Bath Murder Mysteries.
What is the Peter Diamond series about?
Coming from Peter Lovesey, a British writer of historical and contemporary detective novels, The Peter Diamond Mysteries is about a modern-day police detective in Bath, Somerset.
As described on the Peguin Random House page, Peter Diamond series is a golden age-style detective, a devotee of old-fashioned gumshoeing. He’s a little out of shape and has no interest in fancy technology-he’s only just been persuaded to get a cell phone and has no patience for computer nonsense-but none of this stops him from solving case after case.
If you like the Pete Diamond books, you can look for Peter Lovesey’s other series about Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London
How to read the Peter Diamond Books in Order?
Every book in the Peter Diamond series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Last Detective – A woman’s body has been found floating in the weeds in a lake near Bath. There are no marks on her and no murder weapon. No one will identify her. It looks like Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond has his work cut out for him. Diamond is one of the last detectives of his kind, a gumshoe whose heroes solved crimes by question and answer, door stepping and deduction. To unravel this one, Diamond must locate two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen and defy his superiors in order to save a woman unjustly accused of murder.
- Diamond Solitaire – Fired from the police force for insubordination, Peter Diamond is reduced to working as a security guard at Harrod’s. Turns out he can’t even hold that job-he gets fired after finding an abandoned Japanese girl in the store after closing. “Naomi,” as he calls her, exhibits strong signs of autism, and he devotes himself to communicating with her in order to glean her identity and return her to her rightful home. Weeks later, a Japanese woman appears out of the blue to claim the little girl, and it appears as though Diamond’s job is done. If only that were true.
- The Summons – John Mountjoy has escaped from prison and kidnapped the chief constable’s daughter. The only person he’ll parley with is Detective Peter Diamond, who arrested him four years earlier for the murder of a young journalist. Mountjoy, who still maintains his innocence, has a simple request for Diamond. All the detective has to do is find the real killer and clear Mountjoy’s name, and the hostage will be free to go.
- Bloodhounds – A rare stamp and a corpse are discovered in Bath within hours of each other. As he investigates, Inspector Peter Diamond discovers that both the person who found the stamp and the victim belong to the Bloodhounds, an elite group of mystery lovers, who now urge Diamond to bring the murderer to justice. But there’s a hitch: the body lies inside a padlocked houseboat and the only key is in the pocket of a man with an airtight alibi.
- Upon A Dark Night – A young woman is dumped, injured and unconscious, in a private hospital’s parking lot. She is an amnesiac with no memory prior to her discovery by hospital personnel. Detective Inspector Peter Diamond of the Bath homicide squad is unwilling to become involved. He has other, more important cases to solve: A woman has plunged to her death from the roof of a local landmark while half the young people of Bath partied below, and an elderly farmer has shot himself. Are these apparent suicides what they seem, or are there sinister forces at work? And might the amnesiac woman hold the key to both cases?
- Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose – A collection of short stories by Peter Lovesey, two of them about his forthright police detective, Peter Diamond,
- The Vault – A skeletal hand is unearthed in the vault under the Pump Room in Bath, England, near the site where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. Then a skull is excavated. The bones came from different corpses, and one is modern. Detective Peter Diamond must solve a series of crimes including murder and forgery, requiring a knowledge of history, nineteenth century art, literature . . . and human nature.
- Diamond Dust – Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is confronted with a crime that comes too close to home. His beloved wife has been killed, apparently just the most recent victim in a series of murders of police spouses. Despite his superior’s orders to leave the solution of this crime to other members of the force, he is determined to find the killer himself.
- The House Sitter – The corpse of a beautiful woman, clad in only a bathing suit, is found strangled to death on a popular Sussex beach. When she is finally identified, it turns out she was a top profiler for the National Crime Faculty, who was working on the case of a serial killer. And though she was a Bath resident, the authorities don’t want Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond to investigate the murder. How strange. What could they be trying to hide?
- The Secret Hangman – Delia Williamson, a waitress and mother of two young girls, is reported missing. She is soon found in a public park, hanging from the crossbar of a children’s swing set. The postmortem reveals that she has been murdered. Her current partner, ex-husband, and a traveling salesman who frequented her restaurant are all suspects. Before Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond can solve the mystery, more will die.
- Skeleton Hill – On Lansdown Hill, near Bath, a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers that took place over 350 years ago is annually reenacted. Two of the reenactors discover a skeleton that is female, headless, and only about twenty years old. One of them, a professor who played a Cavalier, is later found murdered. In the course of his investigation, Peter Diamond butts heads with the group of vigilantes who call themselves the Lansdown Society, discovering in the process that his boss Georgina is a member.
