Just as the bidding gets exciting in a Bath auction house, three armed men stage a hold-up and attempt to steal Lot 129, a medieval carving of the Wife of Bath. The highest bidder, appalled to have the prize snatched away, tries to stop them and is shot dead.
Peter Diamond, head of the murder squad, soon finds himself sharing an office with the stone wife - until he is ejected. To his extreme annoyance the lump of stone appears to exert a malign influence over him and his investigation. Refusing to be beaten, he rallies his team and begins finding suspects and motives.
The case demands that someone goes undercover. The dangerous mission falls to Sergeant Ingeborg Smith, reverting to her journalist persona to get the confidence of a wealthy local criminal through his pop star girlfriend. And soon, murder makes a reappearance...
©2014 Peter Lovesey (P)2014 Soundings
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Very good story, more like the earlier Diamonds.
Peter Diamond is a good creation, who should have been on TV years ago.
Michael Todor Barnes reads very well indeed, except for Peter Diamond's accent. Diamond is a Londoner (something made a lot of in the early books). He is not from the West Country.
"A Good Wif was there..."
Of course a series about a Bath detective should have a tale with at least passing reference to Chaucer's Wife of Bath, one of the more memorable characters of the Canterbury Tales.
Diamond is led through a series of incidents and yet somehow manages to untangle the false leads and catch the culprit, sorting out truth from lies and fact from fiction. The narrator is excellent and the best of all the Diamond story tellers.
"Inspector Diamond series is my favourite"
I love all the Inspector Diamond series books and have all the ones available on Audible.
I recommend these books as they are always good stories with a great narrator
"Great stuff... if weak ending?"
kept me going along the motorway miles - usual great narrative but ending was a little lacking - loose ends to tie up and just ended too abruptly.
"Not his best Diamond novel"
Not his best work. The plot does not convince. Seems like two distinct stories stuck together with the joints visible.
"Good Meaty Story"
Near the top
Not sure really, it was a good story, quite long but had momentum.
Nothing much to like.
Poor attention to detail. The part where Diamond goes to the University and searches an office and uses a computer without any sign of interest by the Head of Department would just not happen.
The reading was ponderous and in the style of Dixon of Dock Green.
One of the few books I couldn't finish
"Standard Crime Who Done It"
Not Really, I found it very run of the mill, with lots of unnecessary padding.
`The Chaucer link gave it a little colour, but the police woman going under cover in the house of someone who quite frankly had no link to the initial crime on very tentative suspicion with no warrant was ludicrous, as was this whole very long tedious thread which culminated in a very weird event which was again not linked to the main story at all. This took up most of the book and for me spoiled the enjoyment of the story, as in Agatha Christie novels, we learn at the very end that the perpetrator is a minor character who has hardly appeared in the main text, and there was no way on the information given that the reader could have worked out for themselves who did it, which for me is the joy of a well written "Who Done It".
"A pleasant listen"
This was my first Peter Lovesey novel. I found it a pleasant listen which felt quite old fashioned. It reminded me of an Agatha Christy novel, although set in modern times. Whilst I listened to it all and enjoyed it, I don't think I will rush to read others in the series.
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