Brendan's Reviews > Bloodhounds

Bloodhounds by Peter Lovesey
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Mar 12, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, book-club, fiction, mystery
Read in April, 2009

Lovesey’s procedural was interesting and delightful. The story turns on a locked-room mystery in which a member of a mystery book club (himself a locked-room mystery enthusiast) was murdered in, you guessed it, a locked room. Lovesey weaves this somewhat goofy idea into the modern police procedural of the Inspector Morse stripe. I haven’t read any other Peter Diamond mysteries, but the book fits the model of that subgenre. A few other thoughts:

* The members of the book club are pretty eccentric — each seems to have dark secrets and/or strange habits. One wonders if any small group of people would look similar under the harsh light of police scrutiny. Gosh I hope not.
* The interviews, the center of Lovesey’s book, are generally well-crafted. He gives us insight into the detective’s motives (sometimes a bit too heavily), and the characters come off as distinct and striking. Particularly amusing are the moments when the detectives knock aside the facades their subjects have erected and glimpse the true nature of their subject. Like many British mysteries, it turns out that the true nature of the small-town person is to be creepy.
* The rivalry between Diamond and the other detective (Wigful) works pretty well too, though you feel bad for the other guy, since he’s not the protagonist and is doomed not to be the victor.
* I was a bit disappointed that the artist didn’t use mysteries in the pile of books shackled on the cover. In particular, the John Dickson Carr book The Hollow Man has a section on Locked Room mysteries (and becomes part of the story). It should have been in the pile.
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