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Bloodhounds Paperback – Mar 6 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (March 6 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751518514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751518511
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,832,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond was suffering in the rear seat of a police car scorching toward Bath along the Keynsham bypass with the headlamps on full beam, blue light pulsing and siren wailing.

Peter Diamond is back with the Bath police as a DS in charge of homicide. The media and police receive a poem which seems to indicate that a valuable painting, in the town's museum, by Turner will be stolen. Instead, it is the theft of a Penny Black, one of the world's most valuable stamps. The stamp turns up in the possession of a member of the town's mystery club, 'The Blookhounds,' and the body of another of the group's ends up on the suspect's boat.

Lovesey's wry humor and use of metaphors is delightful. It is a wonderful send-up of book groups and on-line groups, and I thoroughly enjoyed the all the references to mystery authors and their books.

Lovesey provides a very full construction of each character in very few works. He accurately depicts the pettiness, jealousy and fight for power which seem to be part of any group of people. He clearly exemplifies the tendency of those who are insecure to public degrade others in order to feel better about themselves.

Diamond is a delightful character; he can seem brusque, yet is aware of his flaws and can be kind. I am particularly taken with his very understanding wife, Stephanie, and his young policewoman, Julie Hargraves.

The story provides some interesting, amusing, and lesser known, history about Bath. The inclusion of those small details adds richness to the setting and a variance from the common inclusion of the Roman Baths. It is not all lightness, however, as there is murder and deception.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A playful homage to the classic whodunit June 12 2000
By Sheila L. Beaumont - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Bloodhounds of Bath are a group of eccentric mystery readers with disparate tastes: Shirley-Ann, who reads all sorts of mysteries, "even the dreadful ones"; Miss Chilmark, who is obsessed with Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose"; Milo, who likes the classic puzzle story; Jessica, who specializes in female-P.I. novels; Rupert, who's into hard-boiled, noir crime fiction and sneers at cozies as fairy tales for grown-ups with arrested development; Sid, an extreme introvert who's a John Dickson Carr fan; and Polly, the tactful group chairwoman. One of the members is found dead in a locked-room situation on a houseboat called the Mrs. Hudson. And somebody has carried off a major heist after sending a cryptic riddle message to the news media challenging the police to stop the crime. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, who has been yearning for a puzzling case to work on, has reason to believe the murder and the theft are related. "Bloodhounds" is replete with playful references and allusions to a wide range of detective fiction. It's a very well-written and cleverly plotted mystery, with lots of interesting characters, that will appeal to readers who like traditional whodunits. And for John Dickson Carr fans, it's one that definitely should not be missed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Negative reviews notwithstanding, this was a lot of fun. Sept. 2 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the first Peter Lovesey novel I've read, and it was done well enough that I'd willingly read others. The attraction for me was the locked room aspect, as this is my favorite variety of classic puzzler, or "cozy" if you will. Although the puzzle itself fooled me, I admit it's not up to the level of the master, John Dickson Carr. Even so, it was grounded in a greater procedural realism than you find in Carr, and that in itself lent greater plausibility to the story. Locked room mysteries at their best are pretty far-fetched, but Bloodhounds contains one that's more believable than most. The discussions of classic mystery novels are appealing but, despite another reviewer's comments, do not overshadow the story itself. The characters are well-drawn if not necessarily explored in depth, and the pace is very good. I have no qualms about recommending this one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Have enjoyed the entire series! Aug. 18 2008
By G. D. Fuller - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came upon Lovesey quite by accident & have been pleasantly surprised & entertained. I have now read all 8 of the series featuring the curmudgeonly Inspector Peter Diamond & they make for a quick, enjoyable romp. These are not taunt thrillers but tongue-in-cheek good old fashioned murder mysteries, set in Bath, England. Diamond & his team solve their puzzles one piece at a time in the way good Policemen do. I heartily recommend these engaging stories.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Peter Lovesey's homage to John Dickson Carr May 24 2012
By Grey Wolffe - Published on
Format: Paperback
John Dickson Carr was the practitioner of the 'Locked Room Mystery' in the thirties. His books were known for their style and atmosphere. In this forth book in the 'Diamond' series, our intrepid Chief Inspector Peter Lovesey, is involved with his first big case since being reinstated at the end of 'The Summons'. At the beginning of the book he is found complaining that he hasn't had much to do back at his old job because no one seems to be murdering anyone lately. Times are hard and he can't just go out looking for business.

The 'Black Penny' stamp (the first issue in England) is stolen from the local Postal Museum and a group of mystery book aficionados come under suspicion. But it's still not Diamond's investigation until one of the members is found murdered in the locked boat of another member. The boat is locked with a special German padlock, that has 6 billion different keys and the same two are never sold in England. Though the padlock comes with two keys, the owner had lost the second copy over a year before by dropping it in a canal.

Of course one of the book people is an 'expert' in Dickson Carr, and the rest of this eccentric group would warm the heart of Agatha Christie. Though there are lots of twist and turns, we know that Diamond will get to the bottom of the problem in the end. Good story.

Zeb Kantrowitz
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
On The Trail of the Bloodhounds April 7 2014
By L. M. Keefer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love British mysteries, and want to escape to the Georgian town of Bath, England, there's a mystery afoot. Some supposed prankster is sending riddles to the newspaper and police announcing a potential crime. Simultaneously a group of mystery novel aficionados called the Bloodhounds are meeting to discuss mystery books and one members suggests they use their detective smarts gleaned from books to solve a riddle. Their group suddenly becomes the focus of the investigation when the crimes have strange links to them.

The author has great fun using his characters to discuss detective novels and their authors. There are plenty of eccentric characters to entertain, including the primary detective himself, Peter Diamond. At least one a month I like to escape to England through a mystery and this series is a reliable and original treat. Enjoyed this #4 novel in this mystery series.

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