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Highly recommended urban fantasy / police procedural — Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series, starting with “Midnight Riot”

(Del Rey)
(Del Rey)

Very nicely done. The books are police procedurals set in a London where magical creatures exist and are known to the police but hidden from the public, with a wisecracking, apprentice magician police officer as the hero. But, of course, the trick in all these things is in the execution, and I found these to have been executed very well.

And, no, I don’t much care for the Dresden Files series; I picked up the first one a while back and couldn’t get through the first few chapters. On the other hand, I did like the Laurell Hamilton Anita Blake series — or at least the first few books, until things got kinky in a way that’s not my kind of kink. The Aaronovitch books are with less sex, less darkness and more humor than the Hamilton ones.

In any case, give the first one a try, if you go for this sort of thing. It’s called “Midnight Riot,” though I think it was released as “Rivers of London” in England. I gave it a try, and I’m glad I did.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.

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