#FridayReads 2021-05-21 ‘The Library of The Dead’, ‘A Master of Djinn’ and ‘What Abigail Did That Summer’

I’m leaving the real world behind this week and slipping into known places turned strange by the addition of a little magic. The first book is set in a haunted version of Edinburgh where the dead speak to those with ears to hear them and something is stalking the children of the city. In the second book, I revisit an alternate version of 1912 Cairo, which the British failed to conquer because the release of Djinn into our world changed the game. The final book is a novella in the Rivers of London series, a morsel to tide me over until the next Peter Grant novel is ready.

I’m hoping for stories that solve mysteries with as much humour as magic.

The Library Of The Dead’ by T.L. Huchu (2021)

I’m always hungry for new talent, so I picked up ‘The Library Of The Dead’ as soon as I heard that Bella Pagan at Tor had bought the first two books in T L Huchu’s series about a Scottish girl of Zimbabwean descent talking to the dead in an alternative Edinburgh.

Bookseller reported T. L. Huchu’s reaction to signing the two-book deal as:

“This is super-dope; I’m thrilled to be working with Bella and the guys at Tor. I’m a bibliophile, foremost, and Tor publishes a whole bunch of some of my favourite authors working today. So to be a part of that is pretty cool. This book was a labour of love for me and I hope readers will enjoy meeting Ropa Moyo and her upside-down version of Edinburgh.”

Bella Pagan pitched the book by saying:

“I feel I’ve been waiting forever for just this brilliantly inventive book. And now we’ve acquired it, I couldn’t be happier. It’s smart, fast-paced, witty and vividly imagined. Our heroine Ropa Moyo is amazing too, mixing up Zimbabwean magic with her Scottish wit and pragmatism.”

That gives it a lot to live up to. I’m looking forward to starting it.

‘A Master Of Djinn’ by P. Dèjeli Clark (2021)

I’ve been following P Dèjli Clark’s novellas since I read ‘The Black God’s Drums‘ in 2019. I love the freshness of his vision and the lightness of his touch.

I’ve already been to Cairo with him twice now to meet Fatma el-Sha’arawi, Agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities in ‘A Dead Djinn In Cairo’ and ‘The Haunting of Tram Car 015‘.

I’m excited to see that he’s now produced a full-length novel (396 pages) which is being positioned as the first in a series. I’m looking forward to meeting Agent Fatma again and seeing what P Djèli Clark will do with all that extra space.

What Abigail Did That Summer’ by Ben Aaronovitch (2021)

It’s been over year now since I read the last Peter Grant Rivers of London book ‘False Value’ so, even though this is a novella and not the novel I’d been waiting for, I decided to give it a try.

False Value, the eighth novel in the series, was a little disappointing. My summary at the time was ‘I had fun with this. I’m glad I read it. I hope the next one is better.’

Well, this is the next one and I’ll be using it to see whether this series is written-out or still has life in it. I’m glad that this little side-novella is about Abigail, rather than Peter, as doing anything new or interesting with Peter is going to take a full novel but visiting Abigail and her foxes for the first time might be fun.

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