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Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

[ Edited ]

I'm thrilled to welcome PETER LOVESEY to Barnes & Noble's Mystery Forum!


From Peter's website:


2013: The Tooth Tattoo
Peter’s latest, The Tooth Tattoo, is published by Sphere in the UK on 4 April 2013 and by Soho Press in the USA on 10 April 2013.


Peter Diamond, head of Bath’s CID, takes a city break in Vienna, where his favourite film, The Third Man, was set, but everything goes wrong and his companion Paloma calls a halt to their relationship.

Meanwhile, strange things are happening to jobbing musician Mel Farran, who finds himself scouted by methods closer to the spy world than the concert platform. The chance of joining a once-famous string quartet in a residency at Bath Spa University is too tempting for Mel to refuse.

Then a body is found in the city canal, and the only clue to the dead woman’s identity is the tattoo of a music note on one of her teeth. For Diamond, who wouldn’t know a Stradivarius from a French horn, the investigation is his most demanding ever. Three mysterious deaths need to be probed while his own personal life is in free fall.

Cop to Corpse is now in paperback:

“Who’s gunning for beat cops? That’s the frantic question Peter Diamond must try to answer in British author Peter Lovesey’s superlative twelfth novel featuring the irascible Chief Superintendent . . . Lovesey, winner of the CWA Gold and Silver Dagger, leavens the suspense with Diamond’s trademark gallows humor, and closes with one of his cleverest solutions.”Publishers Weekly

“Nobody but Lovesey could thump out a gritty procedural yet instill Bath with so much charm and history that readers will have to put it on their bucket lists.” Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve been a fan of Peter Lovesey’s ever since Sergeant Cribb investigated a Victorian murder in Wobble to Death. Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series is one of the best of the current crop of British cop-shop books. His books always have a tight plot and very professional sets of clues and investigators, and this one, the 12th, is one of his best . . . If you’re not already a fan of Lovesey and Diamond, start here.” Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail, Toronto

“There are some days when only a good book will do. You want a novel written by a master of his craft. You want characters sympathetically but never sentimentally drawn, with believable relationships, good and bad. You want a topical crime (as I write, a gunman in France is taking out policemen with an assault rifle) and even if it looks as if a serial killer is at work, you don’t want to sigh at the vicious predictability of the murders. You want action, but never excessive violence, and certainly no gratuitous, stomach-churning detail. You want pace, controlled as if by a conductor on his podium. You want an always readable style, with the author assuming you’ve got an intelligent, educated mind, but never being self-indulgent and signalling every clever turn of expression with a wave. You want a frisson of pleasure at the entirely satisfying denouement. You want Peter Lovesey’s latest crime investigation, Cop to Corpse. Set in present day Bath, this exemplary crime novel traces the investigation when the third policeman in the area is killed by a sniper within twelve weeks. This isn’t Bath of the warm stone and wonderful vistas set jewel-like amidst green hills. It’s a city where people live and die, and the scenery conceals places to hide and hinders police operations. I don’t need to say any more. Go and buy it now.”Judith Cutler, Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine

“The pacing is relentless in this well-plotted mystery. The engaging Peter Diamond is rarely far afield, involved in nearly every aspect of the criminal investigation . . . Cop to Corpse is a strong entry in this already strong series of mysteries and police procedurals.” Mysterious Reviews

“Peter Lovesey is one writer who rises to the challenge again and again. . . . The story may be unorthodox, but it is certainly entertaining and proof – were it needed – that one of Britain’s most distinguished mystery novelists is still as good at keeping us guessing as ever. Long may he continue to entertain his many fans.” Martin Edwards, Do You Write Under Your Own Name?

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Peter Lovesey


About Peter

“Buried here, with a stake drove through his body, is the wicked murderer, John Proctor, who cut the throats of his wife and child and then poisoned himself, July 6th, 1765.” The opening lines of my History of Whitton essay in 1951 show a morbid fascination with crime even at age 15. My first payday as a writer.

Forced Start

Peter Lovesey

I was born at home, a suburban semi in Whitton, Middlesex, in 1936, “with instruments”, as my mother used to say, and it didn’t mean violins playing. In midwife-speak, I was turned down, a salutary experience for a future writer.


Earliest significant memory is a wartime one from 1944: being collected from an air-raid shelter at school and told our home had been destroyed by a V1 Flying Bomb. Miraculously my family escaped — brothers John and Andrew crawled out of the rubble, having survived under a Morrison table-shelter — although our neighbours in the other half of the house were killed.


After the bombing we were billeted with a farmer and his family in the West Country, an episode that influenced Rough Cider, my book about the memories of an evacuee.



Becoming A Nut

In 1945 a huge crowd packed the White City for the first big athletics meeting after the war, when Sydney Wooderson ran against Arne Andersson. My father took me, but we were among the thousands who didn’t get in.


Our “bombed out” family was short of books. I can recall only two: The Life of Sir Edward Marshall Hall and Alias the Saint. I thought “Alias” had something to do with the Old Testament (Iwas only eight at the time) and chucked that one aside, but I devoured the Marshall Hall book. He was the outstanding barrister of his age. I read each of the murder trials many times. Eventually I was forced to turn to the book about the saint, who was, of course, Simon Templar, the Leslie Charteris hero. Is it any wonder I became a crime writer? In 1992, when Chairman of the Crime Writers, I was thrilled to present Mr Charteris with the Cartier Diamond Dagger.
With Audrey and Leslie Charteris. Cartier Diamond Dagger presentation, House of Lords, 1992


Even so, my interest in athletics was sparked. Later we went to the London Olympic Games. I grew up a fan and cycled to meetings in and around London through the 1950s. But as an athlete I was inept. You’ve heard of the Fosbury Flop. I was a flop before Fosbury was born, which is why I developed into a track “nut” and not a world-beating athlete. Much later, I wrote a bibliography of track and field, an athletics novel andthe official history of the Amateur Athletic Association.



No Work At All

After Hampton Grammar School, I went to Reading University to study Fine Art and soon switched to English. My towering achievement at Reading was finding my future wife, Jax (known as Jackie Lewis then). Studying was just a bind for us both and we ended with less than brilliant degrees. When asked for a reference, Prof Gordon gave me a generous one, but added in a personal note, “You will now admit that you did no work at all.” Ah, but he couldn’t get enough crime novels to read and was amused years later when I sent him one.

National Service followed — as a Pilot Officer who piloted nothing and a Flying Officer who didn’t fly. Teaching RAF boy entrants earned me enough to get married and qualified me to teach in FE, first at Thurrock Technical College, then Hammersmith College. In spare evenings and weekends I tried sports writing. Out of it eventually came The Kings of Distance, my first book. A great thrill, especially when World Sports named it Sports Book of the Year.






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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

More about Peter:


The Lure Of Money

But how do you follow that? One day in 1969 we spotted an advert for a first crime novel. The prize was £1000. Too tempting to ignore. Encouraged by Jax, I used my knowledge of obscure Victorian athletics, wrote Wobble to Death in under four months. Off-beat, with a catchy title, it won. The book was launched with a 24 hour Wobble for Shelter around Sloane Square. Barbara Windsor started the race and wobbled better than anyone.

Murder We Promote: There’s a vogue now for performance groups, writers teaming up to hawk their wares through entertainment. The first of them, Murder We Write, grew out of a chat over lunch in 1990 between Liza Cody, Paula Gosling, Michael Z Lewin and me. We agreed that a show might be a painless way to sell books. Mike got on the phone and within weeks we were touring the Mid-West, illustrating the writer’s craft with a variety of techniques such as radio drama, audience participation and mime. The show took us up and down Britain as well, to the Edinburgh and Dublin Book Fairs and on TV. In other tours it morphed into Partners in Crime (just Mike and me); and Wanted for Murder (with Liza), which included magic, juggling and singing. A different way to reach out and sell books. Ten performance groups are now listed in the CWA directory. 

Almost by default I was a crime writer. Good thing Jax had read some whodunnits and could advise, because I hadn’t progressed much past the Saint. Didn’t appreciate the honour of being reviewed by John Dickson Carr, Edmund Crispin, Julian Symons and HRF Keating. I knuckled down to learn the tricks of the trade and wrote seven more Victorian crime novels. In 1975, I kissed farewell to teaching and went full time.


Cribb On The Box…


Waxwork, the eighth novel, had a good review in Time magazine, and TV Producer June Wyndham-Davies decided to buy it for Granada. Starring Alan Dobie as Sergeant Cribb and Carol Royle as the woman awaiting execution, it was screened at Christmas, 1979.


