The Bloodhounds of Bath is a society that meets in a crypt to discuss crime novels. To their latest recruit they are simply a gaggle of dotty misfits, until one of them reveals that he is in possession of one of the world's most valuable stamps, recently stonlen from the Postal Museum. Then theft is overtaken by murder when the corpse of one of the Bloodhounds is found in a locked houseboat, with the only key in the possession of a man with a perfect alibi. Burly detective Peter Diamond, head of the murder squad in Bath, finds himself embroiled in a mystery that in more than one sense evokes the classic crime puzzles of John Dickson Carr.
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(178mm x 108mm x 22mm)
Time Warner Paperbacks
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
The fourth of Lovesey's contemporary Peter Diamond procedurals (The Summons, 1995, etc.) - a series that has added substantially to his collection of awards - is cast in the form of a homage to mystery fans. In bustling Bath, a small band of eccentrics gather in a church crypt to argue the virtues of the various genres of crime fiction. As Golden Age devotees face off with noir adherents, local Detective Superintendent Diamond and his colleagues begin receiving rhymed notes threatening theft. And, indeed, a priceless stamp is taken from the Postal Museum; just as the mystery aficionados are considering varying their program to discuss the case, the stamp appears in one of the participants John Dickson Carr paperback! Sooner than you can say "locked room," the body of another participant is found in a locked - um - boat. The formal interviews of the Bath police impinge piquantly on the private gossip and even more private weaknesses - adultery, drunkenness, poor taste - of this group of colorfully drawn obsessives. Lovesey, always something of a Golden Age writer out of his time, provides some ingenious variations on the old "locked room" mystery formula while gleefully lecturing the reader on genre lore. Still, the author violates the prewar code among mystery writers that protected the reader, handling some of his more sympathetic characters with absent-minded brutality. Adequate Lovesey, then, but hardly destined to be a favorite. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Peter Lovesey
Peter Lovesey's first novel 'Wobble to Death' introduced the redoubtable Victorian policemen, Cribb and Thackeray. He has won the Gold Dagger Award with 'The False Inspector Dew' and in 2000 joined the elite group awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award.