I have only fairly recently encountered the wonderful Peter Diamond detective series, so forgive me if I’m late to this particular appreciation society.
Diamond Dust, published in 2002, is the best and the most moving of Mr. Lovesey’s books that I’ve read so far.
This book, the 7th in the series, is an emotional read and one that I literally couldn’t put down.
For obvious reasons, I can’t & won’t plot-spoil, but trust me when I say that this is a gripping whodunit like no other.
There are twists and turns in the plot that had me fooled right until the end. There is emotion a-plenty, and the writer carries the reader along in a masterly mix of drama, murder, and raw human emotion.
That’s about all I can say without spoiling your enjoyment of this murder mystery.
A voracious reader, Jane generously shares her books, her reading lists, her favourite authors, and has introduced me to many good reads over the years.
Latest discovery, via kid sister, is Peter Lovesey, whom I am only just now discovering, decades after everyone else.
Jane was reading “Beau Death” whilst on holiday with us in India, and kindly left it for me to read.
And thus I discovered that just about everyone else in the world has been raving about the Peter Diamond series for decades, as I plunge into this long-running series, starting with (I learn) the 17th book in the series.
The mark of a great writer of a string of successful books, like this Peter Diamond series, is the ability to engage a first time reader, who may not have all the background info that faithful readers have accumulated over the years. Starting off with Book 17, I never once felt out of my depth, nor that I was not picking up references.
What an intriguing novel this is, as Diamond sets out to solve an 18th century murder. Set in Bath, the book opens as a wrecking ball destroys condemned houses and uncovers a skeleton, dressed in what looks to be authentic 18th century clothing. From the period clothes and, especially, a distinctive tricorne hat, the skeleton is thought to be that of Beau Nash, an infamous dandy who lived in 18th century Bath.
And from this bizarre discovery, the 21st century police force is drawn into investigating what may/may not be a 250 year old unsolved murder. If the skeleton is indeed that of Beau Nash, this would totally rewrite Bath history and folklore.
The clever interweaving of several different narrative threads, the delving into local history, is superbly done and it isn’t until the closing paragraphs of the book that the various threads and leads and hints are conclusively drawn together.
I enjoyed exploring Bath with Peter Diamond, and the city and its history and architecture are all an integral part of the story.
I’m not going plot-spoil, so I’ll leave it there.
Suffice it to say that I will now go back to the beginning of the Peter Diamond series, and binge read my way through whodunnits that everyone else has savoured for years.
If you feel like reading this novel, couldn’t be easier.