Glittering Prizes

Two series followed. All the book were dramatised and six new stories were written by my wife Jax and me just for TV. Our audience rose to 12.5 million in 1981 and Alan Dobie and William Simons (as Constable Thackeray) were nominated for Emmy awards. Click on TV, Film and Radio for more.

…And Goldengirl On Film

After giving up the day job, I went back to what I knew best.Goldengirl, under the pen-name Peter Lear, was about the exploitation of a brilliant runner aiming to win three gold medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. It was filmed starring Susan Anton and James Coburn. Shame about the timing: just before the film was released, the Russians marched into Afghanistan and the Americans pulled out of the Olympics. Not many people know about Goldengirl.

Early in my career, Mad Hatter’s Holiday was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards. The last of the Cribb books, Waxwork, won the 1978 Silver Dagger and in 1982 The False Inspector Dew won the Gold. The Summons (1995) andBloodhounds (1996) each won a Silver. In 2000, I was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger for my career in crime writing.

Fiction In The Family: My brother Andrew Lovesey, a biochemist, wrote The Half-Angels(Sphere Books, 1975), a science fiction fantasy, and would have done more, but died young. Our son Phil Lovesey, “a promising new young British voice” (Time Out), writes psychological thrillers: Death Duties (HarperCollins, 1998),Ploughing Potter’s Field (HarperCollins, 1999), When the Ashes Burn (HarperCollins, 2000) and The Screaming Tree (HarperCollins, 2002). Daughter Kathy wisely eschewed literature for commerce and became a Vice President of JP Morgan Chase in New York.

For the full trophy cabinet, click here.

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Getting Up To Date

In 1991, I faced the new challenge of writing about a modern policeman. Peter Diamond, in The Last Detective, took to the bookstands and had a gratifying reception, winning the Anthony Award for best mystery of the year in America. Diamond has gone on to eight other books and a clutch of awards on both sides of the Ocean. More recently Henrietta “Hen” Mallin has been featured, first in a cameo role in The House Sitter, and then centre stage in The Circle. She stars in the next book, due for publication in the spring of 2008.




Put On The Spot: In 1990, the CWA had its glitziest Awards Dinner, with Princess Margaret as the main guest, and a galaxy of film and TV stars, among them Diana Rigg, Julie Christie, Francesca Annis and David Suchet. So it was a calamity the evening before when our speaker, John Mortimer, was taken to hospital with a detached retina.


As Vice-Chairman to Catherine Aird, I was asked to fill the breach. I said I’d do it on one condition: that she didn’t add to my stress by seating me next to HRH (that honour went to Catherine herself and James Melville). I spent a nervous night concocting a speech from the comical letters I’d collected. I got by. As Robert Barnard put it, “Peter, as we all know, gets the best postbag since the late Gerard (“There is a French widow in every bedroom”) Hoffnung.”

CWA Awards Dinner: L to R: Peter, Diana Rigg, James Melville, Princess Margaret, Catherine Aird.


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The Tooth Tattoo  

Cop to Corpse  

Stagestruck (Peter Diamond Series #11)  

The Last Detective (Peter Diamond Series #1)  

Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond Series #4)  

The House Sitter (Peter Diamond Series #8)  

The False Inspector Dew  

The Secret Hangman (Peter Diamond Series #9)  

The Summons (Peter Diamond Series #3)  

Skeleton Hill (Peter Diamond Series #10)  

Skeleton Hill (Peter Diamond Series #10)  

Waxwork (Sergeant Cribb Series #8)  

Swing, Swing Together (Sergeant Cribb Series #7)  

The Tick of Death (Sergeant Cribb Series #5)  

Upon a Dark Night (Peter Diamond Series #5)  

The Headhunters (Inspector Mallin Series #2)  

Mad Hatter's Holiday (Sergeant Cribb Series #4)  

The Secret Hangman (Peter Diamond Series #9)  

Abracadaver (Sergeant Cribb Series #3)  

A Case of Spirits (Sergeant Cribb Series #6)  

Wobble to Death (Sergeant Cribb Series #1)  

The Vault (Peter Diamond Series #6)  

The Circle (Inspector Mallin Series #1)  

The Detective Wore Silk Drawers (Sergeant Cribb Series #2)  

Rough Cider  

The Reaper  

The Circle (Inspector Mallin Series #1)  

Diamond Dust (Peter Diamond Series #7)  

Bertie and the Crime of Passion (Albert, Prince of Wales Series #3)  

Bertie and the Seven Bodies (Albert, Prince of Wales Series #2)  

Do Not Exceed the Stated Dose  

Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond Series #4)  

Stagestruck (Peter Diamond Series #11)  

The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown and Other Stories  

Bertie and the Seven Bodies (Albert, Prince of Wales Series #2)  

Butchers and Other Stories of Crime  

The Last Detective (Peter Diamond Series #1)  

The House Sitter (Peter Diamond Series #8)  

The Headhunters (Inspector Mallin Series #2)  

I. D.  

Diamond Solitaire (Peter Diamond Series #2)  

The Sedgemoor Strangler  

On the Edge  

Invitation to a Dynamite Party (Sergeant Cribb Series #5)  


In Suspense  

The Secret of Spandau  

Mysterious Pleasures  

Mysterious Pleasures  

Murder on the Short List  

Dead Gorgeous  

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Click here for a full list of Peter's books that have been adapted for film or television:

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Peter Lovesey on Short Stories:


If I could make a living from short stories, I’d be delighted to write nothing else. Over the years they’ve allowed me to experiment in ways I wouldn’t have risked with a novel. They might be in the form of letters, like The Pomeranian Poisoning, or monologue in Curl up and Dye or even an agony aunt column in Arabella’s Answer.

I submitted my first short story, The Bathroom, to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1973 and it was rejected. I tried with other stories and had more success. In one issue they put my picture on the cover. Buoyed up by this star treatment I did something that still makes me cringe. In 1981 I resubmitted The Bathroom. I heard nothing from Ellery Queen. Mortified, I assumed he had a long memory. Then I attended a conference in Stockholm and found myself alone in a lift with Fred Dannay, co-writer of the Ellery Queen stories. The doors closed. No escape. He looked at my name-tag. “Peter Lovesey. I know your name.” Top of your blacklist, I thought. His eyes twinkled behind heavy specs. “Keep the stories coming, won’t you?” After I got home a letter arrived accepting my story. It was published by Ellery Queen under a different title.

I try to make the stories surprising, but sometimes they surprise me. Youdunnit — a perverse one in which the reader becomes the killer — sparked a controversy at the Sorbonne involving Umberto Eco, Professor François Gallix and an eccentric organisation called OULIPO (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle). It led to my attending a lecture at the Sorbonne and later murdering (in print, in Murdering Max) the one other man, Dr Max Dorra, who had tried to pull off the same trick. All is explained in a scholarly study, Crime Fictions: subverted codes and new structures, by Francois Gallix and Vanessa Guignery (Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2004).

Another nice surprise was winning a crate of champagne and a set of glasses, the Crime Writers’ Association Veuve Clicquot Prize for The Secret Lover in 1985. Further awards followed for The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown: the Ellery Queen Readers’ Award, 1991; and The Pushover, winner of the Golden Mysteries Prize given by the Mystery Writers of America to mark their 50th anniversary


The Verdict Of Us All
The Verdict of Us All  



In 2006 I edited The Verdict of Us All, a surprise tribute by members of the Detection Club to its former President, HRF Keating, for his eightieth birthday. Inviting contributions was a happy task — no arm-twisting — and they came from the elite of British crime writing: Catherine Aird, Robert Barnard, Simon Brett, Liza Cody, Lionel Davidson, Len Deighton, Colin Dexter, Jonathan Gash, Michael Hartland, Tim Heald, Reginald Hill, PD James, Michael Z Lewin, James Melville, Andrew Taylor and June Thomson. Dick Francis wrote the foreword and Sheila Keating picked a story of Harry’s to round off the book. The publishers are Crippen & Landru in the US: ISBN 1-932009-55-8 and Allison & Busby in the UK: ISBN 0-74908-192-9

