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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Enjoyable Peter Diamond Novel
Clarion Calhoun, a pop star past her sell-by date, becomes facially disfigured while making her acting debut in Bath Theatre Royal's production of Isherwood's 'I am a Camera'. Peter Diamond is asked to investigate the case and when further unfortunate events occur (I don't want to give too much away here!) the investigation intensifies. All the while, Diamond is suffering...
Published on 22 April 2011 by G. J. Oxley

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated, slow, dull
I have long been a fan of Peter Lovesey's, but that doesn't mean I put aside taste and judgment when I pick up a book. I thought this sadly typical of what happens when a writer gets old and tired and out of touch. When I had read the first 100 pages, I felt very impatient and exasperated, as they were very repetitious and over-explicit. The amount of information and plot...
Published on 22 Feb 2012 by R. K. Ltd


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Enjoyable Peter Diamond Novel, 22 April 2011
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Hardcover)
Clarion Calhoun, a pop star past her sell-by date, becomes facially disfigured while making her acting debut in Bath Theatre Royal's production of Isherwood's 'I am a Camera'. Peter Diamond is asked to investigate the case and when further unfortunate events occur (I don't want to give too much away here!) the investigation intensifies. All the while, Diamond is suffering from a deep-rooted phobia of entering the theatre. Why is this, and will it be explained at the book's conclusion? Has Peter Lovesey ever not tied-up a loose end? Regular readers of his will know the answer to that one!

There are murders (obviously!), but once again, when the perpetrator is unmasked, we realise that Lovesey has put the clues for us in plain sight so we can work out their identity - if we're clever enough. Except of course, we rarely, if ever are - because he's so cunning and ingenious in his plotting. What seems an inconsequential event, thought or utterance during the course of the narrative later proves to be of much greater importance; but it's only in hindsight that we realise this.

There's a good cast of characters in this one, and Lovesey laces his plot nicely with theatre lore, and it's also very amusing at times. However, the curmudgeonly, but not-really-all-that-bad, Peter Diamond, doesn't seem to have aged in real time since the publication of 'The Last Detective' in 1991 - the first, brilliant entry in the series. Had he done so, he'd have retired from the force quite a few years ago. But does it really matter?: the character is so well-drawn, the series so good, that we'll forgive him this little inconsistency. After all, Ed McBain's detectives only aged around three years in the 87th precinct stories - and they were published over a period of around 50 years!

'Stagestruck' should prove to be of interest to all those who read traditional whodunits, as any new Lovesey novel is a real event. It's not as edgy as some of the other Diamond books (especially the early ones) and the plot is maybe a bit thinner, so it's not up there with his very best. However, I still greatly enjoyed it, and as another reviewer has commented, even an average book by Lovesey is still a bl**dy good read!

The author is one of my favourite writers in any genre. Why? Because he's so effortlessly entertaining and has produced some of the most brilliant plots and stunning twists of anyone writing detective or mystery fiction. And like that other septuagenarian, Ruth Rendell, he's still capable of writing fabulous stuff and surprising us even now. I salute the man and greatly look forward to what he's going to produce in the years to come.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama for Diamond in Stagestruck, 11 April 2011
By 
Iscamaid (Exeter, Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Hardcover)
Stagestruck is a further instalment of Peter Lovesey's "Peter Diamond" detective novels. It is centred on Bath's Theatre Royal, where a series of events occur following a nasty case of disfigurement of a leading lady. It follows both Peter Diamond's careful investigation into the attack on Clarion Calhoun, former popstar, and two further murders. Running alongside is a sub-plot as Diamond tackles a phobia of the theatre and his unknown terror of entering the building.

As usual, Lovesely delivers a tour de force of detective writing, gripping and flawless. His style is that of the masters of the crime novel, setting up an intricate plot and solid set of suspects. In this book Diamond has mellowed, still curmudgeonly and impossible to work for, showing us insights into his own character and an unexpected affinity with some of the younger members of the CID. The pace is steady, drawing the reader into a world of greasepaint, backstage corridors and theatre superstition.

If you are new to this series this book can easily be read on its own merits, however I would still recommend that you begin with "The Vault" simply because it is such a good book.

