‘The Haunting Of Tram Car 015’ by P. Djèli Clark

‘The Haunting Of Tram Car 015’ is another fun-packed fantasy novella from P. Djéli Clark. Set in the same world as ‘A Dead Djinn In Cairo’ it takes us through another case for the investigators of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. This time they’re dealing with something that haunts one of the autonomous tram cars, powered by Djinn magic, that whizzes through the sky above Cairo on a network of cables. They’re called in when whatever is haunting the tram car starts to attack passengers.

At 132 pages, this novella is more than twice as long as its predecessor, which allows for a more complex plot and more world-building. The pace remains fast and the energy is high. This book is a treat for the visual imagination, offering a riot of colour, fantastic technology and architecture and a vibrant mix of cultures. More time is spent on humour than character development but the humour works so I was fine with that.

The two male investigators find themselves in the midst of a plot where all the key characters, human and otherwise, are female and where the backdrop for the story is a popular movement to grant women the vote. The men do their best and acquit themselves with honour (even if they do have to dress as women to do it) but the women steal the show.

If you’re looking for a light fast fun romp through new territory, give this novella a try.

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