The Last Detective

The Last Detective

A nude female floats dead in a large reservoir lake south of Bristol. To solve the "Lady of the Lake" mystery, and save a woman unjustly accused, Sussex Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond must find two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen, and defy his superiors.  ...

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Title:The Last Detective
Author:Peter Lovesey
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Last Detective Reviews

  • Sue

    A new British mystery series begun---and at the beginning! There is always something nice about reading the first of a series, even 20 years after it was written, seeing how the "last detective" begins his cases, just how curmudgeonly he is or isn't, how he deals with adversity, with facts, with speculation. Well Peter Lovesey has met the test for me and I will be returning for more of Peter Diamond's adventures. I enjoyed the detection, the wit in the prose and the working out of the mystery.

    Re

    A new British mystery series begun---and at the beginning! There is always something nice about reading the first of a series, even 20 years after it was written, seeing how the "last detective" begins his cases, just how curmudgeonly he is or isn't, how he deals with adversity, with facts, with speculation. Well Peter Lovesey has met the test for me and I will be returning for more of Peter Diamond's adventures. I enjoyed the detection, the wit in the prose and the working out of the mystery.

    Recommended!

  • Linda Baker

    The Last Detective is a book that has been on my vast "to be read" list for a very long time. First published in 1992, it won the Anthony Boucher Award for Best Mystery Novel in that year and was considered groundbreaking. Overweight, technophobic, irascible and blunt to the point of rudeness, Peter Diamond was a different type of detective in British Crime fiction. I think I may have read one or two of the series but never the book that started it all.

    Set in Bath, the nude body of a woman is f

    The Last Detective is a book that has been on my vast "to be read" list for a very long time. First published in 1992, it won the Anthony Boucher Award for Best Mystery Novel in that year and was considered groundbreaking. Overweight, technophobic, irascible and blunt to the point of rudeness, Peter Diamond was a different type of detective in British Crime fiction. I think I may have read one or two of the series but never the book that started it all.

    Set in Bath, the nude body of a woman is found floating in the river. The first challenge is to find out who she is in the absence of clothing, identification, jewelry or a wedding ring. Not even the cause of death is immediately apparent, but Diamond is sure that it was no suicide. Sending out a photo of the dead woman is the only solution when no woman matching her description has been reported missing. Diamond is first amused, then annoyed when a number of calls come in identifying her as a character in a long-running soap opera on TV. By the time this case is solved the lives of all who knew, loved or hated her are turned upside down; even the life of Peter Diamond.

    I greatly enjoyed The Last Detective.The inclusion of undiscovered, then missing Jane Austen letters as part of the plot were a plus for me. The story was told in multiple viewpoints; most of which are unreliable in one way or another. There is plenty of humor and some pointed social commentary. Even after 25 years,The Last Detective holds up well.

    Thanks to NetGalley and SoHo for an advance digital copy of this reissued crime classic.

  • Rob Kitchin

    The Last Detective is a police procedural in the traditional, British form - think Colin Dexter, John Harvey or Ian Rankin. Lovesey tries to break the form up by varying the point of view, the book divided into parts, with each told from the perspective of a different character. It’s a useful device to add some depth to what is a fairly mundane story. The characterisation is good, although it’s difficult to warm to Diamond until near the end of the book and at that point his personality seems to

    The Last Detective is a police procedural in the traditional, British form - think Colin Dexter, John Harvey or Ian Rankin. Lovesey tries to break the form up by varying the point of view, the book divided into parts, with each told from the perspective of a different character. It’s a useful device to add some depth to what is a fairly mundane story. The characterisation is good, although it’s difficult to warm to Diamond until near the end of the book and at that point his personality seems to have been transformed. There is a good sense of place, the story clearly rooted in Bath and its surrounds, and there is nice contextualisation with respect to Jane Austen’s link to the city. The plot works fine, having a couple of twists and turns, some misdirection, and good procedural detail with respect to the case and a trial, but ultimately, the book hinges on two events that both seemed weak to me. Difficult to discuss without giving spoilers, but the dramatic change in Diamond’s life was needed as a plot device but didn’t ring true, and the resolution is based on a confession that comes very easily and seemed very unlikely. Overall, an okay, straight up-and-down police procedural.

  • Suzy

    I really enjoyed this first in a mystery series featuring Peter Diamond. I was introduced to it when I asked my friend Kathleen about her favorite books of 2015 and this was on the list. Diamond appears on the surface as a strong-arm, arrogant detective, but is shown to be more than what's on the surface in the course of this story. A woman is found naked in a lake at the beginning of the book and it appears that there are no clues to go on. Diamond to the rescue! He is old school, do

    I really enjoyed this first in a mystery series featuring Peter Diamond. I was introduced to it when I asked my friend Kathleen about her favorite books of 2015 and this was on the list. Diamond appears on the surface as a strong-arm, arrogant detective, but is shown to be more than what's on the surface in the course of this story. A woman is found naked in a lake at the beginning of the book and it appears that there are no clues to go on. Diamond to the rescue! He is old school, doggedly following through on both evidence and hunches. This was written in 1991 and Diamond is of the "resistant to technology" type, relying rather on experience and old-time policing approaches. I did tire of the "men in the white coats" references to those that embrace and use modern methods, but in general his resistance sets up interesting dynamics.

    There are many story lines and suspects, lots of clues and red herrings to add interest and energy to keep the story moving. Lovesey changes twice from 3rd person to 1st person POV to allow the main suspects to tell their story to the police . . . and to us. I guessed who the murderer was a little more than halfway through, but for the rest of the book I doubted my conclusion, a testimony to Lovesey's writing. This would have received more stars from me except that most of the story came out in a rush in the last third of the book. While it made things more interesting, it felt crammed in at the end, with some aspects of it implausible. But that won't stop me from continuing with Peter Diamond. I've already ordered

    , book 2, from the library.

    I want to give a shout out to the narrator, Simon Prebble. He was excellent. I can't believe I've never heard him narrate before given there are 16 pages of a wide range of books on Audible that he's narrated. I look forward to hearing him read book 2

  • Bettie☯

    Read by.................. Simon Prebble

    Total Runtime......... 11 Hours 28 Mins

    Description:

    Read by.................. Simon Prebble

    Total Runtime......... 11 Hours 28 Mins

    Description:

    The opening scene has a cat-walking elderly lady (I imagined Margaret Rutherford) knocking on a door late evening - she has something to report.

    Diamond is aged forty-one in this first book; it is explained that he gave up rugby eight years ago, at the age of thirty-three.

    That was gentle, twisty fun. Obviously I'm not going to become a

    Peter Diamond fan because of my interest and support for the forensic sciences, however if all the episodes are up to this standard, it looks an enjoyable series.

    3* The Last Detective (Peter Diamond, #1)

    3* Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond, #4)

    3* Diamond Dust (Peter Diamond, #7)

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