Beau Death (Peter Diamond, #17)
Peter Diamond, British detective extraordinaire, must dig deep into Bath history to ferret out the secrets of one of its most famous (and scandalous) icons: Richard “Beau” Nash, who might be the victim of a centuries old murder.Bath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to it is a white tricorn hat—the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper’s grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be all in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them.Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can’t be Nash’s—the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond’s favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder?

Beau Death (Peter Diamond, #17) Details

TitleBeau Death (Peter Diamond, #17)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 5th, 2017
PublisherSoho Crime
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Emergency Services, Police

Beau Death (Peter Diamond, #17) Review

  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This is the seventeenth book in the series but it's the first one I have read. I am really kicking myself. How did I miss this series? It's fun. First of all it's set in Bath, a delightful town in England. I loved roaming the historic streets with Peter Diamond as he investigates the discovery of a skeleton found in a building being demolished. The catch is the skeleton is dressed in authentic eighteenth century clothes. Could it be the famous Beau Nash? As Diamond struggles to solve the myster This is the seventeenth book in the series but it's the first one I have read. I am really kicking myself. How did I miss this series? It's fun. First of all it's set in Bath, a delightful town in England. I loved roaming the historic streets with Peter Diamond as he investigates the discovery of a skeleton found in a building being demolished. The catch is the skeleton is dressed in authentic eighteenth century clothes. Could it be the famous Beau Nash? As Diamond struggles to solve the mystery of such an old murder (and it is a murder) and tries to learn how old that skeleton actually is, a fireworks event comes to town and there is another murder. And they may be connected? How can this be? A really fun book with lots of interesting history thrown in and a setting in a really unique place and an interesting protagonist made for an entertaining read. I can't wait to read more.
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    Richard “Beau” Nash was an 18th century dandy who had the resort town of Bath wired. He set fashions and garnered attention for himself and for his town which is why unexpected events happen when a body is found that might be his is discovered. Peter Lovesey is always an engaging tale teller and this is one of his best. It’s the most recent installment in his Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond series. Don’t be afraid to plunge in with this book, this is only the second or third I’ve read in Richard “Beau” Nash was an 18th century dandy who had the resort town of Bath wired. He set fashions and garnered attention for himself and for his town which is why unexpected events happen when a body is found that might be his is discovered. Peter Lovesey is always an engaging tale teller and this is one of his best. It’s the most recent installment in his Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond series. Don’t be afraid to plunge in with this book, this is only the second or third I’ve read in this series and I didn’t feel lost.As always in a Lovesey book the characters are as developed as the plot with Peter being his moody yet lovable self. There are Lords and Ladies and representatives of lower classes some struggling and poor, others reformed or reforming or unrepentantly criminal. Best of all Beau Death is fun to read.Thank you to the publishers for providing an advance reader’s copy.
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  • John Bohnert
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this police procedural set in Bath, England.I've now read all seventeen (17) novels in this series.I'm looking forward to reading the next book when it's published.
