The Invisible Code: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler is humorous and strange.
The humorous part is Arthur Bryant, the slovenly genius who runs the London Peculiar Crimes Unit.
The strange part has to do with white witches and other supernatural trappings.
But the supernatural ends up being a trapping. Bryant’s solution to the crime is real-world.
A young woman dies while meditating at St. Bride’s Church. Most likely, her death was natural. Two children watch her. They happen to be playing a “find the witch” game which many children play.
Then Bryant’s superior Oskar Kasavian asks Bryant and his partner May to investigate Kasavian’s wife Sabira.
Sabira’s strange behavior could endanger the international negotiations Kasavian is charged with completing.
Sabria ends up confined for mental illness.
When Sabira dies, it occurs to Bryant that the two deaths are murder, part of the same crime.
Bryant is able to function because of his assistant, John May. Bryant is humorously incompetent when it comes to the details of everyday life. But May is an organizer, a person who keeps his boss in line.
The final solutions involve Bryant with a white witch and a Satanic creep, but Bryant’s solution is real-world.
The last third of the book reads like a better-written The Da Vinci Code.
A few weeks ago, this book was on the Kindle bargain list. I bought it on a whim. I’m glad I did.