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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1996 Peter Lovesey (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Lovesey demonstrates that his embrace of crime fiction reaches from John Dickson Carr to Andrew Vachss as he skillfully pays homage to the old style whodunit in this thoroughly modern mystery." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh no! The reader! I cannot listen to another word

What did you like best about Bloodhounds? What did you like least?

The reader's inflection is not remotely related to what he is saying. It is sing-song and boring

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cannot listen to enough to say

What didn’t you like about Michael Healy’s performance?

Everything!

Did Bloodhounds inspire you to do anything?

Find another book to listen to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Clever plot with great suspects

Well written, the plot development is intricate and the characters richly explored. The investigative process stays at the center despite the clear sense that Diamond will succeed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bad narration, boring puzzle story

This novel reads as if it were a thought experiment for the author. Undoubtedly some people enjoy this sort of puzzle. As the novel itself points out, it was a common thread throughout many of the classic murder mysteries from nearly a century ago. But if I wanted to read that type of mystery, I have several hundred classic novels at my disposal. I was attempting to read a modern police procedural novel. This novel fails as both a classic mystery and a police procedural. I could list off all the reasons why, but not without excessive spoilers.

While the novel does have some redeeming qualities, the narrative performance does not. The narrator sounds bored out of his mind throughout the reading, doing an accurate impersonation of a puffed-up, upper crust butler whose disdain for this mundane manuscript he has been forced forced to read for his master's pleasure brings him not an ounce of joy. This would be okay if the characters in the novel came from the aristocratic Oxford educated rich, but they weren't. With the exception of a single, somewhat minor character, the book was populated with working class folks with a variety of accents. Unfortunately, the narrator mimics accents worse than I do. He also made repeated mistakes where he read lines of dialogue in the wrong person's voice. Granted, there weren't many differences between any of characters' dialogues, but there was just enough to register when the narrator used the wrong person's voice for a line. Since Michael Healy narrates the next two books in this series, I definitely won't get those as audible books even though that's the form I overwhelmingly prefer for all of my reading. I wouldn't bother getting any of the additional books in this series at all, but Peter Lovesey hit a six with his first and third novels and lost a wicket with his second and fourth. I'm hoping he continues that pattern and book five will turn out to be an absolute corker.

This is not to say that Michael Healy can't narrate other work successfully, but I sincerely wish the publisher had seen the error of their ways before having him do another two Peter Diamond mysteries.

The biggest shortfall of this novel, beyond the disappointing narration and the blatant homage to classic mystery novels, are the blood hounds. No spoilers here, as you immediately find out that the blood hounds are a discussion group. Unfortunately, their viewpoints also comprise about half the novel. It would have been fair to title this novel: "A Blood Hounds Mystery." It shows little resemblance to a Peter Diamond mystery. The problem is that I'm not a fan of the Blood Hounds, or the repetition that inevitably followed as we were "treated" to having the same scene constantly retold by each member of the group.

Additional problems with this novel involve artificial constraints. No one ever has an alibi, everyone has a motive, etc. While these conditions are common with many mystery novels, they seemed much more forced in this novel than most. Again, this hearkens back to those classic mysteries of yesteryear, and as such, seems intentional. My final irritation regarding this novel concerns the ending. Several important items are left unexplained. I can only assume those items are left unexplained because the author knew the whole mystery was contrived to the point of incredulity. For example, what kind of murderer would concoct overly elaborate crimes designed to distract suspicion, yet not once consider his/her own alibi as worth even a cursory thought.

Overall, reading this novel was an unpleasant experience. It's not all bad, but the gems are few and far between unless you happen to be an ardent fan of Agatha Christie and PD James. It might also help your enjoyment if you loathe Ian Fleming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • alex
  • Dallas, Texas
  • 06-24-17

Simply awful narration - it spoils the story!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narrator is terrible! The series is fantastic - one of my favorite authors and choices from Audible - but this narrator fails to read it well at all. It's a shame - I downloaded two of the series recently to find them both narrated by the same person and I cannot even get to chapter 3 it's so bad. I am sure the story is good - I just can't stand to listen!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Michael Healy does not do the work justice.!!!!!

Love Diamond. Great supporting characters. Narration was mediocre at best though, especially in comparison to previous narrator.Will read the rest of the series most likely.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Tedious Nivel

I have immensely enjoyed previous Peter Diamond books. This one was tedious to the point of being dull although I stuck with it out of sheer tenacity. The characters were not particularly interesting, the ending contrived.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Couldn't hear the sound after chapter 19

The "audible" part of the recording stopped running after chapter 19. Reported to Audible, but no fix as yet.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

OMG THE NARRATOR!!! :(

What did you like best about Bloodhounds? What did you like least?

The narrator killed the story....I stayed in there so I could try to appreciate Lovesey's writing

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bloodhounds

This story is very lame its missing intensity
From the beginning.I hope the Peter Diamond series are not all like this.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Worst Peter Diamond Book so far

Everything about this Book was dull. The people in the Bloodhounds Group were weirdos, and irritable, the tale about the missing key simply recounted the meeting. I would have returned this book after the first chapter but I kept hoping things would improve and I was on a long plane was desperate for
Reading material. Now I just want my credit back.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful