Skeleton Hill (Peter Diamond Series #10)

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Overview

On Lansdown Hill, near Bath, a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers that took place over 350 years ago is annually reenacted. Two of the reenactors discover a skeleton that is female, headless, and only about twenty years old. One of them, a professor who played a Cavalier, is later found murdered. In the course of his investigation, Peter Diamond butts heads with the group of vigilantes who call themselves the Lansdown Society, discovering in the process that his boss Georgina is a member. She resolves to ...

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Skeleton Hill (Peter Diamond Series #10)

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Overview

On Lansdown Hill, near Bath, a battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers that took place over 350 years ago is annually reenacted. Two of the reenactors discover a skeleton that is female, headless, and only about twenty years old. One of them, a professor who played a Cavalier, is later found murdered. In the course of his investigation, Peter Diamond butts heads with the group of vigilantes who call themselves the Lansdown Society, discovering in the process that his boss Georgina is a member. She resolves to sideline Diamond, but matters don’t pan out in accordance with her plans.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Skeleton Hill

"Diamond is a classic—better catch him while you can."
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Peter Lovesey is the real deal. A top master of the police procedural British subgenre, he's an ace at spinning out teasingly slow plot revelations . . . crisp prose and humane characterizations.”
The Seattle Times

"Nobody can write the modern traditional detective novel as perfectly as Lovesey."
The Denver Post

"History, humor, inspired clues, maniacal twists and a paean to the beauty of the Bath countryside. Lovesey, who’s won every prize going, deserves another for Diamond’s tenth."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Diamond remains one of the most realistic and human of fictional sleuths . . . another winner in this enduring series."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


Praise for The Peter Diamond series


“I’m jealous of everyone discovering Lovesey and Diamond for the first time—you have a wonderful backlist to catch up on. Me, all I can do is wait for the next book.”
Sara Paretsky

"These erudite and wondrously witty books are unlike any police procedural you've ever read."
The New York Times Book Review
 
“Thickly textured, amusing, unpredictably mixing puzzle and procedural.... One of the best.”
Los Angeles Times
 
“Witty . . . A perfectly realized murder mystery.”
Wall Street Journal
 
“Extremely stylish, lighter than air ... utterly surprising.”
Newsweek
 
“Lovesey’s books are so beautifully constructed and cleanly written that they could be used as textbooks in a crime writing course.”
Chicago Tribune
another winner in this enduring series

Marilyn Stasio
The story opens with a modern-day re-enactment of a battle fought in Bath in 1643 and works itself up into one of Lovesey's familiar convoluted plots, layered with historical lore and teeming with comic characters up to their necks in no good. Diamond is a classic—better catch him while you can.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Silver Dagger Award-winner Lovesey's 10th Peter Diamond investigation (after 2007's The Secret Hangman) may offer a less intricate plot and more procedural work than usual, but Diamond remains one of the most realistic and human of fictional sleuths. During a recreation of an English Civil War battle outside Bath, Rupert Hope, an academic who's playing a cavalier, and another participant discover a human femur. Presented with this minor puzzle, the police eventually unearth the entire skeleton, minus the skull. After someone bludgeons Hope to death, Diamond wonders whether Hope's murder and the headless skeleton are connected, and his team redoubles their efforts to identify it. A zipper found near the skeleton may point to a link with London's Russian community. While some readers will anticipate the solution with little trouble, sharp prose and characterization make this another winner in this enduring series. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
At a reenactment of a major battle of the English Civil War, two participants discover the headless skeleton of a young woman. When one of the participants is later found murdered on Lansdown Hill, Bath Inspector Peter Diamond (The Secret Hangman) must coordinate a coinvestigation with the Bristol police. Finding what connects the two cases other than geography makes this a challenge for all involved. Winner of the CWA Silver, Gold, and Diamond Dagger Awards, plus the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement, Lovesey is known for his complex mystery stories. VERDICT Lovesey's latest demonstrates his command of telling a tale that is engaging and puzzling for his readers and sleuths. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 5/1/09.]
Kirkus Reviews
Inspector Peter Diamond, in full curmudgeon mode, detects a fresh corpse at a Civil War (that's the Cavaliers versus the Roundheads) reenactment. Two "corpses," weary of lying dead during a reprise of the Battle of Lansdown 350 years after the fact, creep away to enjoy a six-pack hidden beneath a felled oak tree. Discovering a femur, presumably from the original battle, they decide to inter it once more. When Bristol University lecturer Rupert Hope returns to pick it up and show it off to his students, he's coshed from behind. At length the bone winds up on Inspector Peter Diamond's desk. Forensics proves it belonged to a young woman. Who was she and who killed her? Rupert is no help. First he's concussed, then he's dead. With two murder inquiries on his hands, Diamond (The Secret Hangman, 2007, etc.) finds Bristol CID only too eager to take on the second. Craftily circumventing territorial duels, he works out the relation between the murders and is soon chatting up members of the Lansdown Society, including his boss Georgina, Sir Colin Tipping and Major Swithin. Alas, typical Diamond missteps land one officer in hospital and assign a Ukrainian interpreter to an English-speaking suspect. Thanks to Lovesey's nonpareil deftness, however, Diamond ultimately prevails over murder past and present. History, humor, inspired clues, maniacal twists and a paean to the beauty of the Bath countryside. Lovesey, who's won every prize going, deserves another for Diamond's tenth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569478530
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Peter Diamond Series , #10
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 266,591
  • Product dimensions: 7.74 (w) x 11.22 (h) x 0.91 (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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2010

