by Peter Lovesey
When last we met Peter Lovesey’s put-upon Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond he was forced to wear an 18th century “pinkish-mauve” costume with embroidered leaves and flowers. Sartorial issues arise in Lovesey’s latest mystery when Diamond wears a new pair of jeans (he doesn’t recall ever owning a pair) to a “casual” meeting with the Deputy Chief Constable of the Bath police force. The resident kitten takes a liking to the Detective Superintendent, & when he arrives back home Diamond’s own cat takes exception to the fraternization and distresses the new jeans – while the owner is still wearing them. And that was the best part of his day. DS Diamond is “asked” by the Deputy Chief Constable to provide security for the wedding of his son to the daughter of one of England’s most powerful crime bosses, who has just been released from jail. The wedding is to take place at the Bath Abbey & the reception at the Roman Baths, just across the square. The concern is that a rival gang boss will try to have the father of the bride killed before/during/after the ceremony. Solving crimes is what Diamond does, not being a bodyguard for someone he would rather see in jail for life. The assassination attempt at the abbey is thwarted by torrential rain, so the killer tries again during the reception at the Baths. The would-be assassin is found dead & DS Diamond & Co. must solve what appears to be a locked room murder. Filled with excellent pacing, sly humor, and a startling twist, this is another feather in cap of Peter Diamond (except that he only wears a trilby, never a cap, & certainly without feathers in it.) May his retirement be a long way off.