Peter Grant (book series)

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Peter Grant
In timeline order[1]

Rivers of London
(Midnight Riot in the US) (2011)
Moon Over Soho (2011)
Whispers Under Ground (2012)
Broken Homes (2013)
Body Work (graphic novel) (2016)
Foxglove Summer (2014)
Night Witch (graphic novel) (2016)
The Furthest Station (novella) (2017)
The Hanging Tree (2016)
Black Mould (graphic novel) (2017)
Lies Sleeping (2018)
The October Man (novella) (2019)
False Value (2020)

AuthorBen Aaronovitch (Novels and Graphic Novels)
Andrew Cartmel (Graphic Novels)
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreUrban Fantasy
Media typePrint

The Peter Grant series (alternatively, the Rivers of London series or the PC Grant series)[2] is a series of urban fantasy novels by English author Ben Aaronovitch, and comics/graphic novels by Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, illustrated by Lee Sullivan.

Plot overview[edit]

Novels and novellas[edit]

Rivers of London[edit]

(American title: Midnight Riot)

The novel centres on the adventures of Peter Grant, a young officer in the Metropolitan Police; who, following an unexpected encounter with a ghost, is recruited into the small branch of the Met that deals with magic and the supernatural.

Peter Grant, having become the first English apprentice wizard in over seventy years, must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases. In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers, and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames and their respective families.[3]

Moon over Soho[edit]

Following the events of Rivers of London Police Constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant is called in to help investigate the brutal murder of a journalist in the downstairs toilet of the Groucho Club in London's Soho district. At the same time Peter is disturbed by a number of deaths of amateur and semi-professional jazz musicians that occurred shortly after they performed. Despite the apparently natural causes of death each body exhibits a magical signature which leads Peter to believe that the deaths are far from natural.[4]

Whispers Under Ground[edit]

The son of a US senator is stabbed to death, and magic involvement is suspected. An FBI agent is involved with DC Grant's case. Meanwhile, in the sewers near the tunnels of London's Underground, something is happening.

Broken Homes[edit]

Another killer is on the loose, and the prime suspect could be an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man. A town planner goes under a tube train, and a grimoire has been stolen. And when Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, he has to investigate whether there is a connection.

Foxglove Summer[edit]

Leaving London, Peter goes to a small village in Herefordshire, where there appears to be a supernatural element to the disappearance of two local girls. Having to cope with local cops, as well as local gods, Peter finds the mystery deepens.

The Hanging Tree[edit]

Back in London, Peter faces the legacy of London's hangings. Investigating suspicious murders in the world of the super-rich, Peter is in a different world to the one he is used to investigating.

The Furthest Station (novella)[edit]

In this novella, published in September 2017, Peter needs to deal with commuting ghosts, forgetful commuters, and deciphering a ghost's urgent message.

Lies Sleeping[edit]

Published in November 2018, Peter continues the investigations into Martin Chorley.

The October Man (novella)[edit]

Published in June 2019. Tobias Winter, the only apprentice in the "Abteilung komplexe und diffuse Angelegenheiten" (KDA) (Department for Complex and Diffuse Matters – the German equivalent of the Folly) investigates a suspicious death in a vineyard near the Mosel. His local colleague is Vanessa Sommer, who is going to join the KDA in the end as well.

False Value[edit]

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up – the Serious Cybernetics Company. The publication date was originally given as November 2019 but the book was actually released on 20 February 2020.[5][6]

Graphic novels[edit]

The Rivers of London graphic novel series each tell a separate story arc in individual comics that when finished are collected and sold in electronic form as well as hardback and softback bound editions.

Body Work – Starting with a car on a killing spree, with no driver, Peter investigates a Bosnian refugee and a seemingly-harmless wooden bench with the darkest of paths...[7]

  • Hardback: ISBN 9781785853647, First edition March 2016
  • Softback: ISBN 9781782761877, First edition March 2016
  • Set between Broken Homes and Foxglove Summer[1]
  • Originally released as five monthly issues.

Night Witch - Russian Oligarch's daughter is kidnapped and he thinks kidnapping Nightwitch Varvara Sidorovna will help the situation.[8]

  • Set between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree[1]
  • Originally released as five monthly issues.

Black Mould – Sahra Guleed joins Grant in determining the source of Black Mould invading the suburbs while Nightingale takes on a haunted ice cream van.[9]

  • Set between Night Witch and The Hanging Tree (Although the readers guide at the back of Black Mould places this story after The Hanging Tree,[1] a brief reference is made in The Hanging Tree to the events in this story[10])
  • Originally released as five monthly issues.

