cover image The Stone Wife: A Peter Diamond Investigation

The Stone Wife: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Peter Lovesey. Soho Crime, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61695-393-5

A crime committed at an auction house in Bath propels Diamond Dagger Award winner Lovesey’s so-so 14th whodunit starring irascible but endearing Chief Supt. Peter Diamond (after 2013’s The Tooth Tattoo). The bidding has become heated for a stone bust of the Wife of Bath, but just after Chaucer authority John Gildersleeve offers £24,000 for the item, three men don masks and pull guns in an attempt to steal the statue. When Gildersleeve foolishly grabs the arm of one of the men, the thug shoots him dead. Panic ensues, and the would-be thieves flee. Diamond, “Bath’s head of CID,” leads the investigation, which features many oddities, including a witness hesitant to admit that he was bidding on the behalf of the British Museum. Convinced that the triggerman was paid by another, Diamond sends one of his team undercover, but the plot suffers from his subsequent absence. Hopefully, Lovesey will return to form in the next installment. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider. (Aug.)