Mathematical Mystery series by Jonathan Pinnock. Released 16th April 2020 by Duckworth on their Farrago imprint, it's 304 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.
The setup and humor remind me very much of other humorous British SF(ish)
classics: Fforde, Fowler, Grant/Naylor, Moore, Stross, Aaronovitch, et.al. It's not
derivative, not really, the author has a slightly different humorous
slant and oh, good heavens, the puns flow like a mighty river. Whilst
reading, I definitely felt like the aforementioned authors were being
There are genuinely funny moments and the pacing is frenetic and
relentless. The bad guys are boo-worthy, the good guys are plucky and funny and brave (if often quite hapless) and the end result
is enjoyably readable. This is precisely the type of mystery/speculative fiction I adore and I was honestly captivated from literally the first page. This is the first book in a while which has made me stay up late reading. The author is adept at writing in necessary backstory, so it does work well as a standalone, but I recommend the other volumes in the series quite highly.
Four and a half stars, rounded up for the writing. People who loathe
puns (or intelligent humour) will likely not enjoy this one. Fans of Laundry
Files, Red Dwarf, HHGttG, and the others will find a lot to like until
the next Shadow Police novel hits the stands (if it ever does... yes,
I'm lookin' at you, Paul Cornell). For North American readers, the spellings and vernacular are British English. Nothing which should prove frustrating in context.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.