Our story begins at the end of an investigation, as the members of London's Peculiar Crimes Unit race to catch a killer near London Bridge Station in the rain, not realising that they’re about to cause a bizarre accident just yards away from the crime scene. And it will have repercussions for them all…One year later, in an exclusive London crescent, a woman walks her dog – but she’s being watched. When she’s found dead, the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to investigate. Why? Because the method of death is odd, the gardens are locked, the killer had no way in - or out - and the dog has disappeared.
So a typical case for Bryant & May. But the hows and whys of the murder are not the only mysteries surrounding the dead woman - there's a missing husband and a lost nanny to puzzle over too. And it seems very like that the killer is preparing to strike again.
As Arthur Bryant delves in to the history of London’s ‘wild chambers’ - its extraordinary parks and gardens, John May and the rest of the team seem to have caused a national scandal. If no-one is safe then all of London’s open spaces must be closed…
With the PCU placed under house arrest, only Arthur Bryant remains at liberty – but can a hallucinating old codger catch the criminal and save the unit before it’s too late?
1) Tell us about your book - Wild Chamber?
It’s about an impossible murder in a locked park, and through it Bryant & May uncover the strange secret history of London’s green spaces.
2) Who are some of your favourite authors?
Where to start? I have 120 books still to read on my Kindle at the moment, but let’s start with Dickens, EM Forster, Alexander Baron, Virginia Woolf, JG Ballard, lots of modern crime writers like Val McDermid, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves.
3) What inspires you?
Researching weird historical facts and talking to people, then coupling the human stories with the ones I’ve discovered.
4) What is it about mysteries that intrigues you as a writer?
They’re puzzle-boxes, but the best ones are more than just good fun – they make a point about society.
5) What is your writing process like?
Get up, go to my study, start work, try to avoid bad things in fridge, stop for lunch, get involved in disastrous displacement activity, go to theatre/cinema/pub, then repeat. Through weekends too!
6) What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I travel as much as I can – about to go dog-sledding to the North Pole, then off to somewhere hot. I have trouble staying still, but always have my laptop on me.
7) Do you have a favourite character to write about?
Bryant & May feel like they’ve been with me forever now, and are second nature.
8) Which scene did you find most challenging to write in Wild Chamber?
The one with a famous figure from British history. It took a LOT of research to write just the one short scene.
9) Do you know exactly how the plot is going to unfold before you start writing or does it develop as you write?
I have no idea. They say writers are either map-makers or gardeners. The former plan everything, the latter just chuck seeds about.
10) What are you working on now?
The next Bryant & May novel, ‘Hall Of Mirrors’, ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’, out from Quercus in October, and a new stand-alone thriller.
Thank you very much to Christopher Fowler for taking the time to answer our questions! And don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour as well. I'll be posting my review for Wild Chamber in April so keep an eye out for that!!