  • Gloria Feit
    January 1, 1970
    From the publisher: A wrecking crew demolishing a row of centuries-old townhouses in Bath, England uncovers a body in one of the condemned buildings’ attics. The dead man has been in the attic a long time: all that’s left is a skeleton dressed in authentic 1760s garb, and a distinctive white tricorn hat. Could the body be that of Richard “Beau” Nash, Bath’s most famous historical dandy, the 18th-century Master of Ceremonies who turned Bath into the Georgian-era fashion icon it became, only to fa From the publisher: A wrecking crew demolishing a row of centuries-old townhouses in Bath, England uncovers a body in one of the condemned buildings’ attics. The dead man has been in the attic a long time: all that’s left is a skeleton dressed in authentic 1760s garb, and a distinctive white tricorn hat. Could the body be that of Richard “Beau” Nash, Bath’s most famous historical dandy, the 18th-century Master of Ceremonies who turned Bath into the Georgian-era fashion icon it became, only to fall on hard times and supposedly be buried in a pauper’s grave? Thrilled by the possibility of proving the body is the Beau, Detective Peter Diamond rushes to learn all he can about the famed Beau and what became of him, but is he on a historical goose chase?Diamond undertakes painstaking and very impressive research into all sorts of aspects of the people and events during the time frame in question, including the underwear worn by them, and eventually to try to pinpoint who was, or was not, the victim.The demolition is taking place as the novel opens. An observer sees, “in the attic of the end house, now ripped open, a crumpled figure in an armchair. The dust from the demolition had coated it liberally and it was a parody of the human form held together by what appeared to be long outmoded garments.” It immediately appears that the man is “spectacularly, irreversibly, abso-bloody-lutely dead. As Diamond observes, “He’s been out of it a few years. A few hundred years, if his clothes are anything to go by.” What immediately concerns him is “why hadn’t anyone gone looking for him? A missing person must have caused some concern, even a century or more before the police were created.” A challenge to the famed detective, at the very least. As he says to a colleague, “it’s a cold case and they don’t come colder than this . . . Anyone can see it’s an ancient set of bones. It’s history, almost archaeology.” The first thing to be determined is whether or not it’s murder. When, soon after this discovery, there is another, current, murder. “Two sets of clues, two grids and two solutions. Or perhaps one grid after all, one diabolically difficult cryptic challenge.” He finds himself “dealing with two cases twenty years apart.” The author really makes 18th century Bath come alive, and this fascinating novel is recommended.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The skeleton found in an abandoned house is dressed in an authentic 18th century costume that could only belong to Beau Nash, onetime social arbiter of Bath. But the autopsy shows that the body is much more recent, and had been murdered. Peter Diamond, head of the homicide squad, makes those dry bones live, figuring out who had disappeared about twenty years before, despite an odd spirit of discontent among his team. But he and his team are called away from the investigation when an event planne The skeleton found in an abandoned house is dressed in an authentic 18th century costume that could only belong to Beau Nash, onetime social arbiter of Bath. But the autopsy shows that the body is much more recent, and had been murdered. Peter Diamond, head of the homicide squad, makes those dry bones live, figuring out who had disappeared about twenty years before, despite an odd spirit of discontent among his team. But he and his team are called away from the investigation when an event planner is found shot. It's lucky Peter's significant other Paloma is on hand with her expertise on costumes. One of the reviews of this suggested that it's one of the best in this series, but not to me.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    “It was one diabolically difficult cryptic challenge, with the difference that the clues weren’t conveniently listed and numbered. He had to find them and when he got that far in the cryptic crossword puzzle, the obvious answer was likely to be a distraction. You had to spot the real meaning behind the words, filling the gaps down and across with confidence. The demon who delights in tormenting detectives had struck a match and held the flame to the whole puzzle.”This is a lively British police “It was one diabolically difficult cryptic challenge, with the difference that the clues weren’t conveniently listed and numbered. He had to find them and when he got that far in the cryptic crossword puzzle, the obvious answer was likely to be a distraction. You had to spot the real meaning behind the words, filling the gaps down and across with confidence. The demon who delights in tormenting detectives had struck a match and held the flame to the whole puzzle.”This is a lively British police procedural. Those who have heard of Beau Brummell but not his contemporary Beau Nash are in for some interesting as well as entertaining history, both of Beau himself, as well as of Bath, the construction of 18th century men’s clothing, and the legalities of someone other than the owner occupying an empty building.Though there’s a good amount of British slang, it’s easy to discern the meanings from the context, so the reader won’t go ignorant for long. Similarities and differences between American and British police procedurals as far as how the authorities go about it will also be noted. The various idiosyncrasies and quirks of Diamond and his contingent, while offering amusing moments and individualizing each, also underscore how those same characteristics enable them to discover the identity of the body as well as its killer.The history buff will appreciate the research done on Beau Nash’s life and times, as well as the mystery of his death and burial place, in giving the story’s setting an air of authenticity. Beau Death may not having the gritty feel of a crime noir nor the violence of some American mystery novels, but it’s rather easy going and gently acerbic narration, and its cast of occasionally eccentric characters is nevertheless as tense and thoroughly intriguing in its own way as any 87th Precinct novel.Step back a moment into history as a contemporary detective investigates a death perhaps occurring two centuries before, and enjoy the solving of this case as performed by Detective Peter Diamond. Beau Death is a delight and an incentive to investigate other Detective Peter Diamond mysteries.This novel was supplied by the publisher and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review. This excerpt is taken from the full-length review written for the NY Journal of Books.
