Peter Lovesey has written some of my very favorite detective novels – The False Inspector Dew(1982), Rough Cider (1986) and The Reaper (2000), not to mention his long and delightful Peter Diamond series. One of the things Lovesey is the very absolute best at is simply plot. In his novels, these can be longer and more complex affairs, but in this collection of short stories, the plots are deadly little masterpieces of wit and style.
Short stories are a tricky medium. In a short span of pages, an author needs to draw the reader in, make them care about at least one person in the narrative, and tell a completely contained story, soup to nuts. Lovesey’s elegant writing and humor serve him well, as story after story in this collection, reprinted here by the venerable Crippen & Landru, are both memorable and concise.