    History and a mystery

    SKELETON HILL is the 10th Peter Diamond book and it is one of the best. The book opens on a reenactment of the Battle of Lansdown, fought on July 5, 1643, during the English Civil War. Two of the Cavaliers have been killed early in the battle and the force has moved on to continue to engage the Roundheads. They are within speaking distance so Dave, a veteran of the battles, asks Rupert, killed for the first time, if he would like to have a lager before they have to rejoin the main group and get killed again. Dave has hidden the cans in soft earth near a fallen tree but, to his dismay, only two of the six cans are there. What is there is a long bone, very much like a femur. Rupert Hood is a history lecturer at a local university who suggests to Dave that the bone may actually belong to a man killed in 1643. They decide to rebury it and leave the body in peace.

    A few days later, Miss Hibbert and her grayhounds come to the police station with a large bone that looks like a femur. Miss Hibbert wants to know if she may keep it and give it to her dogs. No, she cannot keep it. It is human and it has been in the ground no more than 20 years.

    The skeleton is female and without a head. By the end of the story, Peter Diamond and his colleagues will deal with two murders, golf, and a kidnapped horse among many other things. This is a most enjoyable book, another 300 pages I didn't put down.

    The Sealed Knot is an historical society that stages reenactments of the British Civil War throughout England. The money earned goes to research on the period as well as education programs in schools and universities. The name comes from the secret society that was formed to reestablish the monarchy.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    excellent

    Lovesey is always outstanding.

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  • Posted August 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A terrific English police procedural

    During a reenactment of the English Civil War battle at Lansdown between the Cavaliers and the Roundheads, participant Bristol University Professor Rupert Hope and another "corpse" leave the scene to share a beer or six. While drinking, the pair finds a human femur that they assume was three and half centuries old so should be re-buried.

    A bit more sober, Rupert returns to the scene of the burial to dig back up the bone to show off to his students only to be hammered in the head. Soon afterward Inspector Peter Diamond investigates the bone; he and his team find the rest of the remains of an unknown woman except the skull. As Rupert recovers from a concussion, he is killed. Diamond assumes a connection between the skeleton and the academia's murder in which the investigation upsets his boss, high society, and the Bristol CID.

    This terrific English police procedural is owned as always by Diamond who blunders and steps on feet while working to solve two homicides that occurred years apart. His theory is to solve one solves the other. Fans will enjoy his misadventures in the Bath region as Peter Lovesey provides his audience with a bit of history, geography, and culture wrapped inside an amusing yet well written investigate tale filled with super twists. Inspector Diamond is 24 carets in his latest inquiry (see THE SECRET HANGMAN).

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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