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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Lovesey’

Motives for Murder

This collection of twenty two short stories was compiled as a tribute to Peter Lovesey on his eightieth birthday.  It is edited by current Detection Club President, Martin Edwards and includes a story by him.  I enjoy reading these short story collections as  they give me a chance  to renew my acquaintance with favourite authors and to read work by authors I haven’t come across before.

There are some marvellous stories in this collection.  There are a variety of settings from historical to modern.  Some are set in Bath – in reference to one of Peter Lovesey’s series characters, Peter Diamond.  Some feature Lovesey himself as a character.  All the stories have one or more twists to them.

I particularly enjoyed The Suffragette’s Tale by Marjorie Eccles – an author whose work I haven’t read before and Janet Laurence’s An End in Bath.  I also liked L C Tyler’s The Trials of Margaret.  I have added the last two authors to my list of authors I want to read.  If you want some well written crime stories to pick up and put down when you have a few minutes to read then try this one – you will not be disappointed.

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Another One Goes Tonight (Peter Diamond Series Book 16)

Peter Diamond is asked by Professional Standards to investigate a fatal accident involving a police car.  Arriving at the scene some hours after it happened he finds another victim of the crash – an elderly tricyclist.  He does CPR and feels a personal connection to the victim when he is taken to hospital alive.  But why was Ivor Pellegrini out in the middle of the night with an urn which had contained human ashes?

An unofficial visit to Ivor’s workshop proves that Ivor is a serial killer and Diamond is forced to confront the idea that he has saved the life of a serial killer.  Diamond wants to get to the bottom of the problem and he and two of his colleagues continue to investigate unofficially  and unearth several murders which had been attributed to natural causes.

I found this  a well written and intriguing story which keeps the reader guessing from the first page to the last just as it keeps the detectives guessing as they try and unravel what has been going on.  I like Peter Diamond as a character and have read all the previous novels in this excellent series.  Like the rest this could be read as a standalone novel though it can also be read  as part of a series.

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Down Among the Dead Men (Peter Diamond Mystery Book 15)

The last thing Peter Diamond wants to do is to work closely with Georgina Dallymore – his boss.  When she tells him he is going away for what may be a few weeks with her to investigate a problem in another police force he really doesn’t want to go but doesn’t see how he can get out of it.

It turns out to be a possible police corruption case and involves a body in a stolen BMW and a car thief who claims to know nothing about the body.  Unfortunately for him, the jury didn’t believe his story and he is currently serving a sentence for being an accessory to the murder while strenuously protesting his innocence.

What seem like completely unconnected strands – missing people of all descriptions including an art teacher from a prestigious girls’ school – an artists’ group and Hen Mallin, with whom Peter Diamond has worked in the past – are woven together to make a satisfying whole.  This is a complex mystery with some very well drawn characters, lots of clues and red herrings and Peter Diamond at his most inimitable and tenacious best combine to make it a satisfying read.

If you haven’t read any of Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond novels then you are in for a treat.  The series can be read in any order.

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Remaindered (Bibliomysteries)

Bookshop owner Robert Ripple dies slumped over an open box of Agatha Christie first editions.  No one knows anything much about him or how the bookshop manages to keep going.  Several groups use the shop as a meeting place including one called ‘The Friends of England’ who will do anything to keep the bookshop in business.  Tanya – Robert’s young assistant – keeps the shop going for the moment because she has nothing better to do and no one can find a will or any relatives.

Each person in this story has something to hide and an agenda of their own to follow.  I found this an interesting read and chuckled over the ending.  As ever with Peter Lovesey you just know there’s going to be a nice twist in the story just when you thought you had worked it all out,  This is a short story rather than a novella and can be read in about half an hour.

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The Last Detective: 1 (Peter Diamond Mystery)

Peter Diamond has started working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary in Bath.  He is awaiting the results of an investigation into his conduct of a controversial case.  In the meantime he is supposed to be getting to grips with the use of computers in investigations but he prefers good old fashioned methods.  He’s not getting on too well with some of his colleagues either and then a body is discovered in a lake.  No one knows who the dead woman is until her widower comes forward following an appeal.

This is a complex story with many twists and turns and some interesting characters as well as a Jane Austen connection as the story is set in Bath.  I really like Diamond himself – the size and the check suit and his ability to open mouth and insert foot.  His wife Stephanie is an interesting person as well.  I enjoyed the writing and the plot and would recommend this series to anyone who likes their crime without too much graphic violence.

 

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Stagestruck

pop star has landed the part of Sally Bowles in the play `I am a Camera’ which is based on Isherwood’s Berlin books.. The theatre staff and cast are not happy with her in the role as she isn’t a very good actor. On the opening night she suffers severe damage to her face apparently because of her make-up.

The prime suspect is the dresser who applied the make-up who has been with the theatre for six years. But things are not always as simple as they seem. Peter Diamond is called in to investigate and he must overcome fears of his own before he solves the mystery.

I think this is an interesting crime story and very well plotted. I thought I’d worked out what was going on several times during my reading of it but then something would happen and I’d change my mind again. Diamond shows a more vulnerable side than usual as he tries to unravel why he has an apparently irrational fear of the theatre.

I liked the characters – especially the police with Inge, the former journalist, showing how good she is at analysing the evidence. I thought the book was well plotted and well written – an enjoyable read.

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Product Details

The body of a young Japanese girl is found in the river in Bath.  Peter Diamond – for a variety of reasons – believes it is a murder case though at first sight it could have been an accident or a suicide.  A prestigious quartet of classical musicians has taken up a period of residency at Bath Spa University.

 

Diamond has quarrelled with Paloma and they have parted company following a Third Man themed weekend in Vienna.  Why does he think there is a connection between the body in the river and a shrine to a similar death of a Japanese girl in Vienna several years before?

 

This is an excellently well plotted mystery with well-drawn characters and brilliant dialogue.  Few writers in this or any other genre can beat Peter Lovesey for dialogue.  I found this mystery kept me reading late into the night because I wanted to see how all the various strands fitted together and precisely who the murderer was.

 

If you like crime novels with interesting backgrounds – Bath is a character in its own right this one as in most of the Peter Diamond mysteries – then try this.  It can be read as a standalone novel or as part of the series.

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