The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler
A detective witnesses a woman come out of a pub and stumble down the road. She is found dead a short way away the next day and the pub is gone. The Victoria Cross has simply vanished to be replaced with a mini-mart. To add weirdness on top of strangeness that location was a pub about two hundred years before. Now middle-aged women are being murdered in crowded pubs in London. Why? By who? Is anywhere safe anymore?
The unorthodox methods of the PCU (Peculiar Crimes Unit) will seem familiar and comfortable to those who remember the card catalog and miss it dearly. Research is done the old fashioned way, by reading books and interviewing lots of people. The books just happen to be obscure and the people aren’t the run of the mill experts – conspiracy theorists, medieval history buffs, and the like. But that just adds to the fun of unraveling what exactly is going on.
If you’re a fan of Jasper Fforde or Terry Pratchett and wouldn’t mind terribly if things made complete sense once in a while, you might want to join the Peculiar Crimes Unit as they solve some of London’s weirdest mysteries. Most refreshing to me is that there is a perfectly normal solution to the mystery; it just seems peculiar until you get the whole story.