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The Last Detective

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The Last Detective

Peter Diamond Mystery Series, Book 1
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Introduction by Louise PennyA woman's body has been found floating in a large reservoir just south of Bristol. In order to solve the mystery of the "Lady in the Lake," Detective Superintendent Peter...
Introduction by Louise PennyA woman's body has been found floating in a large reservoir just south of Bristol. In order to solve the mystery of the "Lady in the Lake," Detective Superintendent Peter...
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Description-
  • Introduction by Louise Penny

    A woman's body has been found floating in a large reservoir just south of Bristol. In order to solve the mystery of the "Lady in the Lake," Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond must locate two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen and defy his superiors on the force to save a woman unjustly accused of murder. This is the first of the Peter Diamond series; it won the 1992 Anthony Boucher Award for Best Mystery Novel.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.
 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    A MAN STOOD THIGH-DEEP IN WATER, motionless,
    absorbed, unaware of what was drifting towards him. He was
    fishing on the north shore of Chew Valley Lake, a 1200-acre
    reservoir at the foot of the Mendip Hills south of Bristol. He
    had already taken three brown trout of respectable weight.

    He watched keenly for a telltale swirl in the calm lake
    where he had cast. The conditions were promising. It was an
    evening late in September, the sky was overcast and the flies
    in their millions had just whirled above him in their spectacular
    sunset flight, soaring and swooping over the lake in a
    mass darker and more dense than the clouds, their droning
    as resonant as a train in the underground. The day's hatch,
    irresistible to hungry fish.

    A light south-westerly fretted the surface around him, yet
    ahead there was this bar of water, known to fishermen as the
    scum, that showed a different pattern in the fading light.
    There, he knew by experience, the fish preferred to rise.

    So preoccupied was the man that he failed altogether to
    notice a pale object at closer proximity. It drifted languidly
    in the current created by the wind, more than half submerged,
    with a slight rocking motion that fitfully produced
    a semblance of life.

    Finally it touched him. A white hand slid against his
    thigh. A complete arm angled outwards as the body lodged
    against him, trapped at the armpit. It was a dead woman,
    face-up and naked.

    The fisherman glanced down. From high in his throat
    came a childishly shrill, indrawn cry.

    For a moment he stood as if petrified. Then he made an
    effort to gather himself mentally so as to disentangle himself
    from the undesired embrace. Unwilling to touch the
    corpse with his hands, he used the handle of the rod as a
    lever, lodging the end in the armpit and pushing the body
    away from him, turning it at the same time, then stepping
    aside to let it move on its way with the current. That accomplished,
    he grabbed his net from its anchorage in the mud
    and, without even stopping to reel in his line, splashed his
    way to the bank. There, he looked about him. No one was
    in sight.

    This angler was not public-spirited. His response to the
    discovery was to bundle his tackle together and move off to
    his car as fast as possible.

    He did have one judicious thought. Before leaving, he
    opened the bag containing his catch and threw the three
    trout back into the water.

    TWO

    A LITTLE AFTER 10.30 THE same Saturday evening,
    Police Constable Harry Sedgemoor and his wife Shirley
    were watching a horror video in their terraced cottage in
    Bishop Sutton, on the eastern side of the lake. PC Sedgemoor
    had come off duty at six. His long body was stretched
    along the length of the sofa, his bare feet projecting over
    one end. On this hot night he had changed into a black
    singlet and shorts. A can of Malthouse Bitter was in his left
    hand, while his right was stroking Shirley's head, idly teasing
    out the black curls and feeling them spring back into
    shape. Shirley, after her shower dressed only in her white
    cotton nightie, reclined on the floor, propped against the
    sofa. She had her eyes closed. She had lost interest in the
    film, but she didn't object to Harry watching if it resulted
    afterwards in his snuggling up close to her in bed, as he
    usually did after watching a horror film. Secretly, she suspected
    he was more scared by them than she, but you didn't
    suggest that sort of thing to your husband, particularly if he
    happened to be a policeman. So she waited patiently for
    it to end. The tape hadn't...

About the Author-
  • Peter Lovesey is the author of twenty-six highly praised mystery novels and has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers and the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, as well as many US honors. He lives in West Sussex, England.

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    Soho Press
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Peter Diamond Mystery Series, Book 1
Peter Lovesey
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