Surprise new Peter Grant audio short story! A RARE BOOK OF CUNNING DEVICE out now!

Sunday Times best-selling author and Doctor Who screenwriting alum, Ben Aaronovitch has teamed up with Audible for the release of A RARE BOOK OF CUNNING DEVICE! This is an audio-exclusive short story set in the world of his beloved Peter Grant/Rivers of London series after the latest novel, THE HANGING TREE.

Narrated by the ever-brilliant Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (who has narrated the whole series thus far), here’s the synopsis…

Supernatural investigator PC Peter Grant examines a multitude of mysterious goings on at the British Library. Called in to handle an apparent poltergeist, Grant must hunt among towering stacks of books and the library’s many shadowy basements to uncover who (or what) is causing priceless manuscripts to disappear from their shelves.

How could anyone resist setting a story amongst one of the world’s greatest concentration of culture and knowledge?’ Ben says of the story, which takes listeners behind the scenes of the second largest book collection in the world, and one London’s most treasured cultural institutions (with 625 km of shelves!).

Proceeds from the project will be donated to Cityread London, a charity that works to celebrate and support the capital’s libraries through a month-long programme of book groups, screening and events taking place throughout April each year. Ben’s debut, RIVERS OF LONDON, was the Cityread London spotlight title in 2015.

‘Audio offers enormous potential for authors and creators to explore the expanded universe of their favourite sagas,’ said Tracey Markham, UK Country Manager at Audible. ‘We’re always looking for ways to support original audio storytelling and have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ben on such a captivating short story. Having sponsored Cityread London for a number of years, we’re proud to continue championing such a worthwhile cause through Ben’s remarkable writing.’

The whole Peter Grant series – which has sold more than a million copies worldwide, and has been optioned for TV by Feel Films – is available on Audible. The books are published in the UK by Gollancz, in the US by Del Rey (1-3) and DAW Books (4-6), and has been published widely in translation.

THE FURTHEST STATION, a novella and the next book in the series, is due to be published on 21st September, by Gollancz and Subterranean Press.

Cityread London’s Final Week Events


All good things must come to an end… And this, sadly, includes Cityread London. As we’re sure you’re all aware, this year’s title was Ben Aaronovitch‘s critically-acclaimed, best-selling RIVERS OF LONDON. Above and below you can see a few photos from the Covent Garden launch event (from the group’s Facebook page). Next week is the final week of official events, and here is Ben’s schedule…

  • Monday, April 27th

11.00-12.30pm — Croydon: Ashburton Library — Author talk

7.00pm — Lewisham: Manor House Library — Author talk

  • Tuesday, April 28th

3.15-4.30pm — Bexley: Bexleyheath Central Library — ‘Come and hear Ben Aaronovitch tell tales of the RIVERS OF LONDON… The first in a series of books featuring P.C. Grant, these magical and humorous stories are an unusual CSI meets urban fantasy style and Ben brings these characters to life and will also be signing books at the end of his talk.’

7.00-8.00pm — Bromley: Bromley Central Library — ‘Come and hear Ben tell us all about this story and the following three books in his series of crime / urban fantasy fiction.’ You can fin more details here.

7:00 — The Society Club — ‘Under the Underground: Comics and Urban Fantasy’: An extra event, in case you can’t attend Ben’s talk, above. Join Titan Comics editor Steve White (Rivers of London: Body Work), architect and comic book artist Alison Sampson, writer Dan Watters and comic book artist Caspar Wijngaard (Tortured Life) for a talk exploring London’s uniquely spooky underbelly and its relationship to the medium of graphic novels and comic books. Moderated by Joel Janiurek. More details, here.

  • Wednesday, April 29th

7.00-8.30pm — Redbridge: Wanstead Library — ‘Ben Aaronovitch will be visiting Wanstead Library as part of Cityread London. He will be speaking about his book and writing, and what inspired him, before signing copies of his books.’ You can find more details, here.

  • Thursday, April 30th

6.30-8.00pm — Islington: The Gallery — Author talk

  • Saturday, May 2nd

11:00am-4:30pm — Magical Rivers of London — An afternoon-long event featuring a number of experts and more, drawn together to discuss London’s waterways and magic. More details here.

Finished RIVERS OF LONDON and want more? You’re in luck: the next four novels in Ben’s Peter Grant series are also out now, published by Gollancz in the UK: MOON OVER SOHO, WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, BROKEN HOMES and FOXGLOVE SUMMER. The next novel in the series, THE HANGING TREE, is due to be published soon (more details to come).