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Murder On The Short List




Murder On The Short List
14 stories, foreword and checklist of novels and stories: The Field * Bullets * Razor Bill * Needle Match * A Blow on the Head * The Munich Posture * The Best Suit * The Man Who Jumped for England * Second Strings * Bertie and the Christmas Tree * Say That Again * Popping Round to the Post * Window of Opportunity * The Case of the Dead Wait
US Publisher: Crippen & Landru, 2008
Limited signed clothbound edition ISBN: 978-1-932009-72-9
Softback edition ISBN: 978-1-932009-73-6
UK Publisher: Severn House, 2009. Hardback. ISBN: 9780727867469
UK paperback edition: Severn House, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-87451-108-9

CHECKLIST OF ALL STORIES with first publication

Agony Column
Red Herrings, May, 2008

Amorous Corpse, The
Mammoth Book of Locked Room Mysteries & Impossible Crimes (Robinson, 2000)

Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Summer, 1998

Arabella’s Answer
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, April, 1984

Away With the Fairies
Malice Domestic 10 (Avon, 2001)

Bathroom, The
Winter’s Crimes 5 (Macmillan, 1973)

Because It Was There
Whydunnit. Perfectly Criminal 2 (Severn House, 1997)

Behind the Locked Door (re-titled from The Locked Room)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March, 1979

Being of Sound Mind
Winter’s Crimes 23 (Macmillan, 1990)

Belly Dance
Winter’s Crimes 15 (Macmillan, 1983)

Bertie and the Boat Race
Crime Through Time (Berkley, 1996)

Bertie and the Christmas Tree
The Strand Magazine, October -December, 2007

Bertie and the Fire Brigade
Royal Crimes (Signet, 1994)

Best Suit, The
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, June, 2008

Blow on the Head, A
ID Crimes of Identity, (Comma Press, 2006)

Bride in the Bath, A (re-titled from The Bathroom)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, August 21, 1981

Brighton Line Murder
The Observer, December 14, 1986 Contest story

The Mammoth Book of Roaring Twenties Whodunnits (Constable & Robinson, 2004)

Winter’s Crimes 14 (Macmillan, 1982)

Butler Didn’t Do It, The (re-titled from Peer’s Grisly Find: Butler Dead in Bath)
Pamphlet (Crippen & Landru, 2001)

Case of Butterflies, A 
Winter’s Crimes 21 (Macmillan, 1989)

Case of the Dead Wait, The (in three parts)
Daily Mail, December 24, 27 & 28, 2004

Case of the Easter Bonnet, The
Bath Chronicle, April 17, 1995

Christmas Present, The
Woman’s Own, December 24, 1990

Corbett Correspondence, The (with Keith Miles, as Agent No.5 & Agent No. 6)
Malice Domestic 6 (pocket Books, 1997)

Corder Figure, The
Butchers and Other Stories of Crime (Macmillan, 1985)

Crime of Miss Oyster Brown, The
Midwinter Mysteries 1 (Scribners, 1991)

Curious Computer, The 
New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Carroll & Graf, 1987)

Curl Up and Dye
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July, 1986

Deadliest Tale of All, The
On a Raven’s Wing (Harper’s, USA, 2009)

Did You Tell Daddy?
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, February, 1984

Disposing of Mrs Cronk
Perfectly Criminal (Severn House, 1996)

Dr Death
Crime Through Time III (Berkely, 2000)

Company Magazine, May, 1983

Field, The
Green for Danger (Do Not Press, 2003)

Four Wise Men, The
More Holmes for the Holidays (Berkley, 1999)

Friendly Yachtsman, 39
Woman’s Own, July 18, 1987

Original Sins (Severn House, 2010)

Ginger’s Waterloo
Cat Crimes (Donald L Fine, 1991)

Haunted Crescent, The
Mistletoe Mysteries (Mysterious Press, 1989)

Homicidal Hat, The
Pamphlet (Crippen & Landru, 2008)

How Mr Smith Traced His Ancestors
Mystery Guild Anthology (Book Club Associates, 1980)

Interior, With Corpse
Scenes of the Crime (Severn House, 2000)

Keeping Fit (re-titled from Belly Dance)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March, 1983

Kiss of Death, The
Published as Christmas pamphlet (Crippen & Landru, 2000)

Lady in the Trunk, The
A Classic English Crime (Pavilion, 1990)

Locked Room, The
Winter’s Crimes 10 (Macmillan, 1978)

Man Who Ate People, The
The Man Who … (Macmillan, 1992)

Man Who Jumped for England, The
Mysterious Pleasures (Little, Brown, 2003)

Man With a Fortune, A (re-titled from How Mr Smith Traced His Ancestors)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, November 3, 1980

Mighty Hunter, The
Midwinter Mysteries 5 (Little, Brown, 1995)

Model Con, The
Woman’s Realm Summer Special, 1994

Munich Posture, The (chapter in collaborative story)
The Rigby File (Hodder & Stoughton, 1989)

Murder by Christmas Tree
The Observer, December 20, 1992 Contest story

Murder in Store
Woman’s Own, December 21, 1985

Murder in the Library
Evening Chronicle, Bath, October 6, 1993 Contest story

Murdering Max
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September-October, 2001

Needle Match
Murder is My Racquet (Mysterious Press, 2005)

Never a Cross Word
Mail on Sunday, June 11, 1995

Odstock Curse, The
Murder for Halloween (Mysterious Press, 1994)

Oracle of the Dead
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-December, 1988

Parrot is Forever, A
Malice Domestic 5 (Pocket Books, 1996)

Pass the Parcel
Midwinter Mysteries 3 (Little, Brown, 1993)

Passion Killers
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, January, 1994

Peer’s Grisly Find: Butler Dead in Bath
The Observer, December 7, 1986 Contest story

Perfectionist, The
The Strand Magazine, April-July, 2000

Photographer Slain
The Observer, November 30, 1986 Contest story

Poisoned Mince Pie, The
The Observer, December 21, 1986 Contest story

Pomeranian Poisoning, The
Winter’s Crimes 19 (Macmillan, 1987)

Popping Round to the Post
The Verdict of Us All (Allison & Busby, 2006)

Private Gorman’s Luck
Butchers and Other Stories of Crime (Macmillan, 1985)

Problem of Stateroom 10
Murder Through the Ages (Headline, 2000)

Proof of the Pudding, The
A Classic English Crime (Pavilion, 1995)

Pushover, The
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, June, 1995

Quiet, Please — We’re Rolling
No Alibi (Ringpull, 1995)

Razor Bill
Sherlock, issue 60, 2004

Royal Plot, The
The Observer, December 28, 1986 Contest story

Say That Again
The Ideas Experiment, privately published by Liza Cody, Michael Z Lewin and Peter Lovesey, 2006

Second Strings
The Strand Magazine, June-September, 2004

Secret Lover, The
Winter’s Crimes 17 (Macmillan, 1985)

Sedgemoor Strangler, The
Criminal Records (Orion, 2000)

Shock Visit
Winter’s Crimes 22 (Macmillan, 1990)

Past Poisons (Headline, 1998)

Slight Case of Scotch, A
The Bell House Book, Hodder & Stoughton, 1979 Collaborative story

Stalker, The
The Sedgemoor Strangler and Other Stories of Crime (Crippen & Landru, 2001)

Star Struck
Death by Horoscope (Carroll & Graf, 2001)

Staring Man, The
Butchers and Other Stories of Crime (Macmillan, 1985)

Supper with Miss Shivers (retitled from The Christmas Present)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, mid-December, 1991

Taking Possession 
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, November, 1982

Three Pie Problem, A
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, January 2013

Trace of Spice
Butchers and Other Stories of Crime (Macmillan, 1985)

Usual Table, The
The Mysterious Press Anniversary Anthology (Mysterious Press, 2001)

Valuation, The
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, February, 1990

Woman’s Own, December 20, 1984

Virgin and the Bull, The
John Creasey’s Mystery Crime Collection (Gollancz, 1983)

Virgoan and the Taurean, The (re-titled from The Virgin and the Bull)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July, 1983

Wasp, The (re-titled from Where is Thy Sting?)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, November, 1988

A Dead Giveaway (Warner Futura, 1995)

Where is Thy Sting?
Winter’s Crimes 20 (Macmillan, 1988)

Window of Opportunity
Sunday Express, April 6, 2003

Woman and Home (re-titled from Taking Possession)
Butchers and Other Stories of Crime (Macmillan, 1985)

Word of a Lady, The
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July, 2000

New Crimes (Robinson, 1989)

