The Victoria Vanishes is the sixth installment in the Peculiar Crimes Unit series featuring Bryant and May, two detectives who have unusual methods of solving unusual crimes. One evening, in front of the Victoria Cross pub, Bryant sees a woman murdered. Later, when he goes to investigate, he finds that the pub doesn’t exist. One murder turns into several as a killer is tracked down.
There’s not only murder in this intelligent mystery, but lore about the old pubs of London and a government conspiracy. The strength of the novel lies in the psychological evaluations of the murderer, the characterizations of Bryant, May, and their colleagues, and the pub lore. As one of the characters says, "The pubs of London are taken almost completely for granted by those who drink in them. Every single one has a unique and extraordinary history...these places hold the key to our past, and therefore present. They're an unappreciated indication of who we are, and a sign of all we've lost and remember fondly." And every now and then, Fowler attempts to infuse the book with a little humor. This novel is well-written and charming, and I look forward to reading more novels in the series.
Also reviewed by: Bookeywookey