Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Peter Lovesey presents a collection of short fiction spanning fifty years, including the first story he ever published and three brand-new stories.
More than fifty years ago, Peter Lovesey published a short story in an anthology. That short story caught the eye of the great Ruth Rendell, whose praise ignited Lovesey’s lifelong passion for short form crime fiction.
On the occasion of his hundredth short story, Peter Lovesey has assembled this devilishly clever collection, eighteen yarns of mystery, melancholy, and mischief, inhabiting such deadly settings as a theater, a monastery, and the book publishing industry.
The collection includes the career-launching story, as well as three never-before-published works. And surprising the author himself, the irascible Bath detective, Peter Diamond, "bulldozed his way" into this volume.
The 16 dazzling selections in this inviting collection from MWA Grand Master Lovesey (the Peter Diamond series) range from his first published story, "The Bathroom" (1973), to three new ones. In one of these three, "And the Band Played On," a boy learns the surprising truth about the hidden past of his mentally impaired grandfather, who likes to sing an old-fashioned tune about dancing with a beautiful blonde. More than one twist graces this affecting tale. The sly title story, narrated by a monk who tends a monastery garden in London, puts a nice spin on a classic Agatha Christie trope. Other notable entries are "The Deadliest Tale of All," in which an obituary writer attempts to repair Edgar Allan Poe's reputation, and "A Three Pie Problem," in which police detective Peter Diamond exposes the dalliances of an aged attorney at a toxic corporate Christmas gathering. Throughout, Lovesey delivers crisp dialogue, effortless narration, appealing characters, ingenious plots, and effervescent whimsy. A concluding essay, "The Tale of Three Tubs," details the true story of the inspiration behind "The Bathroom." This is a thoroughly entertaining compendium of the best of the best by one of the best. Agent: Jane Gelfman, ICM Partners/Gelfman Schneider Literary.