The Stone Wife
The Stone Wife
The Tooth Tattoo
The Tooth Tattoo
The Stone Wife
UK edition

The Stone Wife
USA edition

The Tooth Tattoo
UK edition

The Tooth Tattoo
USA edition


The Stone Wife is published in the UK by Sphere on April 3 and in the US by Soho Crime in September.

Peter Lovesey’s open book events in 2014 include:

  • Waterstones Piccadilly on April 25 at 2pm
  • Waterstones Chichester on April 30 at 7pm
  • Waterstones Bath signing on May 3 from 12pm
  • Nymans, Handcross, W.Sussex on June 5 at 1.30pm
  • Burgess Hill Festival, Martlets Hall, on June 9 at 7pm
  • Selsey Festival, Meet the Authors, on August 6 at 2pm
  • and an extensive tour of USA in September.

THE STONE WIFE synopsis:
Just as the bidding gets exciting in a Bath auction house, three armed men stage a hold-up and attempt to steal Lot 129, a medieval carving of the Wife of Bath. The highest bidder, appalled to have the prize snatched away, tries to stop them and is shot dead.

Peter Diamond, head of the murder squad, soon finds himself sharing his office with the stone wife – until he is ejected. To his extreme annoyance, the lump of stone appears to exert a malign influence over him and his investigation. Refusing to be beaten, he rallies his team. The case demands someone goes undercover. The dangerous mission falls to Sergeant Ingeborg Smith, reverting to her journalistic persona to get the confidence of a wealthy criminal through his pop star girlfriend, Soon, murder makes a reappearance.

This new short story is now published as a signed limited edition in hardback and also in paperback in the Bibliomysteries series published by The Mysterious Bookshop, New York –

In addition, The Tooth Tattoo goes into paperback in the UK and USA and many of Peter’s earlier books are being reissued as paperbacks and e-books in both countries.

The Tooth Tattoo reviewed in The Daily Mail:
“I must resist saying Peter Lovesey is at the peak of his game since, judging by past experience, he will soon produce another book that is even better than THE TOOTH TATTOO. Let it suffice to say that this is one of his best.

For his latest outing, the thoroughly unpretentious Peter Diamond of Bath CID finds himself adrift in the world of classical music. What is the link between members of a highly regarded string quartet and he death of a Japanese student who had come to Bath to hear them play? . . . Vivid characterisation and convincing dialogue confirm Lovesey’s reputation as a master storyteller.”
- reviewed by Barry Turner

The Tooth Tattoo In The Washington Post
“I have no idea how many string quartet aficionados enjoy crime fiction, but they should hasten to read the veteran British writer Peter Lovesey’s fascinating “The Tooth Tattoo.” Strictly speaking, the novel is a police procedural, but the kicker is that the prime suspects in three murders are the members of a world-class string quartet called Staccati.

I hasten to add that readers who, like me, know little or nothing about string quartets (my musical highlight each year is the Birchmere’s Hank Williams tribute) can still savor this ingenious novel.

At the outset, Peter Diamond, who heads the criminal division of the Bath, England, police, is vacationing in Vienna with his elegant friend Paloma. She wants to visit Beethoven’s home, but he’s more interested in seeing highlights — the sewer, the Ferris wheel — of Carol Reed’s Vienna-based 1949 movie classic, “The Third Man.” As they wander, the couple chance upon a flower-strewn memorial to a young Japanese woman who drowned in the Danube a few years earlier. Paloma is moved by the tragedy, but it’s not Diamond’s case, so he’s indifferent. Naturally, she berates him for his alleged inability to express his feelings. “What do you expect?” the detective retorts. “I’m a bloke.”

In this country he’d say, “I’m a guy,” but it’s all the same. So is the outcome: The argument escalates, he stubbornly defends his right to be a guy, and she dumps him.

Soon the drowned woman in Vienna becomes newly relevant when another young Japanese woman is fished out of a canal in Bath — for that is Diamond’s case. He learns that both women loved string quartets, and that Staccati was playing in both Vienna and Bath at about the time they went missing — and possibly were murdered. One of the women had a “tattoo” on her tooth that featured a musical note, although they really aren’t tattoos but small chips that can be glued on. That’s the source of the book’s title, which is the only thing I didn’t like about it.

We soon learn a lot about the four members of Staccati. Ivan, a dour Russian violinist, co-founded the group with a woman called Cat, who is huge (“the girth of a sumo wrestler”), bawdy and a virtuoso on the cello. Andrew, the second violinist, is brilliant musically, although he rarely speaks and is thought by the others to be autistic. Finally, there’s Mel, the newcomer to the group, who plays the viola, chases girls in his spare time and was recruited to replace Harry, who mysteriously vanished after a concert in Budapest. The four argue a lot and have little in common except their love of music, but that’s enough to keep them together.

Lovesey has won many prizes for his crime fiction; we expect fine writing and devilish plots from him. But the wonder of this novel is how deep he carries us into the world of a string quartet. He knows the music, and he makes clear its beauty, its challenges and the passions it arouses in both musicians and their audiences.

One highlight of the novel is a two-page, all but microscopic description of the quartet’s rendition of Beethoven’s Opus 131. Here’s a small sample: “Toward the middle of the first movement the violins speak to each other with the last six notes of the fugue motif and then viola and cello take up the dialogue in one of the loveliest passages in the entire quartet repertoire.”

This novel will probably teach you more than you ever expected to know about string quartets. Did you know that celebrated players often use instruments on loan from wealthy collectors? Mel is using a rare 1625 Amati viola, valued at more than a half-million dollars, and only too late he discovers that there’s no such thing as a free viola.

You’ll learn of their frustrations, too. Cat denounces what she calls the “music merchants,” of whom she says: “They take second-rate artists with pretty faces, groom them, call them the voice or the player of the century, and turn them into stars. . . . The quality of the sound is crap, they’re off-key, and the great gullible public doesn’t seem to notice.”

Eventually, the deaths of the two young women are followed by that of someone close to the group. We agonize over whether one of these dedicated musicians could be a killer — or is the culprit an outsider? — but Diamond sorts things out with his usual aplomb. Lovers of good music and a good mystery should not miss this delightful tale.”
- reviewed by Patrick Anderson

The Tooth Tattoo in The New York Times:
“For want of a better term, Peter Lovesey’s novels about Peter Diamond, the chief of detectves in the historic English city of Bath, are designated as police procedurals. But these erudite and wondrously witty books are unlike any police procedural you’ve ever read. THE TOOTH TATTOO is a case in point. Of course there’s a murder to be solved – a curious one, involving a young Japanese music lover who has come to Bath in hopes of hearing a celebrated string quartet known as the Staccati. But for the most part, the murder investigation provides the structural framework for a group portrait of the eccentric members of this captivating ensemble and the music they play with such rapturous devotion.

Lovesey’s droll humor is on ample display as the members of Diamond’s investigative team poach ideas from “CSI” and tease their gloomy chief for behaving like the depressive Scandinavian policemen in popular fiction (There are also inside jokes for the musically minded like the one about Odessa being the source of all the world’s great string players). Even the murder investigation is fun, but in its own peculiar way; but for death-defying thrills, nothing quite compares to the Staccati swinging into Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor.”
- reviewed by Marilyn Stasio

  Peter Lovesey
Photo by Kate Shemilt

The Strand magazine announces that together with the bestselling children’s author R.L.Stine, Peter will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in New York in July 2014. The award is nominated by critics from The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Strand, Time Magazine and NPR . Previous recipients include John Mortimer, Joseph Wambaugh, Elmore Leonard and Faye Kellerman.