gave this one a try. London is once again at the center of the story (this time, its waterways), but in a less interesting way than in the first novel, which was partially set in wartime London. The storylines are at times hard to follow, and I found the dialogue tiresome because it did not reveal new things about the characters (rather, it reiterated what had been learned about them in the first book). The narrator does a fine job with what he's given.

    I just can't get into this series the way I was hoping to (and the way I have with Louise Penny's Gamache mystery series and Craig Johnson's Longmire mystery series). Better luck to other listeners.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Sue
    Dunstable, United Kingdom
    4/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect."

    Tim Goodman captures our elderly heroes perfectly. Probably my favourite Bryant and May outing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. J. L. Kyle
    London, UK
    5/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant in every way"

    Very funny and very clever. The narration takes it to another level. I can't wait to listen to the next one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K
    UK
    4/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing sequel"

    After the first instalment, I was looking forward to this sequel with its ageing detectives immensely. It's the kind of interesting quirk which can make a noticeable leap out of bogged down genre. I can't say that the premise of the plot is not good, it is, and perhaps even acted as inspiration to Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series as it opens up the subterranean and aquatic world of London past and present.

    The characters this time, however, lost their appeal. May seems to be presented in this tale as a rather desperate lothario while Bryant continues a litany of complaint throughout the text along the lines of 'London's not like it used to be' which often borders on racism- the list of gangs doesn't consider that some of them might be white British.

    In addition to this, I notice a patronisingly sexist attitude surfacing early and becoming more apparent as I continued on. I found the suggestion that one man wouldn't have worked in a cafe because it wasn't 'man's work' rather baffling and then later that women would managed without men entirely if we could work out the A to Z ourselves frankly insulting and this is to name merely two instance. To give it the benefit of the doubt one might say that this is a result of the age of two protagonists or that the books just a bit dated. It's still annoying though. A bit like this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    1/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great series that deserves a better narrator"

    Don't let the hamfisted attempt at accents put you off. This is a quirky and engaging love song to London past and present with corpses thrown in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dexter
    1/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fun"

    Good story with humor.. gave me a good chuckle many times. Characters have depth which helps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ginger
    7/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    I liked the background of London's lost rivers, the eccentric information, the atmospheric writing of the endless wet streets and the pushing along of the story by weaving the scenes containing the different characters in and out without losing the thread ...... I have no idea to whom I would recommend this book but I will be reading another Bryant and May.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Hitchin, United Kingdom
    5/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Bryant and May"

    One of the best they have done. Bryant and May fans will really enjoy this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sylv Sheehan
    2/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was disappointed"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The detail about the rivers went on a bit too much, as did some of the conversations


    Would you recommend The Water Room to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I have read another Bryant and May book which I really enjoyed. This one was full of content which wasn't necessary


    What about Tim Goodman’s performance did you like?

    His voices are excellent


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

    Possibly


    Any additional comments?

    Not one of the best I have listened to. I nearly gave up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K. Bridges
    UK
    1/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like meering old friends"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the characters of Bryant and May are a lot of fun and I enjoy reading about their exploits


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Water Room?

    The descriptions of the underground sewers are fascinating


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He pronounces some common words wrong which is a bit strange.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it isn't that sort of book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gumblina
    10/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant"

    fantastic story and characters. Do not hesitate to buy, could not recommend it more. Narrator is top class and author Christopher Foyle a great writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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