- Stagestruck – Pop diva, Clarion Calhoun, has packed the house with a celebrity appearance in Bath’s Theatre Royal production of I Am a Camera. But within moments of her much-anticipated onstage appearance, she’s pulled out of character as she screams and claws at her face. When tainted stage makeup is found to have caused the disfiguring burn, fingers point to her makeup artist. Detective Peter Diamond investigates when the makeup artist is found dead, pushed from a catwalk far above the stage.
- Cop To Corpse – PC Harry Trasker is the third policeman in the Bath area to be shot dead in less than twelve weeks. The assassinations are the work of a sniper who seems to be everywhere and nowhere at once, always a step ahead.The younger detectives od their best with what little evidence he leaves, but they’re no match for this murderer and his merciless agenda. When Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond is assigned to the case, he begins to find curious connections between the dead officers after talking to their widows.
- The Tooth Tattoo – Peter Diamond is investigating the murder of a young woman whose body has been found in the canal, the only clue to her identity a tattoo of a music note on one of her teeth. For Diamond, who wouldn’t know a Stradivarius from a French horn, the investigation is his most demanding ever.
- The Stone Wife – At a Bath auction house, a large slab of carved stone is up for sale. At the height of very competitive bidding, there is a holdup attempt by three masked robbers. They shoot and kill the highest bidder, a professor who has recognized the female figure carved in the stone as Chaucer’s Wife of Bath. The masked would-be thieves flee, leaving the stone behind. Peter Diamond and his team are assigned to investigate, and the stone is moved into Diamond’s office so he can research its origins.
- Down Among the Dead Men – In a Sussex town on the south coast of England, a widely disliked art teacher at a posh private girls’ school disappears without explanation. None of her students miss her boring lessons. But then her name shows up on a police missing persons list. What happened to Miss Gibbon, and why does no one seem to care? Peter Diamond has been sent to Sussex on a Home Office internal investigation to look into a failure to process DNA evidence related to a cold case. As he asks questions, he begins to notice unsettling connections between the cold case and the missing art teacher.
- Another One Goes Tonight – Two police officers are about to head home after a long night shift when they receive one last call. En route to investigate, the patrol car spins off the road, killing one of the exhausted cops and leaving the other in critical condition. Detective Peter Diamond is assigned to look into the case.
- Beau Death – Bath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to it is a white tricorn hat-the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper’s grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be all in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them. Peter Diamond starts making discoveries that turn Nash scholarship on its ear.
- Killing with Confetti – As a New Year begins in Bath, Ben Brace proposes to his long-term girlfriend, Caroline. The problem is that she’s the daughter of notorious crime baron Joe Irving, who is coming to the end of a prison sentence. And Ben’s father George is Bath’s Deputy Chief Constable. But mothers and sons are a formidable force: a wedding in the Abbey and reception in the Roman Baths are set in place before the career-obsessed DCC can step in. Peter Diamond, Bath’s head of CID, is appalled to be put in charge of security on the day.
- The Finisher – At the Other Half, Bath’s springtime half-marathon, Detective Peter Diamond is tasked with crowd control on the raucous day of the race – and catches sight of a violent criminal he put away a decade ago and who very much seems to be up to his old tricks now that he is paroled. Diamond’s hackles are already up when he learns that one of the runners never crossed the finish line and has disappeared without a trace. Was Diamond a spectator to the prelude to a murder?
- Diamond and the Eye – Of all the weird characters Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond has met in Bath, this one is the most extreme: a 21st-century private eye called Johnny Getz, whose office is over Shear Amazing, a hairdressing salon. Johnny has been hired by Ruby Hubbard, whose father, an antiques shop owner, has gone missing, and Johnny insists on involving ‘Pete’ in his investigation. When Diamond, Johnny and Ruby enter the shop, they find a body and a murder investigation is launched.
- Showstopper – In the six years since the start of the hit British TV show Swift, its cast and crew have been plagued by misfortune, beginning with the star actress’s pulling out of the show before it began. By now there have been multiple injuries by fall, fire, or drowning; two deaths; and two missing persons cases. The media quickly decides it’s a curse, but who’s to say there isn’t a criminal conspiracy afoot? Now that the filming has moved to Bath, Peter Diamond, Chief of the Avon and Somerset Murder Squad, is on the case.
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