SKELETON HILL was originally posted in July, 2010. I am re-posting to acquaint readers with Peter Lovesey and his character, Peter Diamond. Diamond is a high ranking officer in the police department that serves Bath, England.
SKELETON HILL – Peter Lovesey
SKELETON HILL is the 10th Peter Diamond book and it is one of the best. The book opens on a reenactment of the Battle of Lansdown, fought on July 5, 1643, during the English Civil War. Two of the Cavaliers have been killed early in the battle and the force has moved on to continue to engage the Roundheads. They are within speaking distance so Dave, a veteran of the battles, asks Rupert, killed for the first time, if he would like to have a lager before they have to rejoin the main group and get killed again. Dave has hidden the cans in soft earth near a fallen tree but, to his dismay, only two of the six cans are there.
What they do find, besides the two cans of lager, is a long bone, very much like a femur. Rupert Hood is a history lecturer at a local university who suggests to Dave that the bone may actually belong to a man killed in 1643. They decide to rebury it and leave the body in peace.
A few days later, Miss Hibbert and her grayhounds come to the police station with a large bone that looks like a femur. Miss Hibbert wants to know if she may keep it and give it to her dogs. No, she cannot keep it. It is human and it has been in the ground no more than 20 years.
The skeleton is female and without a head. By the end of the story, Peter Diamond and his colleagues will deal with two murders, golf, and a kidnapped horse among many other things. This is a very good story with large doses of understated British humor, another 300 pages I didn’t put down.
Peter Diamond is best met in the first book in the series, THE LAST DETECTIVE. This series can be best enjoyed in order.
The Sealed Knot is an historical society that stages reenactments of the British Civil War throughout England. The money earned goes to research on the period as well as education programs in schools and universities. The name comes from the secret society that was formed to reestablish the monarchy.