You May See a Strangler
Midwinter Mysteries 2, Little, Brown, 1992

Zenobia Hatt Prize, The (re-titled from The Pomeranian Poisoning)
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, August, 1988

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Butchers And Other Stories Of Crime
16 stories: Butchers * Vandals * The Corder Figure * Private Gorman’s Luck * The Secret Lover * Did You Tell Daddy? * The Bathroom * Arabella’s Answer * How Mr Smith Traced His Ancestors * Fall-Out * Belly Dance * Trace of Spice * The Virgin and the Bull * The Staring Man * Woman and Home * The Locked Room
UK Publisher: Macmillan, 1985
US Publisher: Mysterious Press, 1985
US Paperback: Mysterious Press, 1988

The Staring Man And Other Stories
Signed, limited edition
4 stories: Butchers * The Corder Figure * The Staring Man * Woman and Home
Publisher: Eurographica, Helsinki

The Crime Of Miss Oyster Brown And Other Stories
18 stories: The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown * The Model Con * Where is Thy Sting? * Being of Sound Mind * Shock Visit * The Haunted Crescent* Curl Up and Dye * Friendly Yachtsman, 39 * The Pomeranian Poisoning * Ginger’s Waterloo * A Case of Butterflies * Youdunnit * The Lady in the Trunk * Pass the Parcel * You May See a Strangler * The Curious Computer * The Man Who Ate People * Supper with Miss Shivers
UK Publisher: Little, Brown, 1994


Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose




Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose
15 stories, foreword and checklist of novels and stories: Because it Was There * Bertie and the Boat Race * Bertie and the Fire Brigade * The Case of the Easter Bonnet * Disposing of Mrs Cronk * The Mighty Hunter * Murder in Store * Never a Cross Word * The Odstock Curse * A Parrot is Forever * Passion Killers * The Proof of the Pudding * The Pushover * Quiet Please — We’re Rolling * Wayzgoose
UK Publisher: Little, Brown, 1998
US Publisher: Crippen & Landru, 1998


The Sedgemoor Strangler




The Sedgemoor Strangler And Other Stories Of Crime
16 stories, foreword and checklist of novels and stories: The Sedgemoor Strangler * The Perfectionist * Interior, With Corpse * Dr Death * The Four Wise Men * Away With the Fairies * Showmen * The Word of a Lady * Star Struck * The Amorous Corpse * The Kiss Of Death * The Stalker * Ape * The Usual Table * The Problems of Stateroom 10 * Murdering Max
US Publisher: Crippen & Landru, 2001
UK Publisher, Allison & Busby, 2002

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

[ Edited ]

Awards And Honours:

Macmillan/Panther First Crime Novel Prize
CWA Dagger shortlist
Prix du Roman d’Aventures
Grand Prix de Littérature Policière
Waxwork (1978)
CWA Silver Dagger
CWA Gold Dagger 
Dagger of Daggers shortlist
(short story, 1984)
Anthony Award shortlist 
The Secret Lover 
(short story, 1985)
CWA Veuve Clicquot Award
Rough Cider (1986)
MWA Edgars shortlist
The Wasp 
(short story, 1988)
Ellery Queen Readers’ Award shortlist 
Anthony Award
Supper with Miss Shivers  (short story, 1991)
Ellery Queen Readers’ Award shortlist
You May See A Strangler (short story, 1992)    
Ellery Queen Readers’ Award shortlist 
The Crime of Miss Oyster Brown
(short story, 1991)
Ellery Queen Readers’ Award 
Anthony Award shortlist 
The Summons (1995)
MWA Edgars shortlist 
CWA Macallan Silver Dagger
The Pushover (short story, 1995)
MWA Golden Mysteries Prize
Bloodhounds (1996)
CWA Macallan Silver Dagger
Barry Award 
Macavity Award
A Parrot is Forever (Short Story, 1996) 
Anthony Award shortlist 
The Corbett Correspondence
(short story with Keith Miles, 1997)
Agatha Award shortlist 
James Who? (article, 1999)
CWA Leo Harris Award
Lifetime Achievement Award (2000)
CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger
The Reaper (2000)
Barry Award shortlist
Diamond Dust (2002)
Barry Award shortlist
Macavity Award 
Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlist
Barry Award shortlist
Needle Match (short story, 2007)
CWA Short Story Award
Crime Writers’ Association Chairman
Guest of Honour, Malice Domestic
Mystery Masters Guest of Honour, Magna Cum Murder
International Guest of Honour, Bouchercon 2001
Lifetime Achievement Award, Malice Domestic
International Society of Olympic Historians 
 Vikelas Plaque, 2008 
Swedish Academy of Detection
 Grand Master, 2010 
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Interviews And Articles





  • By Tom & Enid Schantz. “Peter Lovesey” in Mystery Scene, Number 112, 2009, pages 30 to 32
  • By Craig McDonald. “Peter Lovesey: Blood(y) Bath” in “Art in the Blood: Crime Novelists Discuss Their Craft” , Point Blank Press, USA, 2006, pages 168-176
  • By Vanora Leigh “Killing People for a Living” in The Argus Weekend, Brighton, December 29, 2002, pages 1-4
  • By Judith Spelman in Writers’ News, July, 2000, pages 17-18
  • By David Stuart Davies in Sherlock Holmes, The Detective Magazine, Issue 34, December, 1999, pages 20-22
  • By Charles LP Silet in Talking Murder: Interviews with 20 Mystery Writers, Charles LP Silet, Ontario Review Press, Princeton, 1999, pages, pages 173-185
  • Murder in Motion: an interview with Liza Cody, Michael Z Lewin and Peter Lovesey, by Charles LP Silet, in The Armchair Detective, Vol 28, Spring, 1995, pages 188-195
  • Murder by Gaslight: Peter Lovesey and Alanna Knight discuss their Victorian crime series. Million Magazine, May-June, 1992, pages 15-18
  • By Charles LP Silet in Mean Streets, issue 6, May, 1992, pages 24-30
  • By John C Carr in The Craft of Crime: Conversations with Crime Writers, John C Carr, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1983, pages 258-288
  • By Diana Cooper-Clark in Designs of Darkness: Interviews with Detective Novelists, Diana Cooper-Clark, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1983, pages 53 to 66
  • By Diana Cooper-Clark in The Armchair Detective, October, 1981, pages 210 to 217



