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Suspicious deaths are not usually the concern of PC Peter Grant or the Folly, even when they happen at an exclusive party in one of the most expensive apartment blocks in London. But Lady Ty's daughter was there, and Peter owes Lady Ty a favour.
Plunged into the alien world of the super-rich, where the basements are bigger than the house and dangerous, arcane items are bought and sold on the open market, a sensible young copper would keep his head down and his nose clean. But this is Peter Grant we're talking about.
He's been given an unparalleled opportunity to alienate old friends and create new enemies at the point where the world of magic and that of privilege intersect. Assuming he survives the week . . .
Aaronovitch's sixth supernatural police procedural featuring Peter Grant (after Foxglove Summer) is another superior blend of mystery and wry humor. Grant, who is one of just two people in London authorized to practice magic, is asked by an acquaintance, Lady Cecelia Tyburn-Thames, to make sure that her adolescent daughter, Olivia, is not implicated in the homicide investigation into the fatal overdose of a friend, 17-year-old Christina Chorley. The aristocrat also insists that Grant keep her request confidential, which he promptly ignores. When Grant looks into the death, he finds evidence that the dead teenager had been practicing magic, without permission, at the time of her death. His pursuit of the truth ends up leading to a ledger kept by legendary Victorian criminal Jonathan Wild, which may indicate where Isaac Newton's lost alchemy papers can be found. The worldbuilding is both clever and funny, and Grant continues to be an interesting hero.