Beau Death: A Peter Diamond Investigation

Soho Crime. Dec. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781616959050. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616959067 M
A demolished English townhouse reveals a skeleton dressed in 18th-century period clothing; could the body be that of that famous dandy and Bath master of ceremonies Beau Nash? In their 17th outing (after Another One Goes Tonight), Chief Inspector Diamond and his unit dig deep into Bath history to resolve the intriguing case. Also on Diamond's plate is the death of an addict who had staged a fireworks extravaganza honoring Jane Austen and Nash. Diamond is aided—and annoyed—by friend and lover Paloma Kean, ACC Georgina Dallymore, and his stalwart team members. The Bath setting is almost a character in its own right. The wry humor (including scenes of the potbellied Diamond in 18th-century attire attending a social event related to Beau Nash) adds charm to the story line.
VERDICT One of the best entries in a long-running series, this exceptional police procedural is packed with imperfect and engaging characters, sophisticated plotting, and abundantly detailed historical tidbits. A surefire recommendation for fans of Christopher Fowler's "Bryant and May" series, which is quirkier but has many of the same appeal factors, and J.M. Gregson's crime novels.
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