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  • Ian Brydon
    January 1, 1970
    This is the latest in Peter Lovesey’s extensive and entertaining series of crime novels featuring the frequently querulous Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, head of CID in Bath.The novel opens with a crowd of people watching in almost hypnotic awe as a construction crew wield an old-fashioned wrecking ball to demolish a dilapidated tenement block in Twerton, near Bath. All at once, while the crowd looks on, a figure dressed in eighteenth century clothes is spotted sitting in one of the att This is the latest in Peter Lovesey’s extensive and entertaining series of crime novels featuring the frequently querulous Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, head of CID in Bath.The novel opens with a crowd of people watching in almost hypnotic awe as a construction crew wield an old-fashioned wrecking ball to demolish a dilapidated tenement block in Twerton, near Bath. All at once, while the crowd looks on, a figure dressed in eighteenth century clothes is spotted sitting in one of the attics as the huge ball swings towards it. Once the debris is cleared, a dead body is discovered, and the initial indications suggest that it might date back a couple of centuries to the period of Beau Nash, who first set the town on its path towards popularity among the propertied classes, and its subsequent elevation to the epitome of social elegance in England.This book might almost be a potted history of Bath, though Lovesey has a light touch, and never allows the novel to deteriorate into a text book. Diamond is a well-established figure: grouchy, quick to bark out orders and almost permanently hungry, yet also intelligent and eventually prepared to accept other people’s ideas. Lovesey is well practised in blending sound plots with enough smattering of the police procedural to seem authentic, but also a light-heartedness that leaves the reader wanting more.I am surprised that these novels have not found their way onto television. The combination of Bath’s scenic splendours and the quixotic lead character seem custom-built to capture the territory formerly occupied by Morse.
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  • Martina
    January 1, 1970
    Another Peter Diamond set in Bath, England.... While this is one of my favorite series, this was not my favorite book of the series. I barely gave it 4 stars... At least half the book seemed to be about the story of Beau Nash, one time the leading man of Bath society. Interesting, but so much Beau buried the investigations. 2017 wasn't a loss for Lovesey by any means. His editor's role and short story in Soho Crime's "The Usual Santas" was at least triple A +! Having read that not so long ago pr Another Peter Diamond set in Bath, England.... While this is one of my favorite series, this was not my favorite book of the series. I barely gave it 4 stars... At least half the book seemed to be about the story of Beau Nash, one time the leading man of Bath society. Interesting, but so much Beau buried the investigations. 2017 wasn't a loss for Lovesey by any means. His editor's role and short story in Soho Crime's "The Usual Santas" was at least triple A +! Having read that not so long ago probably impacted my attitude about this book, but I went back and read comments from others and seem not to have been alone among long time readers of Lovesey's. I'll be looking for the next outing by one of my favorite characters next year!
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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read any Peter Lovesey's books before. After reading so many other mysteries this one moves at a much slower pace, wordy, lots of dialogue etc.; however, the idea for his plot is very good: take a figure from history, Richard Nash of Bath, esq. 1762. Have a skeleton dressed like him found in an old attic hundreds of years later when his death and interment are questionable and a group called the Beau Nash Society is still active in present times. How does Peter Diamond solve this. He I have not read any Peter Lovesey's books before. After reading so many other mysteries this one moves at a much slower pace, wordy, lots of dialogue etc.; however, the idea for his plot is very good: take a figure from history, Richard Nash of Bath, esq. 1762. Have a skeleton dressed like him found in an old attic hundreds of years later when his death and interment are questionable and a group called the Beau Nash Society is still active in present times. How does Peter Diamond solve this. He does in a very slow, painstaking way with his team. The historical notes are quite good and of interest. I will have to read more of Peter Diamond mysteries to make a fair assessment.
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  • Jennifer Kepesh
    January 1, 1970
    Peter Lovesey is a great craftsman. While I think his first few Peter Diamond books were the best, I always enjoy his knotty mysteries as well as the way he depicts working relationships—insecurities, frustrations, rivalries, loyalties, mindsets. I also enjoy the way he uses the city of Bath as a central aspect of the story, allowing both new and old aspects to play roles in the stories. This is one of his best recent efforts.
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