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

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,385 ratings  ·  154 reviews
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. ...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published 2003 by Soho (first published 1991)
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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...more
LJ
First Sentence: A man stood thigh-deep in water, motionless, absorbed, unaware of what was drifting towards him.

A naked woman is found dead. The first challenging is determining her cause of death; the second is finding out who she is. Eventually the identity is known and an obvious suspect presents itself. Or does it?

While the justice system is determined to convict their suspect, Diamond is so certain they are wrong, he makes an important personal decision that alters his life but not his det...more
Marsali Taylor
I must have read this before, as it was on my 'read' shelves, rather than in the always overflowing 'to read' box, but I couldn't remember it at all, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Diamond, the 'last detective' is a grumpy eccentric in the Morse / Rebus mould, and the Bath setting was vividly drawn. The puzzle was good, with neat twists, and the in-fighting at the police station an enjoyable part of the plot.

I went on to re-read two others, one lively one about a crime-book-club, 'The Bloodh...more
Susan
This book was actually a pick for my mystery book club and my first chance to read a book by Lovesey. I found that I really enjoyed reading about Lovesey's Diamond and found it to be a really good mystery. I really liked how Lovesey changed points of view throughout the book giving the reader the opportunity to get different points of view of the same event as well as a better development of the characters involved. Gregory and Dana were both developed very well considering that both turned out...more
Delany
Just started this one. So far, so good.

Finished it -- pretty good. There's a whole series with this detective, and I'm thinking they'll be good as novels to take on trips.
Kirsty Darbyshire

[I read this for a mailing list discussion so comments may be out of context and will probably contain spoilers]

[on diamond, cliches]

I surprised myself by liking Diamond. At first I thought I wasn't going to hit it off with him and his anti-technology stance was going to bug the hell out of me. After a while though I felt that he wasn't totally against new ways of doing policework just sceptical of the way some of his co-workers thought of them as a *replacement* for old-fashioned policework ra

...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Author Peter Lovesey is one of my favorite WHODUNNIT writers! Lovesey is among the few authors I’ve read who has the ability to make all of the characters he introduces suspects!

Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is a gumshoe detective who solves crimes wearing out the soles of his shoes. He’ll re-interview suspects, no matter the number of visits, until he is satisfied that he has gotten all he could from them. In the Last Detective, Diamond is searching for the murderer of a once famous so...more
Marfita
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
First in what has become the long running Peter Diamond series. Terrific story with twists and turns and complex characters. I am looking forward to more in this series.
Poivree
The first glimpse we get of the detective Peter Diamond is written in the 3rd person. Other people judge him to be impatient, bad mannered, competent, uncooperative but pretty organized. He tried to find evidence to convict the husband, Gregory who is a large and interesting part if the story. He tells his take in the first person and the reader likes this guy. Dana the cab- limo driver is also an interesting and unconventional person. Diamond becomes more likeable towards the end of the book wh...more
Teresa
Really....3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 stars. I loved the setting of Bath and Bristol, Avon in southwest UK. Peter Diamond hates all the new technology and wants to use his noggin' for figuring things out. It's endearing. But the character is also terribly flawed in ways--a grumpy, snarly old guy who often doesn't listen to others. Still, in the end, you end up really loving the guy completely. The story is complex and even though I had figured out early on 'who dun-it', there was enough compl...more
Marti
The cover is rather unsettling. I had to give this book only three stars because of the apparently poor proofreading--words misspelled, fragments of sentences followed by the whole sentence, and two variations of 'close proximity.' Actually, the story which is set in England, is rather intriguing--starting with the dead nude body of a woman found in a lake. It involves the victim's husband, a woman chaffeur and her teen age son, the employer and of course, Peter Diamond, the Last Detective and h...more
Renee
Oh, that was fun!
Lee Mossel
Peter Lovesey is a new author for me. I liked what I found in this first volume of the Peter Diamond series. Although not a "flawed detective" in the Ian Rankin (John Rebus) or James Lee Burke (Dave Robicheaux) mold, Diamond has his issues not the least of which is with authority. Somewhat reminiscent of Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit detectives, Diamond is rumpled, overweight, and irascible...just the way I like my detectives. I look forward to the other dozen or so volumes in the se...more
Trish
The Inspector Peter Diamond mystery series by Peter Lovesey has been on my reading list for some time. I am pleased to discover that The Last Detective turns out to be the first in the series. As I read, I was struck with the obvious erudition of the author, the complex and somewhat daring change of voice throughout the narrative, the presentation of fine moral and ethical questions, and the unsettling ambiguity of the ending. The main character, Peter Diamond, is meant to be a "diamond in the r...more
Pamela
(This is based on the audio version)

Let's count the cliches, shall we?

Peter Diamond, the detective and main character
1. Is old*
2. Is grumpy--not in a cute curmudgeon sort of way but more in a punch-you-in-the-face sort of way
3. Doesn't like new-fangled technology like computers and microwave ovens (who didn't know how to work a microwave in 1991?)
4. Thinks his boss is an idiot
5. Thinks his co-workers are idiots
6. Has a past history of violence toward suspects and those he considers idiots
7. Has...more
Eric_W
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie
The first book in a new series by Peter Lovesey introducing Peter Diamond as CID Head of the Murder Squad in Bath, England. The reader gets to know the blunt and burly detective who plunges into investigations headfirst unaware of anything, including people's feelings, in his desire for justice and solving the crime. Diamond learns a body has been found floating in a Bristol lake and dives in to find out who the woman is and who killed her. Diamond scorns computer "gadgetry" and relies on old-fa...more
Claudia
It was all right; nothing out of the ordinary. The plot wasn't bad, wasn't great; ditto the characters. I like Bath as a setting, because it is a handsome city, but I'm not sure that's enough for me to continue the series. I don't especially care what happens next to the main character, which is not a good sign.

