Monday, September 26, 2022

Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London #2), by Ben Aaronovitch (author), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (narrator)

Tantor Media, ISBN 9781452680088, September 2012 (original publication October 2011)

Peter Grant, Patrol Constable and apprentice Wizard with the Metropolitan Police, is called in by Dr. Walid to listen to a corpse.

Cyrus Wilkinson, jazz musician by night and accountant by day, died suddenly, right after a performance, apparently of natural causes. However, in the process of doing the postmortem, Walid hears a song. He recognizes it as jazz, but jazz isn't his thing, and it is, if not Peter's, at least his father's. Richard Grant, nicknamed "Lord" Grant by his fellow musicians, stood on the brink of becoming a jazz legend twice, and managed to destroy his own career both times. Peter has grown up with jazz. He recognizes the song as "Body and Soul," but can't identify the musician. The fact that this remnant of music is clinging to the body, though, means that some really powerful magic was involved in Wilkinson's death. There's a killer out there, using magic, and he has to be caught. That means it's Peter's business, or rather the Folly's, which means--Peter and his boss, Thomas Nightingale.

Peter turns to his father to identify the musician playing the song. Then he goes doing normal police legwork into the background and associates of the dead man, and looking for signs of similar unexpected but seemingly natural deaths, specifically among jazz musicians. No one is going to let him dig up corpses to test for vestigia of magic, so--more legwork. He meets Simone, Cyrus Wilkinson's ex-lover, and his band, and is summoned to another death that looks remarkably like Cyrus's. As the band members realize that Peter is "Lord" Grant's son, and the police officer investigating their bandmate's death, they become happy to help with whatever information they can provide. Oh, and they'd like to meet "Lord" Grant, if convenient.

But beyond that relatively positive development, there's that other death, followed by yet another, by a different means. A man is found dead sitting on a toilet in a another music club, bled to death after his penis was bitten off in what appears to be a second instance of an attack by a woman with teeth in her vagina. Before long, Peter is hunting a Pale Lady (a death avatar), possible "jazz vampires," sucking the life force out of, for some reason, specifically jazz musicians. Peter also learns some, let's say startling, things about both Thomas Nightingale, and the Folly's housekeeper, Molly.
This is also the book where Peter meets Abigail Kamara. A tiny, unimportant detail, in this book.

It's an interesting and complex mystery, and we get better acquainted with Peter, his friends and family, and his world.


I bought this audiobook.

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