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by Peter Lovesey Lovesey

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 1569473773

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Peter Lovesey
Soho, Nov 2004, $13.00, 359 pp.
ISBN: 1569473773

The Bloodhounds are a weird mystery fan group who meet in strange places like crypts to hold discussions. Just prior to tonight’s meeting Milo finds a rare Penny Black stamp inside a John Dickson Carr novel; the stamp was recently stolen from the Postal Museum. Not long afterward, Milo is found dead in his locked riverboat and the stamp is missing.

The killer sends riddles to the police and the media driving an already irate Bath Detective Superintendent Diamond up a wall while his staff interviews the other members of the Bloodhounds. Diamond soon comes up with a theory on how the killer escaped the locked riverboat puzzle, but that fails to get him any closer to identifying the culprit making him wonder if his hypothesis is sending him down the wrong path.

Paying homage to John Dickson Carr, no one writing today does locked room mysteries as good as Peter Lovesey does. In his fourth Diamond police procedural (see THE LAST DETECTIVE, DIAMOND SOLITAIRE, and THE SUMMONS) is a terrific tale that grips readers as the cops question the obsessed Bloodhounds only to uncover all sorts of personal secrets, but no murder motive as none seems like a thief. Diamond remains cantankerous perhaps more so this time because the serial killer is laughing in public at his foibles. Besides the locked room, Mr. Lovesey pulls a brilliant sleight of the hand that will fool and satiate the audience.

Harriet Klausner


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