The False Inspector Dew

Peter Lovesey - The False Inspector Dew


CWA Gold Dagger Winner, 1982
Listed in Crime & Mystery: the 100 Best Books
Listed in Hatchards 100 Top Crime Novels
Listed in The Times 100 Best Crime Novels of the Twentieth Century
Dagger of Daggers Shortlist, 2006

It is 1921, and Alma Webster, a reader of romances, is passionately in love with her dentist, Walter Baranov. There is only one foreseeable outcome: the murder of his wife. Inspired by the real-life Dr Crippen case, they plot a way to achieve it perfectly aboard the ocean liner, Mauretania. With a fine sense of irony, Baranov takes the identity of Inspector Dew, Crippen’s nemesis, and then a murder is reported aboard the ship and the complications begin.

UK Publisher: Macmillan, 1982
US Publisher: Pantheon, 1982. Reissued, 1988
UK Paperback: Arrow, 1983
US paperback: Pantheon, 1982
Latest US edition: Soho Press, 2001 ISBN 1-56947-255-6
Latest UK edition: Sphere, 2014 ISBN 978-0751553574

“An extraordinarily clever, fascinating novel … Compulsively readable.”
Colin Dexter, Best Books, The Week

“Absolutely riveting … I read The False Inspector Dew because I couldn’t resist it and now I wish I’d saved it for the weekend. He’s such a stylish, lucid writer, and wickedly clever as well, with a wonderful knack of springing really astonishing surprises … A masterpiece. I defy anyone to foresee the outcome.”
Ruth Rendell

“The sort of book that ought to be a bestseller and deserves to be.”
HRF Keating, The Times

“Oh, what a lovely crime this is.”
Jean M White, Washington Post Book World

“Brilliant … stunning.”
Andrew Hope, Evening Standard

“One of the cleverest crime comedies of the past few years.”
Julian Symons, Bloody Murder

“Impossible to put down … We dare you not to smile and smile again as wicked entertainer Lovesey sails through each roll and turn of the transatlantic crossing.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lovesey’s masterpiece thus far and one of the best mysteries ever written, one that opens up new possibilities for the genre.”
James Hurt, Dictionary of Literary Biography