ffb: Bloodhounds

this is the 117th in my series of posts on forgotten or seldom read books

Bloodhounds by Peter Lovesey, Mysterious Press 1996 hardcover – Police Procedural, a Peter Diamond mystery


best image available

When it comes to British police procedurals, I tend to base my evaluations  in terms of those I’ve read and liked a lot: the works of Colin Dexter, John Harvey, P.D. James, Peter Robinson and Patricia Moyes. Each of those authors writes different books in different styles, but they all have something that draws me in, and the books of Peter Lovesey do that as well.

In addition to being the title of the book, Bloodhounds is the name of a mystery discussion group in Bath, England. Detective Peter Diamond is kibitzing on a case not assigned to him, someone is making up rhymes and then turning them into crimes. In a maybe-related case (or maybe not, but we mystery readers know, don’t we?), an extremely valuable stamp is stolen. That stamp then turns up in an unexpected place (ah ha!) during a Bloodhounds meeting and later that night a murder occurs, an “impossible locked room” murder. Now we have a homicide and Diamond is on the case.

The plotting here was good enough to keep me guessing without being rococo, and the characters remained consistent to their role in the novel, something I think is important. There were a couple of characters, including Diamond himself, about whom I’d have liked a deeper knowledge, but since Diamond is a series character, that depth is slowly revealed as other books in the series are read. It’s been a while since I read a Peter Diamond mystery, and now I’m motivated to take another off the shelf, or get one from the library. I recommend you do the same.

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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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12 Responses to ffb: Bloodhounds

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’m a big fan of Lovesey but I must admit I’ve never warmed up to Diamond. I’m not exactly sure why either. In fact BLOODHOUNDS was the last Diamond book I read, 10 years ago. I have read a lot of his short stories since. Maybe I should give him another try.

  2. Jerry House says:

    Like Jeff, I’m a big Lovesey fan. And like Jeff, BLOODHOUNDS was the last Peter Diamond I read. Unlike Jeff, I am a big Peter Diamond fan. It’s way past time I caught up with the series.

  3. I’m a big Peter Lovesey fan, both his contemporary ones like the Diamond series and his earlier historicals. I remember liking this one a lot with its Golden Age feel

  4. Richard says:

    Obviously, can’t please everyone. I liked this one more than a few of the others, but there are a lot I’ve yet to read.

  5. I enjoyed your review. It’s refreshing to see well-written comments as well. Bertie and the Tinman was my first Lovesey read, and I was immediately hooked. I went on to read a couple more of the ‘Bertie’ books, but for some reason I stopped following Lovesey. It seemed like every time I picked up one of his later works, it lacked the flavor I was seeking.

  6. cgramlich says:

    I like the use of the word rococo to describe the plotting of some mysteries. Perfect description.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I liked the Cribb and Thackeray books a lot but I’d probably recommend the non-series THE FALSE INSPECTOR DEW or KEYSTONE first. Bertie was a lot of fun too.

  8. I agree; it’s usually used primarily for art or architecture.

  9. John says:

    Really enjoyed this book. A very simple but clever solution to the locked room that I haven’t encountered in detective novels of this type. You didn’t mention one of the most fascinating features of the story — that the murder seems to be inspired by the novels of John Dickson Carr. My favorite part was the awe and amazement Diamond shows for Carr as he acquaints himself with Carr’s work.

  10. Todd Mason says:

    I’ve barely read Lovesy…and I see there’s a variety of Lovesy to explore…

  11. Kelly says:

    I really should read Peter Lovesey. I like all of the other authors you mention — especially Peter Robinson, though I think he’s been losing steam for a while.

  12. I’ve read about a half dozen Peter Lovesey mysteries. Great stuff! And, like you, I have many more of his books to read.

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