Book Review: What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Juvenile fantasy
Publisher: Subterranen Press
Publication Date: March 18th, 2021
Pages: 231, hardcover
Source: NetGalley

Ghost hunter, fox whisperer, troublemaker.

It is the summer of 2013 and Abigail Kamara has been left to her own devices. This might, by those who know her, be considered a mistake. While her cousin, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant, is off in the sticks, chasing unicorns, Abigail is chasing her own mystery. Teenagers around Hampstead Heath have been going missing but before the police can get fully engaged, the teens return home – unharmed but vague about where they’ve been.

Aided only by her new friend Simon, her knowledge that magic is real, and a posse of talking foxes that think they’re spies, Abigail must venture into the wilds of Hampstead to discover who is luring the teenagers and more importantly – why?

What Abigail Did That Summer is the latest in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. This outing doesn’t star police detective Peter Grant. Instead, we spend time with Abigail, Peter’s precocious cousin, some talking foxes, and some ghosts from the past.

When one of her schoolmates tries to get her to visit an abandoned house, Abigail is suspicious, and realizes that there could be a connection to some recent disappearances of local teens. With the help of the local river goddess, and some talking foxes, she investigates. 

While Peter is not in this book, Nightingale is, but only as story editor and ultimately to help Abigail tie up some loose ends.

Abigail has a strong voice, and is a snarky, but endearing character. There are glimpses into her family life, and into some folk history for both humans and the foxes.

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