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.
©2011 Ben Aaronvitch (P)2012 Tantor
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Although I did not enjoy Moon over Soho quite as much as Midnight Riot, I did find it quite entertaining and worth a credit. It certainly makes me hope that Audible will keep bringing us the audio versions as the author continues to add to the adventures of Peter Grant.
After the tragic events at the end of Book 1, Lesley May is indisposed throughout Book 2 and I think that's part of the reason I did not like this book as much. Peter needs the considered advice and more careful approach of Lesley to offset his inclinations to dive into trouble; without her, he does simply dive into trouble and I found his lack of sense a little aggravating. There are some semi-explicit sex scenes in this book that were not in Book 1 that I didn't really like - mostly I just wasn't as taken with the romantic interest as Peter and the author clearly were. (Although, without giving away anything, I will say I LOVED the scene where girl meets mother!) All said, I just wasn't as taken with Peter or the plotlines of Moon Over Soho as with Midnight Riot. But the back story for what happened to Peter's father was pretty great, Holdbrook-Smith is still nice to listen to (and easier to follow now), the book was still entertaining, and the ending gave me high hopes to see more of Lesley again. So, overall, a credit well spent and I'm going for Book 3.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
In his second adventure, Peter Grant pursues the killers of jazz musicians (by jazz vampires) and we learn more about Peter's father, a jazz legend. While his wizard training continues, Peter encounters chimeras, specialty vampires, and the Faceless Man (an evil wizard). This book is, if possible, even more fun than the first Peter Grant book.
Aaronovitch continues to create wonderful characters, each of whom has his or her own view of the world and the things that happen to them, often ironic or sarcastic but always either amusing or laugh-out-loud funny! Again Kobna Holdbrook-Smith gives a wonderful performance of the text. From cheeky working-class Peter to Oxford Dons to upper-class wizard Thomas Nightingale, the accents and inflection are perfect (at least to this American ear), and his female characters are as believable as the male characters. In addition, he does a creditable job of singing snatches of 40's and 50's jazz songs.
This series is one of the best discoveries in my reading life to come along in quite some time. I have already read the third of the series, and I pray that there will be many more installments.
This is one of the few audio books where the narrator not only lives up to the potiential of the book but also enhances it. The narrator gives the story more character and shades in the story to give it more depth. The various British terms (knackered meaning dead tired) (transport cafe is a truckstop) and the accent may give Americans a little trouble but otherwise I think everybody will enjoy the story.
The texture of the Jazz scene and the expressions of London life where enjoyable as well.
The first book was good but the second was better and I still waiting to listen to the third.
Once I opened my mind to the reality that this series is not really like Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and/or the Harry Potter stories (albeit an adult version).... I was able to see the story for what it is: very witty, very nice and (in my humble opinion)... well written. I'd read too many reviews and, unfortunately, that colored my perception. Don't get me wrong...that IS what made me pick up this series in the first place. I never would have given the books a second glance otherwise. Ironic, eh? There are common threads...but only in an overall, generalized sort of way. British humor for one and an apprentice learning magical skills. That's (roughly) about it. This series has a unique identity and that's awesome :) I'm glad I picked up book #2 in a sale. BTW: Book #2 (Moon Over Soho), is a tad different from Book #1 (Midnight Riot)... Have you ever heard the classic line by an actor/actress: I'll do nude but only if it's relevant to the story line...? THAT applies here. There is nudity and sexuality but it is not over done and does not linger for a page-after-page-after-page sort of nonsense ...just to be sensational, etc. There's actually a reason for it. Anyway. This book is very witty, the characters are allowed to grow, police procedures are followed and there is entertainment to be had. Enjoy. I did. That is one thing that this series really does have in common with Terry Pratchett...it makes me laugh a LOT. LOL.
Did not read the book
The Spider Series by Jennifer Estep are just as fast paced and fantastical. Love the characters, but like the Ben Aaronovitch series, the narrator simply makes the story.
He is brilliant with character voices but the cadence he applies to each character actually helped me visualize the person speaking. Books are grand but mostly one dimensional. When Kobna Holdbrook-Smith describes the vestigia, I can smell from his descriptions. I can feel textures. I can see expressions just from his speech. What a gifted artist.
When Peter discovered that Simone had ended her life.
I don't even think a movie would be as enjoyable. This combination of author and narrator made the story very personal; as if I was running along side Peter during the entire book.
Loved that exhilaration!
I truly enjoyed this book. Our quirky, magical Deputy Constable becomes the Jazz Police in the sequel to Midnight Riot. Peter Grant, self believed ladies man, humorously navigates some rather awkward romantic relationships with magical creatures amongst his regular police work duties. His conclusion, he creates a new rule for himself, don't date anyone with more magic than yourself.
While Peter does seem to get easily sidetracked by the ladies, he has two cases that intersect. One is of Jazz musicians that seem to be dying of an unheard of, until now, magical cause. This takes him and the healing Nightingale into discovering there may be more wizards in London than Nightingale knew of. This is of some surprise since Nightingale thought he was the last. We get the pleasure of exploring Nightingale's past, schooling, his time during World War II, and his recovery from it.
There are some fantastic jazz references in this book, although, Peter does have an unfair advantage since his father is the somewhat famous Lord Grant of the London Jazz scene. In this version with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as the narrator you even get to hear some snippets of the pieces mentioned. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a fantastic narrator, a favorite of mine. I recommend listening to it if you have a chance.
I mentioned there is a bit of romance in this book. There is some profanity and some sexually explicit material but it is not the focus of the story nor the bulk of it. If you read the first book, it has more than the last but I wouldn't shelve it under erotic fiction by any stretch of the imagination.
I read so I can write
The mind that has created this series of stories is almost impossible to imagine. Mr. Aaronovitch uses his well developed skill to spread out a story that contains elements of mystery, humor, fantasy and magic. And he captures the reader in his trap and holds you to the very end.
Add the talent of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and you have book/movie because the audio is so good it builds mind pictures.
This is a keeper.
I write reviews to help readers, not to win votes. My reviews are my honest opinion whether popular or not. I hope they help you. ;)
I like how the main character gives a lot of background on how the London Police operate. that was very interesting and quite different from where I live.
The magic is fun and interesting. The characters are easy to idenify with and the story is tight and concise.
I have only heard this narrator is the previous book in this series. he does an excellent job and is a great listen.
Harry Potter becomes a cop.
This is a fun series and this story is better than the first in the series. The book is still mostly monster of the week like the first book, but the overarching story is starting to take root.
First off, I love the series. After listening to the first book I immediately bought the next 2, and they did not disappoint. One criticism of Moon Over Soho, and to some extent the other 2 books is that the narration of inspector Nightingale is almost whispered. I had to keep going back and turning up the volume to re-listen to his character.
I found the different characters and their relationships to our world very interesting
I had many and did enjoy Peters discovery of his hidden talents of magic
Mr Holdbrook-Smith did a great job on all of the characters he did bring each to a level of professionalism that made the whole book a joy to listen to
Yes, but not practical in my line of work
Look forward to reading more Keep up the good works
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