Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
It’s a sad fact of modern life that if you drive long enough, sooner or later you must leave London behind.
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.
After hunting a murderous supernatural being in the last book, PC Peter Grant of the preternatural part of the London police now has two weird crimes on his plate: one, a pale woman murdering men by biting of their private parts with her vagina and two, something strange murdering jazz musicians and leaving an imprint of the song Body and Soul behind.
So right off the bat, we got some really cool mysteries with this book. And like the last one, I adored the setting and the humorous descriptions. Peter likes being a magician, but he’s also been a member of the London police force for a long time. And he is a 21st century guy, two viewpoints he takes to magic.
I’m an old-fashioned copper – I don’t believe in beeaking the laws of thermodynamics.
So these parts were great, as were the parts where Peter explored the supernatural part of London and we got to know a bit more about the past of wizardry in England.
However, as with the last book, there were too many tangents Peter went on, particularly about directions (seriously, it sometimes felt like reading a GPS route of London) and jazz. Sometimes it feels a bit as if the author wanted to let us share in all the research he did for the book.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“Ken Johnson,” said Dad. “Old Snakehips himself. This is off Blitzkrieg Babies and Bands, some nice transfers from shellac. The liner notes say that it’s “Jiver” Hutchinson on trumpet. But it’s obviously Dave Wilkins, because the fingering’s all different.”
To be honest, my eyes glazed ove a bit when I read these parts. Honestly, I know squat about jazz.
Still, it was a really cool, fun read.
I love the setting: urban fantasy mixed with the actual London police.