Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch relates the adventures of Constable Peter Grant as he continues both his apprenticeship to Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale and his on the job training as the only other member of the ESC9 (Economic and Specialist Crime Unit 9), colloquially known as the Folly. The abrupt death of a jazz musician ensnares Peter in an investigation that will necessitate his entering the world that his father was such a big part of and leads him to other cases that may be linked but span decades. Peter is continuing with his studies in magic and also has to deal with the repercussions of his friend Leslie's disfiguring damages from the last case that they both worked on as well as Nightingale's recuperation from his own injuries. The difficulties of blending modern developments with the traditions inculcated in the practice of the system of magic defined by Isaac Newton continue to throw roadblocks to Peter's education but his inquisitive brain strives to find viable solutions. The investigation into the jazz world leads Peter to discover unexpected links to his own family even as he runs into a few members of the river families he dealt with in the previous novel. The most alarming development is finding that there are others who will test his magical training, some more inimical than others while Peter is still struggling to find his way.
An intriguing view of police investigation in London with a magical twist. Peter is the product of a mixed ethnic marriage and uses his background to aid his investigation as even more of his family history is revealed. The laconic humor and understated descriptions of sometimes horrific occurrences mixed with the intriguing sprinklings of magic continue to set this mystery apart from others in this genre.
BODY AND SOUL
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.
From the Paperback edition.