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.
I really love the world building in this series. It’s so engrained into the society, no one really bats an eye about magic. Well most usually roll their eyes like it’s some annoying secret of London that they’d rather not have to deal with. Which is a hilarious way to address the public knowing about magic.
The love of music, mixed with the love of London, it’s so engulfing. It feels like you’re walking the streets with Peter. These books read like your sitting at a café, and Peter is telling you about his latest case. Which is fun, because Peters side thoughts are funny, and he tells it in such a laid back manner that you can’t help but want to know more.
His character growth from the last book to this one is fascinating. He is like growing a heart I guess? Ha. I don’t know how to explain it, he’s still a pretty crass main character, but he is also becoming less of a solo act I guess. Caring about those around him, and doing what’s right by them.
I love his approach to magic, wanting to do all the tests. It feels like the book has the old way on display as we learn about the world, and how Nightingale’s era did things, but it also has the new way, which I hope is hinting to a new generation of magic users.
This case was intricate and took us all around London meeting interesting people-magical and not. I look forward to the plot lines that were opened up here for future books. It looks to be an exciting ride. I hope the cases having many layers to dissect continues, because it makes it more complex and harder to tell who the really villains are. I didn’t suspect one of them in this book at all.
Lesley, oh Lesley. I don’t want to say much here because I don’t want to spoil any of her development but man. After our first run in with her in this book I was so hoping it was going to develop the way it did. Glad to see she will still be a key part of the series.
The Peter does seem to make a lot of HP comments, which feel a bit cheap, like it’s leaning on that world building already there to explain how something works in this world. But I also get that if a lot of us discovered magic right now, we would probably be making the same comparisons.
If you love police procedural mysteries, that are funny but build a vast magical world, you’ll love this series.
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