Review: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: DelRey (March 2011)
Source: Publisher for review
The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.
My favorite wise cracking police constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant is back in Moon Over Soho! It seems that jazz musicians are dying all over London, and Peter is in a race against time to find out who, or what, would want to kill these musicians, and maybe just as importantly, why. Providing an extremely unwanted distraction from that case is a, er, maneater, of sorts, tearing her way through the nightclub scene and leaving the bodies of men behind that are missing more than just their lives. With the help of his teacher and mentor, DCI Thomas Nightingale, and a motley crew of jazz musicians dubbed The Irregulars, Peter must follow the bodies, and the magic, to solve the case.
Moon Over Soho, like Peter’s first adventure, Midnight Riot, is a ton of fun. I love the magic infused London that the author has created, and Peter is a wonderful narrator, clever and wry in his delivery. Peter has a lot on his shoulders,though. He’s still learning the basics of magic, solving cases, and dealing with his friend and former partner, Leslie, as she suffers with the heinous injury obtained while working their last case. Peter does get a bit of a reprieve though, in the form of a gorgeous jazz moll by the name of Simone Fitzwilliam, who works her own form of magic on our hero. The rich, urban, London history that made Midnight Riot so interesting is back, and there’s plenty of action to satisfy any fan of police procedurals. A couple of nice twists round everything out, and plenty of meaty material is left for the next novel, which can’t come soon enough! Highly recommended!