I recently reread Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch and it made me remember reading another book in the same time period (somewhere around 2010-2016) that had a similar feel to it. I know I checked them both out of the library around the same time, but I go through a lot of books in a year, so searching over the library history is a bit prohibitive.

What I remember is that the protagonist runs a shop, either an antique shop or an actual magic shop (albeit with all of the good stuff in the back). For whatever reason, he's outside of the usual power structure, which is part of why he's picked as a pawn in the first book in a search for an artifact that I want to say is an ivory wand and involves some sort of ancient fae. The second book has him infiltrating a gathering of magicians in a manor in the countryside, although I don't remember much else.

2 Answers 2


In the process of trying to pin down details, I found the answer on a list of "Dresden Clones". Number one is Benedict Jacka's "Alex Verus" series. Alex runs a magic shop and is indeed picked to find an ancient artifact in the first book, Fated, which turns out to be an ivory wand:

Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future--allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none...

And it looks like the manor plot is actually the third book, Taken:

Alex Verus, our friend with an eye on the future, is on the job once again. He is hired to look into the unexplained disappearances of mage apprentices. Apprentices are disappearing and no witness come forward and no clues are left behind. Mages walk into a building and never come out. In the midst of the disappearances, the apprentices are gathering for dueling tournament. The gathering is occurring a Fountain Reach, an old and mysterious house with secrets that Verus must expose.


While not the correct answer, the Deadly Curiosities series by Gail Z. Martin matches on some points.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670 – acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500-year-old vampire and former jewel thief, and Teag, her Assistant Store Manager with gifts of his own, Cassidy and company makes it their business to get infernal objects off the market.

Specifically, it is a paranormal series set around a curiosity shop with apocalyptic artifacts and was released around the right timeframe (2013-2016).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.