Diamond and the Eye

Diamond and the Eye

by Peter Lovesey
Diamond and the Eye

Diamond and the Eye

by Peter Lovesey


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A Bath antiques dealer has disappeared, and detective Peter Diamond has been saddled with the "help" of a hardboiled Philip Marlowe wannabe private investigator in cracking the case. MWA Grand Master Peter Lovesey's 20th installment in the award-winning series will have readers laughing from the first page.

If there's one thing detective Bath Peter Diamond has no patience for, it's a dumb git trying to get involved in one of his investigations—for example, a Philip Marlowe-wannabee private investigator like the self-styled Johnny Getz (his card claims he Getz results). But fate has saddled Diamond with this trial. A Bath antiques dealer, Septimus "Seppy" Hubbard, has disappeared without a trace, and his daughter, Ruby, has hired Johnny Getz to find him. When a dead body is discovered in Seppy's locked-up store, the missing persons case becomes a murder investigation, and now Diamond has to collaborate with the insufferable private eye.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641293129
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/19/2021
Series: Peter Diamond Series , #20
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Peter Lovesey is the author of more than forty highly praised mystery novels. He has been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and 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 Shrewsbury, England.

Read an Excerpt

“Mind if I join you?”
     Peter Diamond’s toes curled.
     There’s no escape when you’re wedged into your favourite armchair in the corner of the lounge bar at the Francis observing the last rites of an exhausting week keeping a cap on crime. Tankard in hand, your third pint an inch from your mouth, you want to be left alone.
     The stranger’s voice was throaty, the accent faux American from a grainy black-and-white film a lifetime ago. This Bogart impersonator was plainly as English as a cricket bat. His face wasn’t Bogart’s and he wasn’t talking through tobacco smoke, but he held a cocktail stick between two fingers as if it was a cigarette. Some years the wrong side of forty, he was dressed in a pale grey suit and floral shirt open at the neck to display a miniature magnifying glass on a leather cord.
     “Depends,” Diamond said.
     “On what?”
     “Should I know you?”
     “No reason you should, bud.”
     No one called Diamond “bud.” He’d have said so, but the soundtrack had already moved on.
     “I got your number. You’re the top gumshoe in this one-horse town and you’re here in the bar Friday nights when you’re not tied up on a case. What’s your poison? I’ll get you another.”
     “Don’t bother.” Diamond wasn’t being suckered into getting lumbered with a bar-room bore who called him bud and claimed to have got his number.
     “You’ll need something strong when you hear what I have to say.” The bore pulled up a chair and the voice became even more husky. “Good to meet you, any road. I’m Johnny Getz, the private eye.”
     “Say that again, the last part.”
     “Private eye.”
     Against all the evidence that this was a send-up, Diamond had to hear more. “Private eye? I thought they went out with Dick Tracy.”
     “Dick Tracy was a cop.”
     “Sam Spade, then. We’re talking private detectives, are we? I didn’t know we had one in Bath.”
     “What do you mean—‘one’? I could name at least six others. The difference is they’re corporate. I’m the real deal. I work alone.”
     “Over the hairdresser’s in Kingsmead Square.” An address that lacked something compared to a seedy San Francisco side street, which was probably why the self-styled PI added, “The Shear Amazing Sleuth. Like it?”
     There was a pause while the conflict in Diamond’s head—contempt battling with curiosity—raged and was resolved. “What did you say your name is?”
     “Johnny Getz.”
     “How do you spell that?”
     “Getz? With a zee.”
     Diamond sighed. “Is it real?”
     “Sure. You heard of Stan Getz?”
     “The jazz musician. You’re not related?”
     “I should be so lucky.”
     “It was his real name as far as I know,” Diamond said. “Is yours your own?”
     A shake of the head. “In my line of work, you gotta make a noise in the world.”
     “You play the sax yourself?”
     “Nah. I’m talking publicity.” He took a business card from his pocket and snapped it on the table like the ace of trumps. “Johnny Getz. Getz results. How does that grab you?”
     Diamond had a pained look, and not from being grabbed. “What do you want with me, Mr. Getz?”
     “Johnny to you.”
     “Mr. Getz. I keep first names for my friends.”
     Johnny Getz took a moment to reflect on that. He refused to take it as a putdown. “What do I want? I want your help with a case.”
     “Don’t even start,” Diamond said, seizing his chance to end this. “I’m a police officer. We don’t get involved outside our work.”
     “This is your work. It’s got your name all over it.”
     “What the hell are you talking about?”
     “Police, do not cross. The break-in at the antiques shop in Walcot Street last Sunday night. The owner is away. You know about this?”
     “I don’t hear about every crime that happens on my patch.”
     “The cops have sealed the place.”
     “If it’s a crime scene, they would.”
     “Fair enough, except I need to see inside.”
     “My client wants to know what was taken.”
     “And who is your client?”
     “The owner’s daughter.”
     “Has she spoken to anyone?”
     “Several times. Your people tell her jack shit. They say they want to deal with her father.”
     “That’s understandable if he’s the owner. Where is he?”
     “Nobody knows. The best guess is he’s buying more stock. From time to time he gets wind of a house clearance, hangs the ‘closed’ sign on the door and goes looking for bargains.”
     “No one else runs the shop while he’s away?”
     “He wouldn’t let the Bishop of Bath run it.”
     “One of those.”
     “You got it.”
     “Why isn’t the daughter content to wait until he gets back?”
     “You want the truth? She doesn’t trust cops.”
     “Careful what you say, Mr. Getz.”
     “I’m telling you why she hired me. She hasn’t a clue how much was stolen. Not all of you are angels. Some are light-fingered and if it isn’t a cop who walks out with a valuable item, it could be a scene-of-crime person. Who’s to know if the thief took it?”
     “I’ve heard enough of this horseshit.”
     “I’m accusing nobody. I’m telling you what’s on my client’s mind. The longer this goes on, the bigger the suspicion.”
     “The owner could be back today or tomorrow. He’ll know what’s been taken, I presume.”
     “Sure—but he won’t know who took it.”
     “Neither will you, for that matter. There’s more to this. Who reported the break-in?”
     “My client. She came past the shop, saw it was closed, checked the door and found it had been jemmied, the wood splintered around the lock. She reported it right away.”
     “This was when?”
     “Monday afternoon. Two thirty-five.”
     “She didn’t go inside?”
     Getz shook his head. “She didn’t know if the perp was still in the shop.”
     “She’d heard nothing from her father about going away?”
     “He wouldn’t have told her. He’s like that.”
     “I’ll tell you something for nothing,” Diamond said. “I’ve known cases where the thief turns out to have been the person who reported the crime.”
     “Now you’re slandering my client.”
     “You slandered the police. And here’s something else for you to get your head around. The break-in may never have happened.”
     Getz frowned and fingered his silver magnifier.
     “The damage to the door could be a con, done by her father to defraud his insurance company. That happens.”
     “We don’t know if he was insured.”
     “Find out, Mr. Getz. Tell your client to quit racing her motor and leave us to do our job.”
     A pious hope, but it ended the exchange and allowed Diamond to finish his drink.

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