Detective Stories - Peter is trying to make Detective which is a bit complicated when your exam proctor is 90% sure you are crazy or a practical joke!

  • Set between The Hanging Tree and Cry Fox.
  • Originally released as four monthly issues.

Cry Fox – Reynard is up to his tricks again and this time it involves some old Russian friends.

  • Set between Detective Stories and Water Weed.
  • Originally released as four monthly issues.

Water Weed – When Chelsea and Olympia decide to earn a few quid on the side, Peter and Bev find themselves confronting London's new queenpin of crime – the brutal and beautiful Hoodette!

  • Originally released as four monthly issues, June 2018 – September 2018.

Action At A Distance – Nightingale searches for a serial killer in 1957 London.

  • Softback: First Edition: November 2019

Future instalments[edit]

Listed below are forthcoming titles, as confirmed on Ben Aaronovitch's blog.

What Abigail Did That Summer[edit]

What Abigail Did That Summer is a forthcoming novella set between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree. In the series chronology it will be the first novella, taking place before The Furthest Station.

Untitled Kimberley Reynolds Novella[edit]

Following FBI Agent Kimberley Reynolds, who was introduced in Whispers Underground, and has subsequently become an ally of the Folly, this novella is set after Lies Sleeping.[11]

Graphic novels[edit]

A forthcoming graphic novel, The Fey and the Furious, is set after the events of Lies Sleeping.[11]

Other work[edit]

Aaronovitch has also announced several works within the same fictional universe, but set outside the chronology of the main series. These works include a short story entitled 'Cock of The Wall' focusing on Petrus Aelius Bekemetus,[11] who Aaronovitch describes as a "temple official/Londinium wideboy" – i.e. set in Roman London which Peter Grant briefly visited in the first book of the series.[12] Also planned is an untitled Novella focusing on Peter's mentor Thomas Nightingale.[11]

On 1 May 2019 it was announced that a television adaptation of Rivers of London would be produced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's production company, Stolen Picture.[13]

At Dragonmeet convention in London, on 30 November 2019, it was announced that a role-playing game based on the book series would be published by Chaosium.[14]

Stories listed by internal chronology[edit]

In a blog entry,[15] the author has provided a list of the stories, by internal chronology.

Timeframe (if known) Story title Published
1957 Action at a Distance (graphic novel) Parts 1–4, October 2018 through January 2019, collected 12 November 2019
1966 Moment #1
1960s A Dedicated Follower of Fashion (short story) included in 'Tales from the Folly'
January to June 2012 Rivers of London (novel) 10 January 2011 (2011-01-10)[16]
During the 2012 Summer Olympics The Home Crowd Advantage (short story) 'London Edition' of Rivers of London and on his official website, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
2012 Moment #3
September to October 2012 Moon Over Soho (novel) 21 April 2011 (2011-04-21)[17]
The Domestic (short story) Waterstones edition of Whispers Under Ground, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
December 2012 Whispers Under Ground (novel) 21 June 2012 (2012-06-21)
The Cockpit (short story) Waterstones edition of Broken Homes, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
March–April 2013 Broken Homes (novel) 25 July 2013 (2013-07-25)
Not given Body Work (graphic novel) Parts 1–5 – 16 July 2015 through 20 November 2015, collected 29 March 2016
August 2013 Foxglove Summer (novel) 13 November 2014 (2014-11-13)
What Abigail Did That Summer (novella) forthcoming
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Granny (short story) Waterstones edition of Foxglove Summer, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
Night Witch (graphic novel) Parts 1–3 – 16 March 2016 through 18 May 2016, collected 1 November 2016
December 2014 Favourite Uncle (short story) Waterstones edition of Lies Sleeping, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
Black Mould (graphic novel) Parts 1–5 – 12 October 2016 through 8 March 2017, collected 25 July 2017
King of the Rats (short story) Waterstones edition of The Hanging Tree, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
Late July 2014 The Furthest Station (novella) 28 September 2017
Detective Stories (graphic novel) Parts 1–4, 7 June 2017 through 3 September 2017, collected 29 December 2017
2014 Moment #2
Cry Fox (graphic novel) 8 November 2017, collected 26 June 2018
Water Weed (graphic novel) Parts 1–4, June 2018 through September 2018, collected 18 December 2018
Undisclosed month in 2014 The Hanging Tree (novel) 3 November 2016 in the UK,[18] 31 January 2017 in the US[19]
A Rare Book of Cunning Device (audio book) Audible special edition in 2017, included in 'Tales from the Folly'
The October Man (novella) 31 May 2019
Starts after 14 November 2014[20] Lies Sleeping (novel) 18 November 2018 in the UK
The Fey and the Furious (graphic novel) 10 November 2020 (forthcoming)
January 2016 False Value (novel) 20 February 2020
Cock of the Wall (short story) included in 'Tales from the Folly'
Untitled Nightingale Novella (forthcoming)

