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The Last Detective (Peter Diamond #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,113 ratings  ·  218 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
Hardcover, Large Print, 580 pages
Published December 31st 1992 by MacMillan Publishing Company (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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.
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
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 Mclaren
Somehow, in all my reading I have never read "The Last Detective," the first book in the Peter Diamond series. I don't remember having read any of the Peter Diamond series before, so what I delight it was to start with this first one, a magnificent and smart mystery with multiple layers, twists and turns. As The Wall Street Journal noted in their review "Witty … a perfectly realized murder mystery. I look forward to joining Diamond in further adventures and trying more of Peter Lovesey's intrigu ...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
This is a fun, fast-paced Brit mystery with a protagonist who is quite engaging. I decided to start in on the book last night, and I just had to finish it today! The suspects were engaging and believable; the plot and sub-plot(s) kept my interest to the end. The literary device of switching p.o.v. was well done and not confusing to the reader. I would have given it five stars, but there was, unfortunately, the obligatory 'bash and bang up the hero' near the end. That gets rather old. So..four st ...more
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
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.
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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
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 r

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
My sister suggested that I read a Peter Lovesey mystery after my trip to Bath, England. I started with his first Peter Diamond mystery, "The Last Detective.''

I had so much fun recognizing the places in the story, but you don't have to be familiar with the delights of Bath to enjoy the book. I also appreciated how the author threw in references to Jane Austen, who lived in Bath for several years and made it the setting of two novels.

At first I wasn't sure I cared for the protagonist, Detective
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
Jane Hoppe
Peter Lovesey's The Last Detective is the proverbial page-turner murder mystery, written with humor and surprises. Lovesey builds a case to elicit a confession by the first suspect. But he stubbornly will not confess. The next obvious suspect's case takes the rest of the book to build. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is pulled off the case and almost murdered before he solves the crime. Personalities of Diamond and his reluctant sidekick, their boss, the suspects, the victim, the solicito ...more

Read by.................. Simon Prebble
Total Runtime......... 11 Hours 28 Mins

Description: Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is the last detective: a genuine gumshoe, committed to door-stopping and deduction rather than fancy computer gadgetry. So when the naked body of a woman is found floating in the weeds in a lake near Bath with no one willing to identify her, no marks and no murder weapon, his sleuthing abilities are tested to the limit. Struggling with a jigsaw puzzle of truant choirb
John Lee
I am so pleased that I found this author and particularly this series.
This is my kind of book. A good old fashioned 'Who-done-it'. To my mind, a good author doesnt need loads and loads of characters . Each of the characters in this story is carefully drawn and sits easily in the reader's imagination. The fact that I know Bath and the area in which the story is set, added to my enjoyment of the novel.
The big plus, and for me another sign of a good author, is the total lack of sex or violence in t
Reggie Billingsworth
Re-reading a favourite author can be a very positive experience and Lovesey stands firmly as a great bet for excellent craftsmanship and unique plot twisting.

The cover image of my 1991 edition of The Last Detective only rang remote bells in my head but since the abstract did not jog the memory, I once more praised my pathetic plot recall and dove in.

Lovesey turns, twiddles and twists the plot so many times it would have been pointless accountancy to keep track, but he achieves the variation to s
Fairy Alonto
I know I rated it three stars, but the book is not as awful as that. It was a good read honestly. I'm yet to be grinding up on mystery novels but this one sure makes it into consideration.

There is generally just one thing I didn't like about it: it LOVES the word "bloody". I remember watching one of the worst movies in my life - the American "horror" story, I forgot the title, which repeatedly pronounced the word "fucking" like forever. It's just irritating. I mean the author maybe didn't notic
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3.5 stars - 3/4 of the way through this police procedural I was frustrated and thinking I'd never read another Diamond mystery because I found the detective insufferably cranky and unlikeable, although I really enjoyed Lovesey's writing. Then Diamond quits the force in frustration, we finally meet his long-suffering wife, he turns into a likeable curmudgeon and investigates on his own and voila - we've got a four-star humdinger of a finish and I'm a new fan...

This investigation of a nude dead wo
A. Roy King
The first novel in Peter Lovesey's Peter Diamond series, "The Last Detective" centers on the cantankerous British inspector Peter Diamond, called the last detective because he relies on old-fashioned brainpower and investigation to get the job done, rather than technology and lab work. In this first novel, Diamond must solve the mystery of a beautiful woman found naked and floating in a lake.

This is great writing and great detective fiction. Written in 1991, it will sound a little dated in its r
Lauren Fidler
I was surprised by this one. It took about 25 pages or so to get into it, and there were a lot of early red herrings and meandering passages about the tedious nature of detective work, but once the mystery really started unwrapping, it was good!

I actually liked Peter Diamond, although not so much his name, I admit. We share an apprehension of technology and a deep-rooted need to prove ourselves.

decent mystery and pacing, good characters, fast read

3.5 stars
One of my favorite parts about reading is discovering new characters and then being able to follow the character as he/she grows into a "friend" through a series of books. I discovered Peter Diamond earlier this week. I found this first novel to be very engrossing. I read it in two or three sittings. The narrative has a flawless flow. While I won't say that I was kept in suspense to the very end -- as I had already grown to suspect the culprit prior to the denouement -- I will readily admit that ...more
The Last Detective is a random pick from my library. I haven't read any of the books from this series so I figured I'd give it a try. I really enjoyed this book. It's a straight police procedural with a great mystery. I liked the way it was told from different points of view because it made the book more interesting. There are a few twists with several suspects, but it wasn't annoying.

I will admit to not liking Peter Diamond much in the beginning of the book. He was kind of a jerk. But, I start
This turned out to be a decent British police procedural, but not outstanding. At first I disliked this story set in Bath, because of the arch tone, and the Jane Austen connection was pitched to a low brow level. As for the irascible detective, Colin Dexter and even Ian Rankin have of course done it better. As a detective character Peter Diamond never quite came to life. He may actually be closer to Rendell's Reggie Wexford than to Morse or Rebus. This story of a lady found floating in a lake be ...more
DI Diamond is not quite by-the-book, but The Last Detective is certainly definitive in its description of police procedures. Lovesey has a way with descriptions...for instance, in describing a police brainstorming sessions: "An uneasy silence. If brains were storming, the lightning was slow to strike" (p.174). My favorite description from this book, however, is this (a description of the victim's address book): "Additional jottings had been added on most pages, times of trains, appointments, ban ...more
A naked body of a woman is found floating in the lake. The police led by Peter Diamond have to figure out who she is then who killed her.

This is a definite police procedural even ending in the trial. It is written in parts. Some parts are written in first person about certain suspects. I must admit I started reading this book because it involved some personal letters written by Jane Austen. They did figure in it as some motive and evidence, but about the murder not related to Austen's literatur
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.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Peter Diamond (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Diamond Solitaire (Peter Diamond, #2)
  • The Summons (Peter Diamond, #3)
  • Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond, #4)
  • Upon A Dark Night (Peter Diamond, #5)
  • The Vault (Peter Diamond, #6)
  • Diamond Dust (Peter Diamond, #7)
  • The House Sitter (Peter Diamond, #8)
  • The Secret Hangman (Peter Diamond, #9)
  • Skeleton Hill (Peter Diamond, #10)
  • Stagestruck (Peter Diamond, #11)

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