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The Secret Hangman (Peter Diamond Series #9)

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Overview

Delia Williamson, a waitress and mother of two young girls, is reported missing. She is soon found in a public park, hanging from the crossbar of a children’s swing set. The postmortem reveals that she has been murdered. Her current partner, ex-husband, and a traveling salesman who frequented her restaurant are all suspects. Before Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond can solve the mystery, more will die. But even as he pursues a killer, he finds himself pursued by a secret ...
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The Secret Hangman (Peter Diamond Series #9)

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Overview

Delia Williamson, a waitress and mother of two young girls, is reported missing. She is soon found in a public park, hanging from the crossbar of a children’s swing set. The postmortem reveals that she has been murdered. Her current partner, ex-husband, and a traveling salesman who frequented her restaurant are all suspects. Before Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond can solve the mystery, more will die. But even as he pursues a killer, he finds himself pursued by a secret admirer.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Secret Hangman
 
*An Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Killer Book*
 
“When it comes to the classic British puzzle mystery . . . Peter Lovesey is your man. His latest, The Secret Hangman . . . is a special treat . . . Lovesey proves that the traditional puzzle mystery is always a bit of fun and games.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Lovesey’s delicate balance of humor and suspense [is] one of the delights of contemporary crime fiction.”
Wall Street Journal
 
“Lovesey continues to excel, with clever plotted mysteries filled with detailed behind-the-scenes police work.”
Library Journal, Starred Review
 
“Lovesey deftly blends suspense and humor in this excellent ninth whodunit to feature Peter Diamond . . . This classic series is still going strong.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
 
“Lovesey, winner of many honors, including a Gold Dagger Award, should be on every British mystery lover’s short list, and this is a fine place to start.”
Rocky Mountain News
 
“Lovesey has cloaked the classic ‘puzzle’ mystery in a fully realized world of coppers and local landmarks . . . Masterful.”
Houston Chronicle

Marilyn Stasio
Writing in a style that accepts no boundary between morbid and merry, Lovesey proves that the traditional puzzle mystery is always a bit of fun and games.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

British author Lovesey deftly blends suspense and humor in his excellent ninth whodunit to feature Peter Diamond (after 2004's The House Sitter). Diamond, a detective superintendent in Bath, though still traumatized by the murder of his wife, finds himself the object of amorous attention from two women, one an admirer who sends him anonymous letters. The curmudgeonly but astute sleuth also finds himself again at odds with his superior, Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, when his investigation into the separate hangings of a woman and her one-time partner suggests that both were murdered, contrary to the ACC's belief that they were victims of a murder-suicide. Fighting to devote precious time and resources to the inquiry, Diamond soon discovers evidence of a history of similar crimes and suspects the serial killer will strike again. While the solution isn't Lovesey's trickiest, its ingeniousness amply demonstrates that this classic series is still going strong. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Inspector Peter Diamond, three years a widower, gamely accedes to a lady's advances. How's this for a cute meeting? Peter Diamond runs over costume researcher Paloma Kean's groceries in a parking lot and insists on paying, and she reciprocates with an offer of dinner. Paloma, a divorcee, seems smitten with the burly, cantankerous detective, and her son Jerry, a religious fanatic and hospital volunteer, doesn't object. But romance must take a back seat to the latest scourge of Bath, an unknown serial killer who likes to hang his victims from high, very public places. The first to be found is Delia Williamson, followed by her ex, Danny Geaves. But digging by the Murder Squad turns up a prior couple, the Twinings, two years back. Then Jocelyn Steel is strung up. If the pattern holds, her missing husband Martin will be next to go. As if that's not work enough for the bone-tired Diamond, smash-and-grab robbers are looting the stores and half of his squad is reassigned. Worse yet, Paloma's son comes under suspicion, jeopardizing the new romance. Lovesey (The Circle, 2005, etc.), master of the switchback twist, has several in store here, but savvy readers may find them a notch or so below his crafty best.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569474884
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Peter Diamond Series , #9
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 257,117
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Lovesey is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. He has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the Strand Magazine Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards, and many other honors. He lives in West Sussex, England.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2007

    Riveting read!

    Read this last week, then read another, and am now finishing The Vault, one more of the Diamond mysteries. Addictive, great plotting, intriguing and fast paced. Diamond is a very human character, too smart to be where he is, but he could never be anything but this. Lovesey's writing is intelligent and often very funny. Everything fits and flows making Lovesey's books so enjoyable. Years ago I read 'The False Inspector Dew,' the most amusing mystery I've ever read, then lost track of the author. So glad to have rediscovered him.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My First Take on Inspector Peter Diamond

    Somewhat of an Angolphile, I am naturally drawn to mysteries set in the UK, whether hundreds of years ago or in the midst of today's headlines. Not knowing what to expect from author Lovesey, I ventured into The Secret Hangman with minimal expectations. Those soon went by the wayside as I took a keen interest in the middle-aged, curmudgeonly Chief Inspector Diamond, his sad personal history, and his edgy relationships with his very human staff at the nick. Lovesey's inventive mystery kept all of Diamond's team on tenterhooks, as it did me, until the last few pages. Delighted by my new find, I am now onto the Peter Diamond trail, eager to read much more of Mr. Lovesey's marvelous works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting Diamond English police procedural

    Bath Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond still grieves the death of his wife even as he feels some guilt over her being murdered. He currently pretends to not be excited over a secret admirer sending him notes, but inside he is thrilled and albeit a shade more guilt.--------- On the job, Diamond investigates the public park hanging death murder of waitress Delia Williamson, a mother of two young girls. He quickly finds three prime suspects: her former spouse, her current significant other, and a traveling salesman witnessed as having dined with her just before she died. When they find the ex Danny dead hanging in a cave, Diamond believes two murders occurred while his boss Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore insists it was a murder-suicide. As he digs deeper to prove his theory, Diamond uncovers a shocker of similar double murders by a serial killer on the loose.-------- THE SECRET HANGMAN is an exciting Diamond English police procedural. The serial killer case is cleverly dawn so that Diamond and Dallymore can argue over the deaths of Delia and Danny whereas all these Ds mean delightful to fans as the crusty widower soon seeks a diabolical brilliant serial killer who hides his or her work in the guise of murder-suicide. This is a wonderful entry in a strong crime series.---------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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