philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
[personal profile] philomytha posting in [community profile] the_folly
So here's the official cover for Foxglove Summer! Also the blurb from Waterstones, and an awful lot of speculation and rambling from me. All behind a cut to avoid spoiling people.

 photo FoxgloveSummerCover.jpg

In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London - to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can't take the London out of the copper. Travelling west with Beverley Brook, Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what's more all the shops are closed by 4pm...

There was some good conversation about this on Tumblr, though I'm posting this here because when I tried to post on Tumblr something terminal happened to my formatting and I have no idea why. But you can find it starting from here.

Peter and Beverley go to the country! I wonder if they take Toby too. I hope so. Peter in the countryside, poor thing, he's not going to be a happy camper up there. At least it is (presumably) summer. Into rural Herefordshire, not far from the Welsh border, which is to say, near the area that was Tolkien's inspiration for the Shire. Can I hope for lots of hobbit references? Rushpool itself seems to be fictional, at least it's not on Google Maps, but it's evidently a small rural village. Probably a very white small rural village, which may cause issues when Peter and Beverley show up.

I like the foxglove-fairy link mollyofthefolly on Tumblr makes (the old folk etymology of Foxglove is folk's-glove ie fairy gloves). Also, foxgloves are poisonous, something that was stressed to me so much when I was small that I was actually afraid to touch them in case I died (they're not actually THAT poisonous and people don't generally die of eating them; the drug digitalin is made from them). Anyway, speculating on from that with the plot of two children being abducted, I'm wondering about the traditional story of children stolen by fairies. It gets mentioned in Broken Homes:

"There was this Asian kid that got lost and Oberon got into an argument with Effra about who got to keep him," she said and showed me his picture on the phone.

He was a very handsome brown-skinned child with black ringlets and mahogany eyes. The kind of boy who was going to be mistaken for a girl until his teens and would leave a trail of broken hearts behind him thereafter.

"What do you mean Effra wanted to keep him?" asked Lesley suspiciously.

She never had so sweet a changeling, I thought. We'd done A Midsummer's Night's Dream at school when I was twelve - I was third magic tree on the left. I'd wanted to play Bottom, but then so did everyone else.

"Don't worry," said Abigail. "I got his name out of him and then got Reynard to sniff out his parents."

I wonder if this is going to come back again, only with no Abigail to save the day this time. Alternatively, the Faceless Man has to get the people he turns into cat-girls and vagina dentata creatures of the night from somewhere, and that's horrific enough for Aaronovitch. But I'd be surprised if there's a London connection in these books.

Then there are the other little pictures on the front: the UFO, the mobile phones, tractor, dead sheep, beehive and rucksack. The UFO stands out rather: Nightingale says the Folly doesn't do aliens. But fairies are pretty alien, or maybe there have been UFO sightings that Peter has to figure out. Or maybe Peter casts a werelight at night and ends up being responsible for all sorts of UFO reports? That would be fun.

I get the impression this isn't going to be a Nightingale-heavy book. Aaronovitch is constantly struggling with the problem of all mentor-and-apprentice stories, which is to say, how do you get the mentor out of the way so that the apprentice can have adventures? Leaving him behind in London seems like as good a technique as any. I imagine the phones are for keeping in contact, though as Peter points out, rural England is the Land of No Bars, so I predict no mobile reception at plot-critical moments. Alternatively, there are two phones: perhaps they belonged to the two missing children?

Bees are connected both with foxgloves (highly attractive to bees) and with fairies, plenty of possibilities there.

The dead sheep is a bit icky, but hardly uncommon: I grew up in a sheep-farming area and saw plenty of them every year. Sheep basically have a death wish and try to find the most ridiculous possible way to die. So I could believe that as just part of the rural scenery, ditto the antique tractor. Of course, both could have magical significance galore too. (The cover of Moon over Soho has an ambulance on it; perhaps Peter hijacks an antique steam-powered tractor this time? Very hard to control and manoeuvre, I bet.)

And now I'm out of ideas. Anyone else?
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