cover image Beau Death: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Beau Death: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Peter Lovesey. Soho Crime, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-61695-905-0

Det. Supt. Peter Diamond has a very cold case to crack in Edgar-finalist Lovesey’s fine 17th novel featuring the Bath police detective (after 2016’s Another One Goes Tonight). The demolition of a condemned house reveals a gruesome find in the attic: a male skeleton, dressed in 18th-century clothes and seated in a chair. Despite the age of the remains, Diamond’s officious boss, Asst. Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, insists that he devote his team’s resources to investigating the circumstances of the man’s death. The corpse’s garb suggests that it might belong to Beau Nash, a legendary local rake, who became known as the King of Bath after a suspicious death in a duel elevated him to the position of master of ceremonies for the city’s Vegas-like entertainment and gaming. The prospect of identifying the cause of Nash’s death almost three centuries earlier is daunting, and the stakes rise when the autopsy shows that the dead man was fatally stabbed. The plot is one of Lovesey’s cleverest, and the book is full of his trademark wry humor. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider. (Dec.)