Really, the most memorable thing about this book was a jaw-dropping typo. There were some understandable minor ones, (though getting one of the main character's name wrong is bad), but th...more
Jerry
We were really wanting to like our first crime story by Brit author Peter Lovesey, featuring high ranking police detective superintendent Peter Diamond, especially since a reliable friend seems enamored with the series. "Last Detective” seemed the book to try since it introduces the character in the first of what is now a 12-book set. We can’t say we found Diamond at all charming or likable, and some “back story” issues didn’t seem to make much sense given this novel being first.

The title loosel...more
Andrew Macrae
Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond enjoys the view of elegant streets filled with fine and stately homes as he drives into Bath each morning. But at the same time, the policeman in him cannot forget the dark, dirty backsides to those buildings, symbolic of the inner fears and demons that can drive even the most upright citizen to murder.

This book is a twentieth anniversary edition of the first Peter Diamond novel by Peter Lovesey and is being released concurrently with “Stagestruck,” the lat...more
Francis
He could have had it all

There is a lot to like about this book. For me, the litmus test for a good or excellent crime/mystery book consists of: does it have characters you are care about, a good sense of time and place, a story that is both interesting and creates a sense of tension or suspense and a plausible finish.

Now the requirement for a plausible ending can be stretched according to the genre or sub-genre, noir, hard boiled, police procedural, these I have to believe in; big puzzle, locked...more
Susan Ferguson
A good book. Peter Diamond is an old-style detective. He believes in understanding why a person committed a crime and getting to the truth. He dislikes the emphasis on computers and dna-testing, etc. These things might provide hard backup evidence, but they don't give the motive. Diamond is also under enquiry for supposedly intimidating a man into confessing a crime he didn't commit.
Professor Greg Jackman's wife, Geraldine, is found dead in a lake. She is unidentified. Finally, after a couple of...more
Julka
Peter Diamond bohater powieści Detektyw Diamond i śmierć w jeziorze Petera Loveseya jest "niedzisiejszy". Nie ufa badaniom naukowym, ani komputerom. Powieść powstała 1991, to jeszcze autor mógł sobie na to pozwolić, teraz to świadczyłoby to raczej o braku kompetencji. Peter jest żonaty, co jest raczej rzadkością wśród bohaterów literackich rozwiązujących zagadki. Tyle, że postać żony nie wnosi nic do powieści. Peter ma bardzo dominującą osobowość, co zresztą przysparza mu kłopotów. Wcale się nie...more
Kenyon Harbison
A nice change of pace for me. In any sense that continuing to read almost exclusively mystery novels can constitute a change a pace. Set in Bath, England. The detective is Peter Diamond, and I am beginning to discover 'tis something of a trope in mystery novels to have the main detective be an older fat gent nearing the end of his career and maligned by the force he serves, etc., etc. I'm sure it goes back, as most things in mystery/crime fiction do, to Agatha Christie, in this case to Hercule P...more
Lyn Attreed
I first read Diamond Solitaire, which got me hooked on Peter Lovesey and Peter Diamond. I many times start with the second book in a series because I find that the author is more comfortable with the returning characters and their universe, thus the second book is a truer reflection of the series as a whole. I'm glad that I did so with the Peter Diamond series because I couldn't really get into The Last Detective and stopped in the middle. Maybe it was because I knew already that he was out of w...more
Cori
This was my first foray into Lovesey’s writing. The reviews for Lovesey are mixed, but I enjoyed The Last Detective, which is the first in his Peter Diamond series. (Aside: isn’t it odd to name a character the same name as yourself? I think so.) Diamond wasn’t exactly likeable. He was mostly tolerable and sometimes I thought he was a big jerk. But I think that partially Lovesey’s intent — Diamond is an old, irascible detective, who is sort of being left in the dust in the wave of technology and...more
Snap
It's just been the last year or so that I discovered Peter Lovesey (where have I been?). THE LAST DETECTIVE is the first in the Peter Diamond series. I liked that it was written in sections showing the different perspectives of the characters. A woman is found floating in a lake. It takes awhile for her to be identified and we find out she is a former soap-opera star married to an English professor. The professor is a hero having saved the life of a young boy. Jane Austin plays a role in the sto...more
Jennifer
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'd heard about Peter Lovesey from my parents and the recommendation of ex Bath residents and an ex Superintendent in the Avon and Somerset force (Peter Diamond, The Last Detective is a (fictional( Detective Superintendent in the same force) is not to be sniffed at. At this distance from the book's first publication, the novel suffers a little from feeling 'dated' rather than 'period'. I doubt it will be many years before that is no longer an issue.

I'd agree with...more
Fanficfan44
The Last Detective is the first novel in the Peter Diamond mystery series. I saw it mentioned as a recommendation and picked it up from the library and I am so glad that I did. The character of Peter Diamond was engaging in his own way. I am not normally a fan of the “anti-technology” quirk but it works for him. He has an earnest manner about him and his lack of arrogance is quite endearing. I also liked the changing points of view as the book progressed. It was handled very well. I have read bo...more
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Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936 in Whitton, Middlesex) is a British writer of historical and contemporary crime novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath. Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden...more
More about Peter Lovesey...
The False Inspector Dew Diamond Solitaire (Peter Diamond, #2) Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond, #4) The Tooth Tattoo (Peter Diamond, #13) The House Sitter (Peter Diamond, #8)

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