The Tooth Tattoo, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Peter Diamond, head of Bath CID, takes a city break in Vienna, where his favourite film, The Third Man, was set, but everything goes wrong and his companion, Paloma, calls a halt to their relationship. Meanwhile, strange things are happening to jobbing musician Mel Farran, who finds himself scouted by methods closer to the spy world than the concert platform.

The chance of joining a once-famous string quartet in a residency at Bath Spa University is too tempting for Mel to refuse.

Then a body is found in the city canal, and the only clue to the dead woman's identity is the tattoo of a musical note on one of her teeth.

For Diamond, who wouldn't know a Stradivarius from a French horn, the investigation is his most demanding ever.

Three mysterious deaths need to be probed while his own personal life is in free fall...Peter Lovesey has been hailed by the critics as 'superlative', 'a master of the genre', 'never puts a foot wrong' and the Peter Diamond series as 'one of the most enjoyable police series around'.

This new case for the greatly loved detective will bring new praise and much satisfaction for his legions of fans.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780751550603



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The latest novel featuring the churlish Superintendent Peter Diamond represents a welcome return to top form for Peter Lovesey. The action is, as usual, set in Bath but this time centres around the intense circles of string quartets.The body of a young Japanese woman is retrieved from the Avon, and she is identified by means of a tooth tattoo in the form of a musical note. Further investigation reveals that she was passionate about classical music and had formed an obsession about Staccati, a leading string quartet that has only recently begun performing again after replacing their virtuoso viola payer who had disappeared four years previously. As might be expected, all four members of Staccati have their own idiosyncrasies, and it is surprising that they have managed to stay together. However, when united for a performance they cohere with devastating impact.Lovesey has obviously done a huge amount of research and imparts a wealth of information about the type of music that string quartets play, without ever seeming to lecture or harangue his readers. Even the surly, Diamond, who generally wears his philistinism as a badge of pride, briefly succumbs to the power of music, though his customary bad temper soon reasserts itself.The plot moves through various twists, but never loses credibility, and, as usual, the city of Bath plays a huge role. I wonder whether Lovesey receives commission from the city's tourist board, and I am surprised that, given how photogenic the city is, these books have now made their way onto television.

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