  • Voyeur on Vacation, by Peter Lovesey, Mystery Readers Journal, Vol 25, No. 1, Spring, 2009, pages 40-41
  • The British Police Detective Novel, by George Easter in Deadly Pleasures, Issue 50, Spring, 2007. Cover photo, article and review, pages 1-3.
  • Rosemary & Thyme: Death in the Garden, by Elizabeth Foxwell in Mystery Scene, No 99, Spring, 2007, pages 20-21
  • Twists and Turns in Crime Fiction — Peter Lovesey’s “Youdunnit” and Max Dorra’s “Thou Shalt Kill”, by François Gallix, in Crime Fictions: Subverted Codes and New Structures, University of Paris-Sorbonne Press, France, 2004, pages 125-145
  • Rough Cider, by Peter Lovesey, by Kathy Phillips, in 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century Selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, edited by Jim Huang, Crum Creek Press, Carmel, IN, 2000
  • Peter Lovesey: No Cribbing on History, by Margaret Foxwell, in The Detective as Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction, by Ray B Browne, Lawrence A Kreiser and Robin W Winks, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2000, pages 286-295
  • Peter Deals in Diamonds, by Victoria Kingston, in Wiltshire Life, June, 2000, pages 22-3
  • Detective Sergeant Cribb, by Catherine Morrell, in Sherlock Holmes: The Detective Magazine, Issue 34, December, 1999, pages 14-15
  • Sergeant Cribb, by Ron Miller, in Mystery! A Celebration: Stalking Public Television’s Greatest Sleuths, by Ron Miller, KQED Books, San Francisco, 1996, pages 36-40
  • Wobble and the Prince of Wales, by Peter Lovesey, Mystery Readers Journal, Vol 12, No. 3, Fall, 1996, pages 32-33
  • The Historical Mystery, by Peter Lovesey in The Crown Crime Companion: The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time selected by the Mystery Writers of America, Crown, New York, 1995, pages 127-131
  • Confessions of a Born Loser, by Peter Lovesey, Mystery Readers Journal, Vol 9, No. 1, Spring, 1993, pages 19-20
  • Lovesey, Peter, by Ralph Spurrier in Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, 3rd edition, St James Press, Chicago & London, 1991, pp681-2
  • History of Mystery, by Peter Lovesey in Hatchards Crime Companion: The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time selected by the Crime Writers’ Association, Edited by Susan Moody, Hatchards, London, 1990, pages 87-92
  • Peter Lovesey, by James Hurt, in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 87, British Mystery & Thriller Writers since 1940, First Series. Edited by Bernard Benstock & Thomas F Staley, Gale Research Inc., Detroit, 1989, pages 256-274
  • The Detective Stories of Peter Lovesey, with complete bibliography of PL’s fiction, plus values, by Martin Goodger, Book and Magazine Collector, no.57, December, 1988, pages 26-33
  • History Mystery, by Peter Lovesey, Mystery Readers of America Journal, Vol 4, No. 1, Spring, 1988, pages 25-26
  • Peter Lovesey, by Cheryl Sebelius Nelson, Mystery Readers of America Journal, Vol 4, No. 1, pages 30-31
  • How!, by Peter Lovesey, Mystery Readers of America Journal, Vol 4, No. 1, pages 25-26
  • Peter Lovesey: The False Inspector Dew, in Crime and Mystery: the 100 Best Books, by HRF Keating, Xanadu, 1987, pages 205-6
  • Peter Lovesey’s Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray, by Jeanne F. Bedell, in Cops and Constables: American and British Fictional Policemen, George N Dove and Earl F Bargainnier, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1986 pages 170-182
  • Lovesey, Peter, by Joanne Harack Hayne, in Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, 2nd edition, St James Press, London, 1985, pp573-4
  • Dr Crippen and the Real Inspector Dew, by Peter Lovesey in The Armchair Detective, Vo 17, No 3, Summer, 1984, pages 244-248
  • The Extremely Shady Past, by Peter Lovesey in Murder Ink (2nd edition), by Dilys Winn, Workman Publishing Co., 1984
  • How Unlike the Home Life of Our Own Dear Queen: the Detective Fiction of Peter Lovesey, by James Hurt, in Essays on Detective Fiction, edited by Bernard Benstock, Macmillan, London, 1983, pages 142-158
  • The Historian: Once Upon a Crime, by Peter Lovesey in Murder Ink, by Dilys Winn, Workman Publishing co, 1977, page 475
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY


Peter Lovesey

Peter Lovesey is widely regarded around the world as one of the most skilled practitioners of both the historical and the contemporary crime novel. His long list of award-winning novels and short stories, whether set in Victorian or contemporary times, capture their respective periods evocatively through Lovesey’s canny ear for dialogue and seamless interweaving of plot and atmosphere.


His crime writing career began in 1969 when he submitted his novel Wobble to Death to a writing competition. It won, but even more significantly, it introduced to the world Sergeant Cribb and his sidekick Constable Thackeray who went on solving cases for Scotland Yard in eight more novels and in a television series produced by Granada Television. The novels, injected with a touch of humor, are set in a meticulous recreation of Victorian England, and Cribb is neither an eccentric genius like Holmes nor a stereotypically inane policeman like Lestrade, but a hard-working, lucid, Scotland Yard police sergeant from a humble background who believes in spending long hours of hard work to solve a case rather than in relying on guesswork and suspicions.


In 1982 Peter’s historical shipboard mystery The False Inspector Dew won the Gold Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association for the year’s best crime novel. In 1988 Peter launched a new historical crime series featuring Albert Edward, Prince of Wales—otherwise known as Bertie—as a bumbling sleuth who falls into one adventure after another, all the while charming legions of mystery fans who find these comical crime stories irresistible


In 1991 Peter shifted gears and began a series of contemporary crime novels featuring the non-conforming Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond of the Bath CID, winning the Crime Writers’ Association’s Silver Dagger for two consecutive years, in 1995 for The Summons andin 1996 for Bloodhounds. Last year Peter won the prestigious Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association for a lifetime’s achievements in the field of crime writing.


TSM: Well, Peter, how did you write your first Cribb novel?

PL: For a competition. There was an advert in The Times offering a thousand pounds for a first crime novel. I was a teacher at that time and a thousand pounds was more than my salary, so it was a good prize. I had already written one book, but that was a book about long distance running which came out about two years before, in 1968. We saw this ad and my wife said to me, "Well, you’ve written one book. Couldn’t you do another?" I said, "Well that was about running and this is fiction. I don’t know anything about crime writing." I’d read the Sherlock Holmes stories and I’d read about one Agatha Christie. Jax said, "Well, I think you ought to try. Couldn’t you use running as a background for a story? That would be a bit different." She did read them and knew quite a bit about the way detective stories were written at that time. So she encouraged me and I decided to write this one about a Victorian long distance race, the kind that really did happen in the 1880’s, both in London and in New York. It was an original plotline and I had quite a catchy title for it, Wobble to Death, and I think those things together won me the prize. So that was a wonderful start.

TSM: And what is your opinion of Granada’s production of the Cribb series?

PL: I was delighted. I was thrilled with all the care and the detail that went into the production. The scripts were good. They got some lovely writers. For instance, Wobble to Death was written by Alan Plater, one of the leading television writers, and he did a brilliant job, I thought. Alan Dobie, who played Sergeant Cribb, was marvellous casting.

TSM: Why did you stop writing the Cribb novels?

PL: There are two reasons. One: I used up all the store of ideas that I had. You know, I had thought vaguely as I was writing that I had certain things I wanted to cover in the books, but they all got used for television. My method with writing the Sergeant Cribb series books was to start off with an entertainment of some kind as a setting and then to weave a plot around that, so that I had this long distance race, and then I had the boxing for The Detective Wore Silk Drawers, and the music hall (sort of Vaudeville) for Abracadaver, and then I had one about spiritualism. So in each case there was a strong Victorian enthusiasm as the beginning. I thought vaguely that I would like to do one about the zoo—the London Zoo—and that I’d like to do one about a hospital and one about a school, but I used each of those ideas for the television so that, in a way, I was cleaned out by the time the television series had run.

The other thing was that it’s such a powerful medium, television, and Alan Dobie was such a brilliant actor and so completely sort of fulfilled the role of Sergeant Cribb, that when I came to think about writing again, I saw Alan Dobie’s face and I couldn’t get back to the first concept I had of Sergeant Cribb. And it didn’t seem right to start writing a book about the actor Alan Dobie in the role of Cribb. It wasn’t quite the same. It was almost like doing a novelisation rather than an original work and so I thought, well, I’ll try something else.

TSM: Will you ever bring him back?

PL: I don’t think so. I think that they were books that were written at a certain time of my life and it might be a mistake to go back and try to revive something that I was doing when I was in my forties.

TSM: Tell me, when you were growing up did you ever think you’d be a writer?

PL: No, I didn’t. I suppose I had ambitions to be a runner and that was the thing that interested me in the first place. Or a conjurer; I would quite like to do that. But there isn’t much money in running—or there wasn’t at that time—and there wasn’t really a career to be made in conjuring. I suppose I used them in a strange way because it’s a bit like a long distance race when you write a book, and also you’re trying to spring surprises all the time in writing. But no, I had no ambitions in that direction. Later on, when I got to my thirties and began to write, it was almost accidental. It was the lure of money, I think, that got me started on crime writing—for that prize.

TSM: And do you still follow running today?

PL: Oh, yes, I do. I wrote a history of the Amateur Athletic Association for them when their centenary came round and I still write occasional articles for track and field magazines.

TSM: Do you find that being a writer forces you to lead a more reclusive life or do you consider it an advantage to have so much time on your hands?

PL: It’s an odd life. When I started I was doing a teaching job and writing in the evenings and on weekends. It was only 25 years ago, in 1975, that I decided to make it my career. So I resigned then and for a time it was strange to spend so much time alone instead of being with a lot of people, either in front of a class or with teaching colleagues. I then had to make efforts to get out and meet people and join things and so on, and make friends—probably more than I had done when my work obliged me to get out and meet people. I think it is important to stay in contact because you do spend a lot of time alone. Particularly me—I’m a slow writer. I know people who can manage to do perhaps two or three hours writing in the day and the rest of the time is their own. I’m so slow at it that I tend to spend . . . I start work about eight and I’ll probably still be writing at five in evening, so it is a slow process.

TSM: Did your experience as a teacher help you with writing?

