Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors is Christopher Fowler’s 16th tale of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and this time we’re off to London in the swinging ’60s. Even in their youth, detectives Bryant and May had a habit of doing things their own way, and a simple assignment—keep a man alive for a weekend and get him to court to testify on Monday morning—takes several hard left turns. There’s slapstick comedy and swift wordplay (the duo’s word games are briefly upstaged by Bryant dangling upside down from a trellis during a window escape) as well as food for thought. Standout moments include exchanges between hippies in love with the idea of freedom and the elders who fought in World War II but don’t see their own definition of “freedom” in loose morals and patchouli fumes. If this is your first outing with Bryant and May, you’ll want to read them all.
In A Most Tolerant Little Town, Rachel Louise Martin captures the violence, fear and fortitude that accompanied the first court-mandated school desegregation in America.