[L-to-R: Gollancz Publicist Sophie Calder, Ben Aaronovitch and Zeno’s own John Berlyne]

Next Week’s RIVERS OF LONDON Cityread London Events


Here are Ben Aaronovitch‘s events for next week, continuing the tremendously successful RIVERS OF LONDON Cityread London month-long celebrations…

  • April 20th

2:30-4:00pm — Kensington & Chelsea: Kensington Central Library — Ben will speak about RIVERS OF LONON, followed by a Q&A and book signing. You can book tickets for the event here.

6:30-8:00pm — Brent: Kilburn Library — Author talk

  • April 21st

6:00-7:30pm — Hounslow: Chiswick Library — Author talk

  • April 22nd

2:00-4:00pm — Hammersmith & Fulham: Hammersmith Library — Author talk

6:00-7:30pm — Westminster: Charing Cross Library — Author talk

  • April 23rd

2:30-4:30pm — Ealing Central Library — Author talk

7:30-8:30pm — Hillingdon: The Great Barn —‘Talking about his book Rivers of London, author Ben Aaronovitch will be interviewed by a local competition-winning student, scenes from his book will be acted out in a special Punch and Judy Show, and there will be opportunity for book signing. All this takes place in the beautiful Great Barn at Manor Farm in Ruislip. Tickets are free and can be booked in advance from any Hillingdon Library.’ More details here.

  • April 24th

11:15am-12:45pm — Harrow: Roxeth Library — Reading Group Session

6:00-8:00pm — Barnet: Chipping Barnet Library — ‘Ben will be talking about his books, answering questions and signing. Contact the library on 020 8359 4040 for more information. Entry is FREE but book your place early to avoid disappointment!’ More details here.

  • April 25th

4:00-5:00pm — Camden: Swiss Cottage Library Gallery — ‘Pictures from archive echoing themes of book and creative writing submissions displayed’ and Author talk

A city-wide celebration of reading, Cityread London’s 2015 title is Ben’s magnificent debut, RIVERS OF LONDON. You can find more details of Ben’s full schedule on his website. We mentioned in the past that there was a Cityreads London Goodreads group dedicated to RIVERS OF LONDON – so, if you’ve been enjoying the coverage, don’t live in London, and want to take part, that’s a great place to join in the fun.

The Peter Grant series is published in the UK by Gollancz, and so far includes RIVERS OF LONDON, MOON OVER SOHO, WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, BROKEN HOMES and FOXGLOVE SUMMER.

As a bonus, here’s a short video-clip from London Live about the Cityread event and RIVERS OF LONDON

And another clip, this time an interview with Ben, from 1000 Londoners

Next Week’s RIVERS OF LONDON Cityread Events

The RIVERS OF LONDON Cityread London festivities continue, after a very strong and successful first week. Ben Aaronovitch has attended a number of venues for talks and readings, all of which have been very popular and great times have been had by all.

One event last week of particular note was a reading at London’s Mail Rail. At this event, Doc Brown read KING OF RATS, a brand new short story Ben wrote for the occasion. Below you’ll find a video clip of the event…

This is not Doc Brown’s first brush with the RIVERS OF LONDON world. He works with Ben’s nephew Mikis Michaelides, who produced this music video for RIVERS OF LONDON

Here are Ben’s events for this second week of Cityread London (be sure to check your library’s websites for more/full details)…

  • April 7th
    • 7-8:30pm – Sutton Library – Meet & Greet, Talk and Signing
  • April 8th
    • 2-3:30pm – Kingston-upon-Thames, Surbiton Library
    • 6:30 – Lambeth, Brixton Library
  • April 9th
    • 7:00-8:30pm – Wandsworth, Balham Library Hall – Request attendees book in advance, due to limited space (free admission)
  • April 10th
    • 6:30pm – Waltham Forest, Walthamstow Library – Refreshments, puppet show, talk and Q&A session
  • April 11th
    • 2:30-4:00pm – Richmond, Twickenham Library
    • 7:00pm – Merton, Wimbledon Library

You can find more details of Ben’s schedule on his website.

RIVERS OF LONDON and the other Peter Grant novels are published in the UK by Gollancz. They have been published widely in translation, also.


Next Year, the City Reads RIVERS OF LONDON!


Cityread London have selected their 2015 read, and we’re delighted to report that it is Ben Aaronovitch‘s RIVERS OF LONDON! The novel is the critically-acclaimed, best-selling first book in the Peter Grant Series. Cityread London is London’s biggest annual bookclub, a ‘celebration of literature that aims to bring reading to life for the whole capital’. Published in the UK by Gollancz, here’s the synopsis…

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

You can follow Cityread London on Facebook, and find more information on their website.

The Peter Grant Series includes: RIVERS OF LONDON, MOON OVER SOHO, WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, BROKEN HOMES and FOXGLOVE SUMMER, which is published in the UK next Thursday! The series is published by Del Rey and DAW Books in the US, DTV in Germany, J’ai Lu in France, Hayakawa in Japan, and a number of other territories.