‘Bloodhounds’ is Peter Lovesey’s 4th Inspector Peter Diamond novel and is a golden age locked room mystery. As with all of Lovesey’s novels it is a delightful and easy read.
Shirley-Ann Miller has just joined the Bloodhounds. They are an eccentric group who meet weekly in the crypt of a church to discuss crime fiction. The book tastes of the 6 members vary greatly and discussions are often lively.
Meanwhile, detective John Wigfull has a new case for his ‘Bumblebee’ crime prevention unit. The police have received a note, written in verse, of a pending theft. They take every precaution to protect the painting they believe will be targeted, but the target turns out to be an extremely rare postage stamp which is stolen from the postal museum.
At the next Bloodhounds meeting, the missing stamp is found inside a John Dickson Carr book, but the book has not left the owner’s possession since the theft of the stamp. While he is being questioned by the police, another member of the Bloodhounds is murdered in the cabin of a boat. There is only one key to the boat and it could not possibly have been used.
The remaining members of the Bloodhounds are all suspects for both the theft and the murder, so Peter Diamond and John Wigfull must work together to solve their respective cases.
Lovesey does an amazing job of portraying the personalities and eccentricities of the members of the Bloodhounds. As each one was discussed I found myself examining their ability to carry out the crime.
After many twists and turns and red herrings, Peter Diamond eventually works out the murderer but not without heading in the wrong direction and discovering a few more crimes along the way.
While not my favourite Lovesey novel, I did find this one very enjoyable and entertaining. I can’t wait to continue the series with – ‘Upon a Dark Night’.
Book Published 1996