The Stone Wife: A Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond Investigation
Soho, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
hief Superintendent Peter Diamond is far into his latest assignment when he says, '
This is shaping up as one of the wackiest cases I've been involved in ... The Wife of Bath. A glass lady. A gunman with a moon crater on the back of his neck. A guy afraid to speak the name of the British Museum. What next?
t all begins when a college professor is gunned down in an auction house in Bath while bidding on a large slab of carved stone featuring a rendering of Chaucer's legendary Wife of Bath. Was John Gildersleeve's death a tragic accident or a hit paid for by someone who was either jealous of the Chaucer authority or wanted to exact revenge for some personal transgression?
he farther Diamond and his team dig into the victim's past and try to determine if the weatherbeaten carving is actually at the root of the shooting, the more confused they become. In fact, the police detective can't fathom why anyone would want to pay an ungodly sum for the artifact.
ith an odd assortment of suspects who seem to have little or no connection to the Wife of Bath rendering, the chief superintendent decides to send one of his officers undercover to try to trace the source of the murder weapon.
eanwhile, Diamond will work on determining the provenance of the carving which means the reader, at times, will get the feeling he is watching a segment of
The Antiques Road Show
. If you aren't familiar with Chaucer you'll perhaps know more than you want to by the time you finish this novel.
eter Lovesey takes misdirection to a new level in
The Stone Wife
so just sit back and enjoy the ride without wasting too much time trying to figure out
because you'll be wasting your time.
f you have read the other mysteries in this series and are an ardent Lovesey fan, you'll probably enjoy this one as well. On the other hand, the first time reader may not be totally enamored of Peter Diamond and his team, but I'd suggest trying one of the previous titles before writing them off.
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