PL: I suppose with the language a bit. I was teaching literature and so the reading I had to do—the analysis of books and the work of other writers—was helpful, I’m sure. I think maybe explaining things to classes in the kind of language that they could follow was a helpful exercise as well . . . That’s an interesting question. I hadn’t thought about it much before, but I think there were some things, certainly, that were helpful to me.

TSM: How about dealing with dishonest students?

PL: Oh, well yes, I don’t think I ever had to do any detective work in my teaching days! Most of the kids I met were truthful enough and honest enough and I had a lot of fun at it. I really did.

TSM: Besides writing, what are some of your other pursuits or hobbies?

PL: I don’t have time for too many. I still keep up my interest, as you know, in sports and I have quite a number of friends in the sports world. I like walking and visiting teashops. I’m very good at drinking tea and sitting in teashops! Whenever I find a town, first of all it’s a bookstore—a second-hand bookstore—and then it’s the teashop, and I know them in most towns!

TSM: So are you in walking distance, or do you have to drive down?

PL: Well, here I’m within walking distance to Chichester which is a good town with plenty of those kinds of shops.

TSM: How do you think up the plots for your stories or books? Do you just go to the typewriter and let the words flow or, let’s say, you are sitting in a teashop and then a plot clicks in your head?

PL: The initial idea can come from anywhere. It might be something I’ve heard in a teashop. It might be something I’ve read. It might be two things that coalesce. But then I begin to sort of think it through and look at it from many points of view. For about six weeks before I write a word, I’ll be working out plotlines and writing things down on bits of paper and throwing them away and trying to devise a plot that I think will work to my satisfaction before I start Chapter One. So the answer to that question, really, is that, yes, I’m a plotter. I’m not one of those who likes to have the excitement of not knowing what’s coming from day to day. I’d rather have worked out the essentials of the plot well ahead of time and put in my surprises at that stage. I may think of one or two better things as I’m going along, but essentially all the work is done before I begin to write the first chapter. And then I can enjoy the process of writing even more. I’m not worrying about what’s going to happen or where things are or how things will work out. I know all that. I can just sort of enjoy finding the right words.

TSM: So you never get into a situation where a character is left saying ‘I don’t want to be the murderer’?

PL: No. Not much. Perhaps once or twice in my career it’s happened. It happened towards the end of that book, The Last Detective, where, I think I told you, Diamond loses his job. I had thought he would carry on and investigate the plot to the end, but there came a scene with the Assistant Chief Constable when Diamond was in trouble, and I thought when I got there, well, if he has any integrity he’s not going to take this telling off. He’s going to march out and throw in the job and resign. And that’s what he did. That happened towards the end of the book. It wasn’t planned, but it seemed right when I got there. It seemed the right thing to do. So in that way he took over a little bit and set me some real problems after that!

TSM: I know that you have a lot of admiration for the works of John Dickson Carr.

PL: Oh, yes. I think he was—a long time before I even began—doing the kinds of things I enjoy doing. He was writing books set in the past, and he really pioneered the historical crime novel that has become so popular now. He was clever enough to cover many different periods. He wrote about the eighteenth century brilliantly, and the nineteenth and earlier. As well as that, he devised these wonderful locked room murders which were so popular at the time—in the 1920’s and 30’s—and did them brilliantly. So he was a kind of icon, I suppose, of the past—an American who had worked quite a lot of the time in England, a member of the Detection Club over here that I was invited to join. So certainly, I suppose, if there was anybody I admired, it was John Dickson Carr. I came ultimately to try and write a book that was a kind of tribute to him, a "locked room puzzle" in a book called Bloodhounds, which is one of the Diamond series. So, absolutely, a writer I admire enormously.





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TSM: Didn’t Dickson Carr review a few of your books?

PL: Yes, he did. He used to review at Ellery Queen’s [MysteryMagazine and he—yes—he reviewed about the first three or four of them, and said very encouraging things about them. I never met him, unfortunately. The first time I came to America was about 1977 or ’78 I think, for an international crime writers’ conference and, I don’t know, I think he may have been dead by then. I don’t remember.

TSM: Yes I think he died in ’77 or ’76.

PL: Of course Douglas Greene has written a wonderful biography of John Dickson Carr which I found fascinating.

TSM: And do you enjoy his Gideon Fell books?

PL: Yes. Oh, yes, very much. All of them, really. I suppose he wrote a few duds as we all do, but really he was a class act, wasn’t he?

TSM: He was an excellent writer. I enjoyed Captain Cut-Throat and Fire, Burn. Now, you grew up during the Second World War and I know that had an effect on Rough Cider. Did it have an effect on any of your other works?

PL: Thinking back, I think it did, on a book called On the Edge which was set just after the War with echoes of the War. It was about two women who had served in the forces in the War as plotters—in other words, those women who had a large map in front of them and would push little models of aircraft or ships around the map, and help to identify where the enemy were and our ships were and so on. But after that sort of glamorous work—meeting dashing young pilots who were active in the War and so on—they came out in 1946 and they’d lost their jobs and had to go back to being housewives and found it rather dreary. They meet by chance after the War and they are both very disillusioned and each of them, for different reasons, decides to murder her husband. So that one, that drew on my memories of that period during the War and just after it.

TSM: What are your memories of that time?

PL: There was one event during the War, in 1944, when my own house was hit by a bomb—by one of those V1’s, known as the flying bomb, the pilotless planes that came over London. I was at school. It was my first day back at school and my mother was out shopping and my two brothers were in the house. To their great good fortune they had got under a table, which was itself a shelter, an iron table, and the whole house fell down on top of them. They were preserved under the table and crawled out of the rubble. So I can remember that quite vividly—-being brought back from school by a neighbour and seeing bodies in the garden covered by sheets and thinking these were my brothers and my mother.

TSM: That must have been terrifying.

PL: But then my mother came running up the road and my two brothers crawled out of this great heap of debris and were still alive. So, that, more than anything, is my most vivid memory and then, after that, being evacuated, being moved out to the country and living in a strange place on a farm down in Cornwall. All that made a big impression, too. But, as I say, I wrote about that time in Rough Cider. I don’t think I use the period very much in other books.

TSM: I read a Christmas story of yours set during the War that had a nice twist to it.

PL: Oh yes. That’s right. That was a wartime one. Quite right. About the horrible father.

TSM: What are you working on now, Peter?

PL: At the moment I’m working on the seventh book in the Peter Diamond series and enjoying that. I suppose I’m about halfway through. I’m not quite sure what the title will be, and I never give away the plot in advance! So I can’t say too much about it.

TSM: And what’s coming out?

PL: Oh, well on May 5th, 2000, The Reaper will be published—that I mentioned to you about this rector, this vicar, who goes wrong and kills the bishop—and The Vault has just been published in paperback. That was last year’s Peter Diamond book. And some of my earlier books. The Sergeant Cribb series are being republished here by Allison & Busby, so Wobble to Death and The Detective Wore Silk Drawers and Abracadaver—the first three—have so far gone into print here. I hope and believe the rest will follow.

TSM: Of the many awards which you have won, which one would you say has the most special meaning to you?

PL: Well, I think that this one that I’m to get on May 5th, the Diamond Dagger, which is really for a career of writing. The Cartier Diamond Dagger. And I’m proud, really, to have made a career of this for 25 years and very pleased that the Crime Writers Association should have recognized me in this way and allowed me to follow such great names as have won the award before.

TSM: What writers have influenced your work, really? Were you a fan of the Holmes stories?

PL: Yes, I was. I certainly think that Conan Doyle must have influenced my Victorian stories. In some ways I was trying not to write anything that was a Holmes pastiche—or I’ve tried to do something of my own. His evocation of Victorian scenes is very vivid and sometimes very funny. I don’t think people always give him credit for being so amusing—-those scenes where somebody walks into Holmes’ consulting room and is told that he is a Freemason and a this and a that, but apart from that I know nothing whatever about you. I love those stories. So he was certainly a big influence. I think John Dickson Carr must have been a big influence, and I’m not sure after that of the more contemporary writers. I don’t know . . .

TSM: Dickens, Collins . . .?

PL: Hardy. I devoured Thomas Hardy’s books when I was younger. No, not so much Dickens. I mean I loved Bleak House and one or two but I can’t say that I’ve read Dickens very widely.

TSM: A great favourite of mine is Wilkie Collins.

PL: Oh, yes. The Moonstone and The Woman in White. Superb. He even wrote a book about running that not many people know about called Man and Wife which is a very rare one. I was rather pleased to find it.

TSM: His short stories are brilliant. He is in many ways a most underrated writer.

