My fondness for Peter Grant and the London he occupies is now so strong that I’ll follow Aaronovitch wherever he decides to take Peter and his friends. In this fifth installment of the supernatural noir series (with excellent comic timing), Peter ends up being sent out of London up to North Herefordshire to help with the investigation of two missing girls. His job is basically to determine whether or not magic is involved, or as the police put it, whether it is a “Falcon” situation or not.
Once Peter arrives in this rural area, he stands out for a number of reasons—skin color only being one of them. Though at first glance the case doesn’t seem to involve the uncanny, Peter soon begins to uncover bits of clues that make him suspicious and that suspicion gets him into trouble—the kind of trouble that involves killer unicorns and fae changelings.
As in any good mystery series, this book focuses on one main case but a larger arc is also in play—involving Peter’s old partner, Leslie, and something bad on the horizon. Though Inspector Nightingale, Peter’s mentor, and the mysterious Molly stay back in London, Peter is joined by Beverly, his sort-of girlfriend, who just happens to be river goddess. There are a lot of balls in play in this story but Peter is a very wry and engaging narrator, especially when he’s pulled out of his London element here.
Though I encourage you to start at the beginning with Rivers of London (or London Riot as the U.S. version is called), Foxglove Summer stands alone fairly well—perhaps because of the shift in location.