If there's one thing Bath detective Peter Diamond has no patience for, it's a dumb git trying to get involved in one of his investigations--for example, a Philip Marlowe--wannabe private investigator like the self-styled Johnny Getz (his card claims he Getz results). But fate has saddled Diamond with this trial.
... an almost nonstop giggle, as well as a classic police detection episode with this British Detective Superintendent. It’s the perfect prescription for those who’ve been taking their lives (or their crime fiction reading) too seriously ... Readers of classic detective fiction can giggle and guffaw as they ride shotgun with this new wacky character, recognizing his American PI heroes well before the British police team grapples with what Johnny’s attempting to copy ... Through the nonstop campy humor runs a solid and clever little mystery, with some great red herrings and a fine twist before solution ... It’s the nature of a series to leave the reader suspecting there is more to come of this frustrating and funny pairing in Peter Lovesey’s books to come.
Mr. Lovesey excels at mixing character-driven humor with legitimate suspense. The early Diamond books presented the inspector as the last of the old-time detectives, impatient with (or flummoxed by) new policing techniques. But in more recent entries, and especially this one, Diamond demonstrates noticeable growth. He pays attention to colleagues’ feelings, gives brusque credit where it’s due.