PL: Yes, he is. Absolutely.

TSM: What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

PL: Oh, I don’t know! I don’t like giving advice, really, Andrew. I think if they’re going to be writers and got it in them, they’ll go ahead against all the difficulties. I think it is a case of something that you are driven to write, really. I wasn’t like that myself at the beginning, but I am now, and I’ve grown into that way of life. But the people who come to you and say, you know, I think I might be able to write a book—generally they should have written the book already before they say that to you, I think. It’s up to them to get on and make a start at it.

TSM: And when your parents heard that you were writing, what did they think about that?

PL: My parents, I think, were rather concerned, particularly when I decided to give up my teaching job and go full-time. My father worked in a bank, which was a very safe job at the time he was doing it, and would probably have liked me to carry on in the teaching world, but I’m glad I got out and happy that I did this.

TSM: Well, the last question is, do you find that writing helps you escape from life? I mean, is that part of the joy you have in writing? That you can solve all the problems with your pen or your typewriter?

PL: That’s an interesting one! I suppose you’re in control and there’s some satisfaction in that, bringing it all to a conclusion. That’s one of the compulsions on us as crime writers or mystery writers, that the reader expects you to explain everything and reach a satisfying conclusion, whereas in mainstream novels that isn’t always necessary—sometimes you don’t have to answer all the questions and you can leave things open. But we really have to draw all the threads together by the end of the book and when it’s done, it may be a challenge, but that’s rather satisfying. So maybe that’s one of the appeals, yes, of writing, as opposed to real life, which is not quite so satisfactory!

TSM: Well, Peter, it’s been a very, very great pleasure and a lot fun and I’m sure our readers are really going to enjoy this.

PL: Well thank you, Andrew.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY


A Diamond in the Rough: Peter Lovesey


In 1969, Peter Lovesey’s mystery fan wife, Jax, pointed out a notice to her husband that read: “Macmillan and Panther Books announce a First Crime Novel Competition open to all nationals of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and the Republics of Eire and South Africa.” Lovesey, a teacher at a technical college, was reluctant to respond although he did have some background in the genre.


During WWII, his family home had been bombed out by the Germans. “I had only two books [left] to choose from to read, neither of which interested me at first. Eventually, I was so bored, I picked them up in desperation.To my delight, Life of Sir Edward Marshall Hall turned out to be about a famous defense lawyer, and what I thought was a religious tract, Elias the Saint, was actually Alias the Saint, featuring the adventurer Simon Templar.”



Between that war and 1969, Lovesey read some Agatha Christie, but not much else in the field.


He had one published nonfiction book, a comprehensive history of the now-obscure sport of long-distance walking. With that research fresh in his mind, Lovesey, deciding to enter the contest, used a Victorian walking marathon as the scene of his first crime, with “the enclosed site of the competition allowing for a classic closed circle of suspects, sort of like an isolated mansion in a Poirot story.” The book that resulted, Wobble to Death, introduced Scotland Yard’s laconic but insightful Sergeant Cribb and launched Lovesey’s writing career, which in the subsequent 40 years has yielded honor after honor, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from Malice Domestic and the Crime Writers Association.

In Cop to Corpse (Soho Press), the 12th in Lovesey’s current series, the irascible Det. Supt. Peter Diamond of Bath must track down a sniper targeting cops, who has gunned down three officers in as many months.

Having had success with eight Cribb novels, Lovesey wanted to do different things. “I was looking to write something a bit more serious,” he remembers. So he introduced Peter Diamond in1991’s The Last Detective. Although a series wasn’t initially contemplated (“I had him kicked off the force by the end of the book”), Diamond Solitaire followed two years later and the series took off from there. The Diamond books offer a novel element each time, including, in Bloodhounds, homage to the golden age of impossible crime classics by John Dickson Carr. Pitting wits against both Peters (author and character) is one of the genuine pleasures for classic mystery fans, who always seek to correctly anticipate the solution. (With Lovesey, it’s the rare one who does.)

Apart from his writing gifts, Lovesey has a well-deserved reputation as a good guy. His editor, Juliet Grames, says, “Peter is the nicest man in the world, and very hard-working. For example, he insisted on helping the ALA booth setter-uppers carry around the boxes of his books.” And she adds, “He writes the cleanest manuscripts I have ever worked on. Each comma has been thought through, let alone each clue. My job is easy, there’s almost no editing involved, and I get to focus on the other aspects of being his editor.”

That niceness, appropriately, isn’t on display in his Diamond books, where he hasn’t hesitated to dispatch his victims in gruesome fashion. For Lovesey, “the discovery of a dead waitress hanging by her neck from the crossbar of a swing set in a public playground,” which starts the body count in 2007’s The Secret Hangman, is one of his most grisly. He also hasn’t blanched at shaking things up by offing major characters, as in 2002’s Diamond Dust. Grames again: “Constructing a successful fair-play mystery is really arduous work, and isn’t found much these days. Also, Peter takes structural chances with his writing. He’s earned the right to innovate his genre, and he pushes narrative boundaries and pulls it off.”

From the woman who started it all, Jax Lovesey, comes the last word. Asked whether she ever could have dreamed that her suggestion would lead to all this, she says, “For me it was never a dream because I had total confidence he would succeed as a writer.”

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

From Wikipedia:


Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936), also known by his pen name Peter Lear, is aBritish writer of historical and contemporary crime novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath.




Peter Lovesey lives near Chichester. His son Phil Lovesey also writes crime novels. His son was born in 1963 and worked as an English teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar School until the end of the autumn 2012.



Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden Age" tradition of mystery writing.


Most of Peter Lovesey's writing has been done under his own name. However, he did write three novels under the pen name Peter Lear.


Lovesey's novels and short stories have won him a number of awards, including both the Gold and Silver Daggers of the Crime Writers' Association, of which he was chairman in 1991/92. In 2000, he received the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement in crime writing.


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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

The Tooth Tattoo  





Peter Diamond, head of the Criminal Investigation Division in scenic Bath, England, is investigating the murder of a young woman whose body has been found in the canal, the only clue to her identity a tattoo of a music note on one of her teeth. For Diamond, who wouldn’t know a Stradivarius from a French horn, the investigation is his most demanding ever.
Meanwhile, strange things are happening to jobbing violist Mel Farran, who finds himself scouted by a very elite classical quartet—one whose previous violist disappeared without a trace. Despite the mystery shrouding the group, the chance to join is too good to pass up, and Mel finds himself in a cushy residency at Bath Spa University with the quartet—and embroiled in the unusually musical murder investigation. As the story unfolds in fugue-like counterpoint, Peter and Mel both learn frightening secrets about fandom and about what it takes to survive in the cutthroat world of professional musicians.
Peter Lovesey has been hailed by the critics as ‘superlative’, ‘a master of the genre’, ‘never puts a foot wrong’ and the Peter Diamond series as ‘one of the most enjoyable police series around’. This new case for the much-loved detective will bring new praise and much satisfaction for his legions of fans.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY





Eleven-thirty at night, sweaty in his evening suit and shattered after a heavy night playing Rachmaninov, Mel Farran plodded out of the artists' exit on the south side of the Royal Festival Hall. Good thing his legs didn't need telling the way to Waterloo station and the tube. He'd done it a thousand times. Rachmaninov was said to be the ultimate romantic—miserable old git. The six foot scowl, as Stravinsky called him, had been a pianist through and through. He worked the string section like galley slaves to show off the Joanna man, and Mel Farran was a viola-player, so thank you, Sergei. 

The moon was up, spreading the shadow of Hungerford Bridge across the 
paved square called Beacon Market Place.

He was forced to stop. A young woman was blocking his path, one of those situations where each takes a sideways step the same way. It happened twice and they were still face to face. 

She said, 'Do you mind?'

Mel took it as a statement of annoyance. He was annoyed, too, wanting to move on, but what's to be gained from complaining?

Then she surprised him by saying, 'Please.'

How dense am I, he thought, not realising she always intended to stop me. Something glossy and flimsy was being waved under his nose. The concert programme. She was holding a pen in the other hand.

Mel forced himself out of his stupor. She wants my autograph, for God's sake. 
She can't have confused me with the pianist, else why does she think I'm carrying an instrument case?

