“Lovesey’s best yet.” —H.R.F. Keating, The Times
Brighton, 1882: Albert Moscrop spends his holiday peering at beachgoers through a telescope, piecing together disarmingly trivial observations into a compelling drama for his own amusement. A keen student of human nature, Moscrop concentrates his interest on one particular family—the Protheros, especially the beautiful Zena Prothero, whose husband appears to take her for granted. Moscrop gradually moves into the circle of the Prothero family, only to become involved in a sensational murder. All of Brighton is horrified by the gruesome crime, and the local police seek the help of Scotland Yard’s Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray, who soon find themselves challenged by the strangest case of their careers, one as mystifying as it is macabre.
About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like many of Peter Lovesey's other books, MAD HATTER'S HOLIDAY doesn't seem to get around to the crime fiction bit until about half way through.This tale is set in 1882 England and the beginning of summer. Albert Moscrop goes to Brighton for a seaside holiday, taking with him his latest acquisitions, a couple of telescopes. Albert is a bit of a voyeur and likes to watch people, and Brighton with its promenading tourist population is the perfect place. Albert arrives at the beginning of the "real season", the accommodation prices have risen, and a better class of tourist has arrived. Albert discovers the attractive face of Zena Prothero, and decides to find out more about her. He follows her, her son, and then contrives to meet her husband. Still no crime. And then Zena seems to disappear. Albert feels compelled to go to the police.At the same time a severed hand is discovered in the Alligator cavern at the Aquarium on the Brighton promenade jetty. The Brighton police feel that this is an investigation outside their capability, and send for London expertise in the form of Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackery from the Criminal Investigation Department. And so the two strands of the novel converge.Peter Lovesey's first novel WOBBLE TO DEATH (1970) introduced the redoubtable Victorian policemen, Cribb and Thackeray. He won the Gold Dagger Award with THE FALSE INSPECTOR DEW and in 2000 joined the elite group of people awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. I have been a Lovesey fan since WOBBLE TO DEATH arrived in South Australia in paperback, and you'll find him among my favourites.
With a cruel smirk, he crouches in the tree. His eyes narrow as he carefully aims his artillery.