Peter Grant is the protagonist of the series. He is a London police constable and apprentice wizard. He's 25 years old at the start of series.[1]


Peter has a very positive albeit slightly wry outlook on life. He is curious and innovative, but very easily distracted, sometimes by magical vestigia, more frequently by beautiful women. Though his decisions may be occasionally rash, they are always well-intended and he has an earnest desire to protect innocents. He has been described as a "cheeky bugger".

Early life and familyEdit

Peter Grant was born the University College Hospital, London, to Richard 'Lord' Grant and his wife Rose, a Fula, from Sierra Leone, ca 1987. He grew up in the Peckwater Estate, off Leighton Road in Kentish Town. He ran away from home twice when young, although he returned of his own will on both occasions. Before joining the police, he was planning to study architecture, but gave up because his draftmanship was awful.[1] At one point, he worked in a coffee kiosk which was "a bastard to work in".[2]

He has several cousins: Abigail Kamara[3] and Obe (an electrician?).[4] Peter also has an uncle named Tito[5] and an aunt named Jo.[3]

He is of mixed race and describes himself, using the police jargon, as "between IC3 and IC6".

Police CareerEdit

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The following sections may contain spoilers for all novels and comics.

Rivers of LondonEdit

After finishing his training at Hendon Police College, Peter joins the Charing Cross police station, Westminster, for a two year period as a probationary constable, together with fellow probationer, Lesley May.

After his probationary period ends, Peter is initially assigned to the Case Progression Unit (CPU).  Following a meeting with Nicholas Wallpenny he instead joins a specialised unit of Economic and Special Crime, based at the Folly, at the request of DCI Thomas Nightingale.

Moon over SohoEdit

Peter Grant meets and has a relationship with Simone Fitzwilliam.

Whispers UndergroundEdit

A murder in an Underground tunnel shows Peter Grant a side of London he has never seen before.

Broken HomesEdit

What's up with Skygarden Tower?

Foxglove Summer Edit

The search for two missing girls takes Peter all the way out to rural Herefordshire.

The Hanging Tree Edit

Lady Ty asks Peter a favour.

Detective Stories Edit

Peter passes his examination and is made a Detective Constable.

Undocumented events Edit

Krynoid bush Kew

A suspiciously Krynoid-shaped bush in Kew Gardens.

  • An event at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.[6] Taking place before the summer of 2012.[7]
  • Harold Postmartin once covered Peter in pesticide, and Peter wrestled a tree.[8]
  • "The thing with the police horse which [he] promised never to bring up on pain of ninjutsu"[9]
  • An encounter with a woman while clubbing who may have been the goddess of the River Rom.[4]
  • He once encountered the ghost of female Oxford professor in the tunnels under Kew Gardens.[2]
  • "The thing with the dwarf, the show girl and the fur coat"[3]. Though this may well be the incident described in Peter Grant's blogspot.[10]


Tumblr o54qz5K4S41r6iszmo1 250

In Whispers Underground Peter receives a winding black and silver Omega watch from Thomas Nightingale as a Christmas gift.[11]

Although he only earned a 'C' grade on his Chemistry A-levels, Peter has an excellent understanding of the scientific method.[5] Because of this he is often frustrated by unquantified or poorly defined magical entities and phenomenon. Peter has personally invented or re-discovered multiple modern measures for detective work that also deals with magic. Some of these experiments include:

  • The Yap scale
  • Experiments determining whether magic damages transistors and vacuum tubes
  • The approximate distance another practicioner sense a spell being formed.
  • What materials retain vestigium the longest.

Magical Learning Edit

Inspector Nightingale has expressed irritation over Peter Grant's ability to be side-tracked by scientific details and has, at times, admonished him for spending time on experiments rather than working on his magical learning.

Peter seems to have picked up a broad range of skills from friends, family and out of curiosity.

He has a basic understanding of the scientific method and electronics and a deeper knowledge of music (especially jazz music, due to his father), architecture, and police procedures.

His magic is still limited to simple spells such as light, shields and weak fireballs.

He speaks English and at least understands Krio (a Creole language in Sierra Leone).[4] He learnt German in school, but only speaks a few words, and is currently studying Latin.[5]






Peter Grant has been portrayed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in the audiobook version of the books, and by Doc Brown (Ben Bailey Smith) at a reading of the short story King of the Rats in 2015.

References Edit

  1. Moon over Soho
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Furthest Station
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Whispers Under Ground
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Broken Homes
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rivers of London
  6. The Hanging Tree, page 200.
  7. The Home Crowd Advantage
  8. A Rare Book of Cunning Device
  9. The Hanging Tree
  11. THAT WATCH [Tumblr post]. (2016, April 4). Retrieved from Photo originally identified by thepudupudu on tumblr.