cover image Reader, I Buried Them and Other Stories

Reader, I Buried Them and Other Stories

Peter Lovesey. Soho Crime, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-64129-361-7

The 16 dazzling selections in this inviting collection from MWA Grand Master Lovesey (the Peter Diamond series) range from his first published story, “The Bathroom” (1973), to three new ones. In one of these three, “And the Band Played On,” a boy learns the surprising truth about the hidden past of his mentally impaired grandfather, who likes to sing an old-fashioned tune about dancing with a beautiful blonde. More than one twist graces this affecting tale. The sly title story, narrated by a monk who tends a monastery garden in London, puts a nice spin on a classic Agatha Christie trope. Other notable entries are “The Deadliest Tale of All,” in which an obituary writer attempts to repair Edgar Allan Poe’s reputation, and “A Three Pie Problem,” in which police detective Peter Diamond exposes the dalliances of an aged attorney at a toxic corporate Christmas gathering. Throughout, Lovesey delivers crisp dialogue, effortless narration, appealing characters, ingenious plots, and effervescent whimsy. A concluding essay, “The Tale of Three Tubs,” details the true story of the inspiration behind “The Bathroom.” This is a thoroughly entertaining compendium of the best of the best by one of the best. Agent: Jane Gelfman, ICM Partners/Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Feb.)