My two favourite genres are detective mysteries and science fiction; a successful combination of the two is a very rare treat. I'm discovering, though, that the combination of "urban fantasy" and detective mystery tickles my fancy in much the same way. Because urban fantasy is popular right now, it's throwing off a lot of delightful material.
Rivers of London reads like a combination of Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series, Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift books, and Charlie Stross's Laundry Files. It's filled with old and new London lore, an internet-age vision of practical magic, and an irreverent attitude towards institutions -- in this case the Metropolitan Police.
The book dances between laugh-out-loud funny and gruesomely serious. The characters are delightful, and the writing is sharp and witty. I brought the paperback book with me on holiday. After finishing it, I downloaded the ebook of the sequel straight away - it's must-have-more