On the page where the official order is given, the author writes: "One caveat – the short story The Home Crowd Advantage is obviously set in 2012 during the London Olympics but because it was written before the chronology of the series had firmed up it contains a number of anachronisms. I've learnt to be philosophical about this sort of thing." Many of the stories give vague dates, and some of those dates conflict with the official series order (compare Foxglove Summer and The Furthest Station).

Main characters[edit]

Note: the following section contains major spoilers for book 4 and beyond.

  • Police Constable Peter Grant; an officer in the Metropolitan Police and the first official apprentice wizard in sixty years.
  • Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale; head of the Folly and the last officially sanctioned English Wizard.
  • Lesley May; formerly Police Constable in the Metropolitan Police and de facto apprentice to Nightingale; now criminal associate of the Faceless Man and subject to an internal investigation
  • Detective Chief Inspector Alexander Seawoll; Senior Investigation Officer at the Westminster Murder Investigation Team.
  • Detective Sergeant Miriam Stephanopoulos; case officer of the Belgravia Murder Investigation Team and 'right hand man' to DCI Seawoll
  • Detective Constable Sahra Guleed; Attached to Belgravia Murder Investigation Team, often works with Peter when his cases are in London.
  • Dr Abdul Haqq Walid; world-renowned gastroenterologist and cryptopathologist.
  • Frank Caffrey; LFB (London Fire Brigade) Fire Investigator, ex-para and a key "associate" of the Folly.
  • Professor Harold Postmartin D.Phil. FRS BMon "Postmartin the Pirate" Archivist and expert for the Folly.
  • Molly; The Folly's domestic helper, of not entirely clarified species, but she has been referred to as fae-like in the PC Grant novel "Foxglove Summer".
  • Abigail Kamara; an annoyingly persistent teen-aged girl who is the de facto founding member of the Folly's Youth Wing. Lives at the same estate as Peter's parents.
  • Beverley Brook; "daughter" of Mama Thames and goddess of Beverley Brook, a small river in South London; in later books, Peter Grant's girlfriend.
  • Cecilia Tyburn Thames; aka Lady Ty, "daughter" of Mama Thames and goddess of the River Tyburn.
  • Oxley; god of the River Oxley one of the "sons" of Father Thames and his chief negotiator.
  • Toby; Peter's dog, who can detect magic, indicated by barking
  • Varvara Sidorovna Tamonina (aka. Varenka Dobroslova); Russian/Soviet witch (Night Witch), magical WWII veteran (365th Special Regiment of the Red Army), later living on her own in Britain with a magically extended lifetime

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ben Aaronovitch; Andrew Cartmel (2017). Black Mould. Titan Comics. ISBN 9781785863851. - Rivers of London Reader's Guide
  2. ^ "The PC Grant Series". Orion Books. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  3. ^ Bullock, Saxon (14 January 2011). "Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch – book review". SFX. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  4. ^ Ingham, Peter (24 June 2011). "Book Review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  5. ^ "False Value By Ben Aaronovitch". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  6. ^ "False Value By Ben Aaronovitch". Gollancz. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. ^ Ben Aaronovitch; Andrew Cartmel (2016). Body Work. Titan Comics. ISBN 9781785853647.
  8. ^ Ben Aaronovitch; Andrew Cartmel (2016). Night Witch. Titan Comics. ISBN 9781785852930.
  9. ^ Ben Aaronovitch; Andrew Cartmel (2017). Black Mould. Titan Comics. ISBN 9781785863851.
  10. ^ 1964–, Aaronovitch, Ben (11 July 2017). The hanging tree. London, England. ISBN 9780575132573. OCLC 943233035.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ a b c d "Temporarily Significant – Book and Comic Chronology". Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Ben Aaronovitch on Twitter". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to turn fantasy novel series Rivers of London into a TV series". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Chaosium Announces Rivers of London Roleplaying Game". Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch – Lovereading UK". Love Reading. 10 January 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Lovereading". Lovereading. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^
  20. ^ Aaronovitch, Ben. Lies Sleeping. p. 2.