Quick impression: she was the typical music student, bright-eyed, intense, dark hair in a bunch tied with red velvet. It wasn't all that long since Mel had gone through college himself, passionate about all things musical. He'd queued through the night for the proms, cut back on cigarettes to buy the latest Nigel Kennedy, busked in Covent Garden to pay for a trip to Bayreuth. But he'd never understood the point of collecting autographs, still less the autographs of mere orchestra members.

She pleaded with her eyes. Almond eyes. Nothing remarkable in that. Every 
college has a large quota of students from the Far East.

He succumbed. 'Are you sure it's me you want?'


'I'm only one of the orchestra.'

'Principal viola. You were wonderful.'

'Get away.'



Maybe I was, he told himself, and his self-esteem got a lift. I'm good at what I do and some people appreciate my playing, even when ninety-nine per cent are there to hear the pianist. This well-informed young lady knows who I am, so I'd better sign and be on my way.

He tucked the fiddle under his arm to free his hands. 'Where are you from?'

'Tokyo. Have you been there?'

He shook his head. 'One day, maybe. Just my signature?'

'Whatever you want to write.'

That was a facer. At the end of a long concert he couldn't think of two words together. 'May I make it personal and put your name?'

Instead of the gasp of pleasure he was expecting, she curled her lip.

He was thrown. Had he said something wrong?

She gave a laugh - a throaty, mocking laugh, meant to hurt - and took a step 
back. 'You don't know who I am, dumbo.'

At the same time Mel felt a sharp, strong tug from behind. He flexed his arm. 
Too late. His viola had been snatched.

He swung round in time to see a young guy on a bike in baseball cap, T-shirt and jeans pedalling away across the square. He was riding one-handed with Mel's instrument case in his free hand. It was a set-up. He must have sneaked up behind while Mel—shit-for-brains—was being soft-soaped by the girl. He'd been mugged.

Life was unthinkable without that viola. It wasn't a Strad. It was not particularly valuable, not even old in instrument-making terms, but it was Mel's voice, his art, his constant companion, his living. You'd need to be a professional musician to understand how he felt.

Hell, he decided, I won't allow this.

He was no athlete, but he started running. Later he realised he should have chased the girl, who was clearly the accomplice. She would have been easier to catch than a bloke on a bike. Instead all of Mel's focus was on his viola and the thief himself, fast escaping along the side of the Festival Hall.

The concert audience had long since dispersed. At that time of night people were keen to get away. The great palaces of culture along the South Bank are locked, impenetrable, but all around—for those who know—are places of refuge, arches, stairwells and underpasses. The whole area becomes a haven for dossers and derelicts. 

Mel doubted that the thief was a down-and-out. For one thing, he'd grabbed the fiddle, not his wallet. For another, he was working with the girl, who looked and sounded Royal College of Music. And he was on an expensive-looking bike.

Spurred by a degree of anger he didn't know he possessed, Mel kept up the chase. The thief was faster, but one thing was in Mel's favour: they'd turned left towards the Thames and he couldn't cycle across.

No use shouting. There wasn't anyone else in sight. Taking increasingly shallow gasps, Mel sprinted the length of the building as well as he could, resolved to get the thief in sight again. He turned the corner by the main entrance, already in 

The guy was there, up ahead.

Mel's legs were heavier with each stride and a band of pain was tightening across his chest. He was slowing, for all his strength of will. The buildings were a blur when he started. Now he could see them clearly.

But the thief would have a problem. The riverside walkway was at a higher level and a set of about a dozen steps formed a barrier ahead of him. He'd need to dismount. It wouldn't be easy carrying both bike and viola up there.

Mel urged himself into another spurt.

He was running in the space between the front of the Festival Hall and the side of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. No one was around to help. It's me and him, Mel thought. If I keep going I may catch up before he gets up those steps.

The guy's head turned, checking, Mel guessed, whether he was still in pursuit.

Then he surprised Mel by veering to the right just before the steps, straight towards the QEH. What was he doing? Mel had been assuming the high wall was solid concrete like the rest of the building. 

He appeared to cycle straight through and vanish.

Disbelieving, in despair, at the limit of his strength, Mel staggered along the remaining stretch and discovered how it had been done. There was a hidden ramp just before the steps, obviously meant for wheelchair access. The thief must have skimmed up there without breaking sweat. 

Suddenly he was back in view on the walkway, pedalling across Mel's line of vision as if to mock him. But he stopped just to the right of the gated entrance to the Festival Pier, still astride the bike, with his feet on the ground.

He was up against the railing by the water's edge. He swung the viola case back to get momentum. Jesus Christ, Mel thought, he's about to throw it over.

'No!' he yelled. 'For God's sake, no.'

He was powerless to stop it. The thief couldn't hear him this far off. 

There was a freeze-frame moment as if he was having second thoughts. Then Mel's precious fiddle was hurled over the edge.

Water is the worst enemy. No stringed instrument will survive immersion. The canvas case wasn't waterproof. It would fill with filthy water. Whether it floated or got dragged down was immaterial.

To Mel, what had just happened was akin to murder. Anyone who has listened to music, who has heard a violin or a viola sing, must know it has life. It's a unique individual with the power to speak directly to the soul, to calm, heal, inspire, uplift the spirit in ways beyond man's capability. Mel would defy anyone not to respond to the purity of legato bowing, the eloquence of the flowing tone. Each instrument has its own voice. 

He'd stopped running. His muscles were refusing to function, his brain spinning between disbelief and panic. 

Why? What malice drives anyone to such an act?


Already the cyclist was moving off left. And now Mel saw he'd get clean away, under the bridge and past the London Eye. All day there is a queue outside the huge observation wheel. But the place closed at nine-thirty. Nobody would be there to stop him at this hour. 

In reality his attention wasn't on the thief any longer. He could go. Mel wasn't thinking about justice or revenge. He wanted the impossible: to put the last five minutes into reverse and undo what had happened. Real life isn't like that.

He'd got the shakes now. The shock was consuming him.

He knew he should mount the steps and look over the edge. It was too late to leap over and recover the poor, damaged thing. The only reason for jumping would be suicide. He was almost of a mind to do it.

He forced himself upwards, stiff-legged, still shaking, right up to the railing, and peered over. It was too far down and too dark to spot anything floating there. All the filth of the river spreads to the banks like scum in a sink. The black water caught some ripples of reflected light from the ornate globe lamp-stand and that was all.

Out in the middle there were lights. A small vessel was chugging past the pier towards Waterloo Bridge. A police launch? No such luck. It was more like a powerboat moving sedately because of the conditions. Too far out to hail.

He heard water slurping against the embankment wall below him. The boat's backwash had reached there. He stared down and saw nothing.

Hours later, in his flat, he drank coffee and replayed the scene in his mind. He'd recalled it already for the police, given them such descriptions as he could - the Japanese girl with the red scrunch, the guy on the bike, and his poor, benighted instrument. The constable taking the statement hadn't understood his desolation. He hadn't even promised to pursue the thieves. 'Look at it from our point of view,' he'd said. 'Where would we start? I don't suppose they'll try it with anyone else.'

Obviously they had conspired to rob Mel and it wasn't an opportunist crime. There had been planning behind it. But what was the reason? Surely not malice alone?  They don't know Mel, so why should they hate him? There was no profit in it. A good, much valued instrument was lost and his livelihood put at risk. They couldn't know if he had other violas.


Or was it? His memory retrieved an image, the powerboat he'd noticed out in the middle of the river. Could it have come close enough for someone aboard to catch the viola as it was slung over the railing? This would provide a cruel logic to what had happened, a well organised plan to rob him.

Now that the finality of his loss had come home to him, he was discovering dark places in his psyche that he didn't know existed. He believed he could kill those two if he met them again.

Would he recognise the girl? He thought so. The light hadn't been good, but he'd seen her up close. He could remember the eyes wide in appeal when they'd first met, catching the light of the streetlamps, yet shot with scorn when she was sure he'd been suckered. He had a clear, raw memory of how her mouth had opened to mock him and most of all he could hear the cruel glissando of her laughter. Was he right in thinking she had been a music student? If so, the mugging was even harder to understand.

Of her partner in crime he could recall only the clothes. He hadn't seen his 

Did it matter any more? Did he want to hunt them down? He could search the common rooms of all the music colleges in London and maybe find them, but he wouldn't get his viola back.

Anger didn't begin to describe his state of mind.

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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Please welcome our distinguished guest, PETER LOVESEY!


Distinguished Bibliophile
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author PETER LOVESEY

Welcome and I must stay that the title of Tooth Tattoo makes my entire mouth ache.

"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott