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Beau Death by Peter Lovesey

Beau Death

by Peter Lovesey

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The best Peter Diamond I've read. Lovesey very cleverly weaves two stories, seemingly hundreds of years apart, maintaining interest in both to a brilliant conclusion. Based on this one volume, Lovesey must be ranked among the very best contemporary fiction writers. This time he involves his ACC Georgina in the story in an involved way. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Aug 23, 2018 |
I loved this story from Bath England about a police detective was asked to solve an ancient crime and found himself involved in a modern murder. Well written with interesting characters. ( )
1 vote brangwinn | Apr 29, 2018 |
Peter Diamond is one of my favorite fictional characters, and I am always pleased when Peter Lovesey publishes a new book. Peter Diamond is a British police detective in Bath, England and his character is so believable he seems like a real person. He is overweight, grouchy, and very witty. The books always contain information about the history of Bath, and the crimes solved are complicated and involve some part of Bath society. A great read for British mystery lovers. ( )
1 vote kerryp | Mar 6, 2018 |
Although Bath is a city rich in history, it’s not every day that a building is demolished and the demolition reveals a skeleton in 1760s garb. And it’s certainly not usual for said skeleton to be sporting a wig and hat that are very similar to those habitually worn by the former “King of Bath”, Beau Nash. Could the skeleton actually be that of the Beau?

I don’t really follow the Peter Diamond series, but this installment, with its delving into the history of Bath, piqued my interest. And overall I enjoyed it; Diamond is amusingly grumpy, particularly when it comes to modern technology and the photo of him with the skeleton that goes viral. I also liked the dynamics of the investigation team. Despite my unfamiliarity with the series, I was able to figure out everyone’s relationship to each other with little difficulty—that’s the sign of a good series author to me. I also liked the references to past cases; The Stone Wife ended up on my to-read list because the narration mentioned a case involving the Wife of Bath.

I did find that the book was really big—just over 400 pages in the edition I read—and at times that made it feel like a slog. But it proved to be a reasonably even-paced read in the end.

Recommended for those who like modern investigations with a historical backdrop, grumpy detectives, or stories set in Bath. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 13, 2018 |
This is the latest in Peter Lovesey’s extensive and entertaining series of crime novels featuring the frequently querulous Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, head of CID in Bath.

The novel opens with a crowd of people watching in almost hypnotic awe as a construction crew wield an old-fashioned wrecking ball to demolish a dilapidated tenement block in Twerton, near Bath. All at once, while the crowd looks on, a figure dressed in eighteenth century clothes is spotted sitting in one of the attics as the huge ball swings towards it. Once the debris is cleared, a dead body is discovered, and the initial indications suggest that it might date back a couple of centuries to the period of Beau Nash, who first set the town on its path towards popularity among the propertied classes, and its subsequent elevation to the epitome of social elegance in England.

This book might almost be a potted history of Bath, though Lovesey has a light touch, and never allows the novel to deteriorate into a text book. Diamond is a well-established figure: grouchy, quick to bark out orders and almost permanently hungry, yet also intelligent and eventually prepared to accept other people’s ideas. Lovesey is well practised in blending sound plots with enough smattering of the police procedural to seem authentic, but also a light-heartedness that leaves the reader wanting more.

I am surprised that these novels have not found their way onto television. The combination of Bath’s scenic splendours and the quixotic lead character seem custom-built to capture the territory formerly occupied by Morse. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | Dec 21, 2017 |
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"In the seventeenth installment in Peter Lovesey's timeless British detective series, Peter Diamond digs deep into Bath history to ferret out the secrets of one of its most famous (and scandalous) icons: Richard "Beau" Nash, who might have been the victim of a centuries-old murder. 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. Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can't be Nash's--the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond's favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder?"--|cProvided by publisher.… (more)

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