Rose and Antonia had a good war. As WAAF plotters, they had all the excitement and independence of a difficult and dangerous job, and all the fun of being two women on an RAF base.
Peacetime is a disappointment. There is rationing, shortages, and nothing to do. Rosie’s war-hero husband has turned brutal lout: Antonia, bored with her rich manufacturer, wants to move to America with her lover. Neither can afford a divorce.
But what are plotters for, if not to plot? And Antonia’s ruthless scheme would give them both what they want. If Rosie doesn’t lose her nerve, they could get away with murder...
Just as the bidding gets exciting in a Bath auction house, three armed men stage a hold-up and attempt to steal Lot 129, a medieval carving of the Wife of Bath. The highest bidder, appalled to have the prize snatched away, tries to stop them and is shot dead.
Peter Diamond, head of the murder squad, soon finds himself sharing an office with the stone wife — until he is ejected. To his extreme annoyance the lump of stone appears to exert a malign influence over him and his investigation. Refusing to be beaten, he rallies his team and begins finding suspects and motives.
The case demands that someone goes undercover. The dangerous mission falls to Sergeant Ingeborg Smith, reverting to her journalist persona to get the confidence of a wealthy local criminal through his pop star girlfriend. And soon, murder makes a reappearance…
Peter Diamond, head of the Criminal Investigation Division in scenic Bath, England, is investigating the murder of a young woman whose body has been found in the canal, the only clue to her identity a tattoo of a music note on one of her teeth. For Diamond, who wouldn’t know a Stradivarius from a French horn, the investigation is his most demanding ever.
Meanwhile, strange things are happening to jobbing violist Mel Farran, who finds himself scouted by a very elite classical quartet — one whose previous violist disappeared without a trace. Despite the mystery shrouding the group, the chance to join is too good to pass up, and Mel finds himself in a cushy residency at Bath Spa University with the quartet — and embroiled in the unusually musical murder investigation. As the story unfolds in fugue-like counterpoint, Peter and Mel both learn frightening secrets about fandom and about what it takes to survive in the cutthroat world of professional musicians.
Peter Lovesey has been hailed by the critics as ‘superlative’, ‘a master of the genre’, ‘never puts a foot wrong’ and the Peter Diamond series as ‘one of the most enjoyable police series around’. This new case for the much-loved detective will bring new praise and much satisfaction for his legions of fans.
Through a particularly ill-fated series of events, couch potato Maeve Kelly, an elementary school teacher, has been forced to sign up for the Other Half, Bath’s springtime half marathon. The training is brutal, but Maeve must disprove her mother, who insists that exercise is a waste of her time, and collect pledges for her aunt’s beloved charity. What she doesn’t know is just how vicious some of the other runners are.
Meanwhile, Detective Peter Diamond is tasked with crowd control on the raucous day of the race — and catches sight of a violent criminal he put away a decade ago, who very much seems to be back to his old ways now that he is paroled. Diamond’s hackles are already up when he learns that one of the runners never crossed the finish line and disappeared without a trace. Was Diamond a spectator to murder?