Ben Aaronovitch‘s Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection

635CAA2B-DECD-4158-87BA-D6BECD586D4EThis is a collection of short stories, including some “moments,” short pieces that Aaronovitch doesn’t want to call stories, set in the Rivers of London world. Not all of these stories feature the major characters in the novels. Several feature side characters and those whose stories were intended to be one-offs, but perhaps won’t be.

Well, in at least two cases, clearly won’t be. Tobias Winter and Vanessa Sommer, two young German police officers, met in The October Man. In Tales From the FollyTobias has a Moment in which he first learned disturbing news about the UK’s magical establishment. Vanessa has a short story in which, with her new knowledge, she returns home at Christmas time, intending to check out some of the peculiar features of her childhood community.

We also have Peter Grant going to the British Library to spend a night with the Folly’s own archivist, Professor Harold Postmartin, and the Library’s Special Collections Manager, Elise Winstanley, who turns out to be an old acquaintance of his mother’s. How old? She attended Peter’s christening, and knows his mother by her Sierra Leonean name. Ms. Whinstanley thinks the library has a poltergeist in Rare Books. It turns out to be something far more interesting.

There’s Abigail’s old school friend’s “favourite uncle,” who turns out not to be anywhere in the family tree and to have been visiting the family at Christmas for a very long time. The drug dealer and fashion connoisseur who needs to hide in a rundown house near a river when a deal goes wrong, and has a very unexpected experience. There’s a domestic quarrel that turns out to be the business of the Folly, and a happily married couple, a farmer and his former London police officer husband, who are congratulated by the local talking foxes on a blessing they haven’t yet received.

 And more. It’s fun, interesting, and rounds out the world Peter, Nightingale, and the Folly operate in.


(Jabberwocky Literary Agency, 2020)

Lis Carey

I'm a librarian, blogger, dog lover, cat lover, science fiction fan, student of history, and enthusiast of facts and information of all kinds. I love tracking down the answers to odd questions, and connecting people with the information they need. My professional background includes law firms, biotechnology R&D, and academic and public libraries.

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