As I am reading the Matthew Swift Series by Kate Griffin (aka Catherine Webb), I am delighted by her spin on modern day London and on magic. She describes magical creatures made from the castoff debris and information of a city. She describes the people and the things that we know are there but don’t really acknowledge. She describes how people in a city relate and disassociate from one another. She describes the Life of the city, as if it were a living entity. Much of what she writes about resonates with what I have experienced in places, particularly in cities. While I had mixed feelings about A Madness of Angels, The Midnight Mayor, the second book in the series, lived up to my expectations. The novel has a good heart and just the right touch of humor.
Matthew and his electric blue angels are back. As the novel opens, he finds himself lying on the ground bleeding after answering the phone. His hand has odd markings burnt into it, and specters are soon chasing him. As things gets worse, Aldermen arrive at his home, blaming him for the death of the Midnight Mayor, who died about the same time as Matthew’s watch stopped. Only a sorcerer could have killed the Mayor. And, because Matthew is the only sorcerer in London, things don’t look good. To even further complicate matters, Matthew discovers that he is the new Midnight Mayor and London is in danger from some unknown source. One of the major clues is a mysterious message that keeps on appearing: “Give me back my hat.” Who killed the Mayor? Whose hat was taken? What does it have to do with the fate of London?