British author Peter Lovesey's 14th novel in his Peter Diamond series is "The Stone Wife". Set in Bath, Detective Superintendent Diamond and his squad are brought in to investigate a murder which occurred at a local auction house. The victim, a Professor from Reading University, was shot while bidding on a large stone. The stone, which was an etching of Chaucer's "Wife of Bath", was left behind as the three would-be thieves flee the auction house after the shooting.
The Peter Diamond series is one with returning characters whose lives Peter Lovesey updates in every book. Many authors do this, but the blend of character evolution with the solving of crimes is sometimes difficult to carry off. In this book, there are actually two cases which go off from the initial murder at the auction house. One, the solving of the murder is well handled but the other, a look at a possible gun racketeer is less well done. It involves Diamond's female detective, Ingeborg, going "undercover". I don't know whether Lovesey didn't think he had "enough" in the "Chaucer antique murder case" to make a book, but this second story felt a bit lacking...
But to return to the main case, Peter Lovesey is best at examining the Geoffrey Chaucer influence in the Bath area. The reader will learn a bit about Chaucer and his writings, and particularly, "The Wife of Bath". At least one contemporary character, the murder victim's wealthy wife, bears a passing resemblance to that fictional lady from 700 years ago.
This was the first "Peter Diamond" series book I've read. I'll return for more.
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Sphere; 1 edition (14 April 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751554073
- ISBN-13: 978-0751554076
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)