‘The House Sitter’ is the 8th novel in Peter Lovesey’s Inspector Diamond series featuring grumpy old Bath DI, Peter Diamond.
After a beautiful day at Wightview Sands on the Sussex coast, the tide is now coming in and beachgoers are packing up to leave, except for one lady. Emma Tysoe has been strangled without anyone around her on the crowded beach noticing.
Hen Mallin from Bogner Regis is in charge of investigating the murder. It takes several days to identify the body and when they finally do, it is discovered that she was a Bath resident. So Peter Diamond and Hen Mallin (equally grumpy) form a very effective team in investigating the murder.
Emma Tysoe was a psychologist and often worked with the police as a criminal profiler. At the time of her death she was working on a top secret case. A high profile movie director has been murdered using a cross bow and two equally high profile celebrities have been named as the murderer’s next two victim. Clues are left as lines from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner which was the movie that the director was working on.
It is not known if Emma’s death is connected to the other case but the investigators are intent on keeping Diamond and Hen out of it.
But no-one else seems to be able to make the investigative leaps of which Peter Diamond is capable. It doesn’t take long before Diamond, along with his trusty new companion Hen have taken over running both investigations.
There are many typical Lovesey red herrings before the case is solved and the murderer ends up being the most unlikely person with an equally unlikely motive.
Peter Diamond is in fine form in this novel. He forces himself to put aside memories of his murdered wife Steph and buries himself in the job. He and Hen balance each other perfectly and I would love to see their relationship (work or pleasure) developed on future novels.
I love immersing myself in Peter Lovesey’s old fashioned murder mysteries and I enjoy travelling around Bath and the surrounding areas with these novels. I’m looking forward to reading the next novel in the series – ‘The Secret Hangman’.
Book Published 2003