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A Rare Book of Cunning Device is the latest offering by the popular urban fantasy/mystery author Ben Aaronovitch.
At only some 30 minutes of listening time, the book is very short. It was primarily written to raise money for Cityread, an event celebrated each April in London whereby people read only one book a month.
It is basically a novella, and it’s only available on Audibles as it’s published as an audiobook exclusive narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. The book is also free, at least for now.
I usually don’t listen to audiobooks, but since it was so short and it’s a Peter Grant story, I simply had to listen to it (which I did while on the treadmill one sunny autumn afternoon).
In Nightingale’s absence, Peter is called to the British Library by librarian Elizabeth Winn-Stanley to check out a poltergeist issue in their basement. What it turns out to be, however, much to Peter’s surprise, is, in fact, a book who got legs so to speak. It’s running amok during the night and scaring poor librarians.
After some more investigation by Peter, the book turns out to be something much more sinister: a somewhat sentient ancient magical device whose origins are so far unknown.
Since the case involves books and libraries, of course, Folly’s one and only librarian, Professor Harold Postmartin, cannot miss out on the action.
After listening to this short book, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that some people developed book phobias. Hm, it even has a name, bibliophobia.
While the story doesn’t really add too much to the Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London world, it does bring back a few of our favorite characters, brings back Peter’s special brand of humor and irony, and his world of magic which can give you some fun listening times.
A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant #6.5
Published by Audible Studios
Genres: Paranormal Mystery