I had a private classification of authors, some I pick up their books on a whim at sales, others I buy once in paperback and a very few special authors I eagerly wait for their latest in hardback, to keep, cherish and re-read. This series by Peter Lovesely most definitely comes in the last category and Stagestruck is destined to be another of his I will keep, re-read and enjoy for many years to come. As usual in all my reviews for his books is my plee that Peter Lovesey manages to get his books translated onto television. It would make a superb quality crime series to rival Morse. His writing is extremely visual, the settings around historic Bath breathtaking and the leading character one which would have audiences hooked.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated, slow, dull, 22 Feb 2012
By 
R. K. Ltd (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Peter Diamond Mystery) (Paperback)
I have long been a fan of Peter Lovesey's, but that doesn't mean I put aside taste and judgment when I pick up a book. I thought this sadly typical of what happens when a writer gets old and tired and out of touch. When I had read the first 100 pages, I felt very impatient and exasperated, as they were very repetitious and over-explicit. The amount of information and plot and characterisation they contained could have been conveyed in 10 pages, maximum. In places, it sounded as if this were written by a very young and naive writer--Peter Diamond gives the police officers very simple instructions about looking for clues, finding a motive, and their conversation sounds like that of people who have never done this sort of work before. In other places, it sounds like the writing of a very old person--Peter Diamond meets a gay man, who instantly makes very camp innuendoes and talks about fancying him; in the office, he asks a policeman if he knows how to use a computer, and we're told that Diamond hardly ever looks at his e-mails. This reliance on stereotype and denial of reality is embarrassing and unbelievable. It is also embarrassing when Lovesey tries to sound up to date, using awful phrases from the worlds of marketing and self-help, such as "comfort zone," that people never say.

There is also a major fault in the book in that the attack on the victim occurs right at the start of the book, before we meet most of the characters or become familiar with the milieu. Then, when we learn these things after the fact, it's not nearly as suspenseful or involving as if we were wondering, as we read about the people, who is going to be the victim and who the murderer. And we don't have time to learn enough about the victim to get interested in who might be the killer. Wondering who is the killer at the same time as we learn about the characters for the first time is very dry.

I thought the whole thing a shell of what Lovesey used to be.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 6 Jun 2011
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Hardcover)
I've read most of the author's Peter Diamond detective novels and have noticed a shift in style that is continued in this book: there is more humour and less gritty realism: more Simon Brett than Ian Rankin. Stagestruck is set in Baths Theatre Royal and a production of Christopher Isherwood's I am a Camera. The lead role of Sally Bowles is controversially been given to a fading pop star. An incident stops her being able to perform followed by the death of one of the staff with dire consequences for the theatre and the rest of the staff. Are the two events connected? Is one an accident and the other suicide or is foul-play at work? Set in the closed world of the theatre there are several suspects and teasing out the truth is the meat of this book. I found the final denouement a bit rushed and unconvincing, but detective fiction isn't meant to be realistic.

There's a peripheral story about the basis of a phobia that Diamond has suffered since childhood which I didn't feel added anything to the book. I was a bit put-off by some of the characters verging on caricature but, generally I enjoyed the book as a light-hearted read. The book isn't as good as some of the author's previous books, e.g., Diamond Dust (Peter Diamond Mystery); The Vault (Peter Diamond Mystery) orThe House Sitter, all of which are more gripping.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the standard expected from this writer., 17 April 2011
By 
fivestarfrankie (chippenham, wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Hardcover)
First let me say I'm a huge fan of Peter Lovesey. I have read all his books over the last forty years and enjoyed them all. His last Peter Diamond outing Skeleton Hill was superb. I've found all the Diamond series terrific starting in 1992 when I read the first (The Last Detective).I pre ordered this book last September and looked forward to it's publication.

Reading this book was (I'm sad to say) a chore.The award of three stars is if anything generous. Nothing about the book was better than acceptable - the plot, the characters, the dialogue. It's as if Mr Lovesey had a number of off days and no one told him this simply was not up to his standard. You will read worse books this year as even poor Lovesey novels are better than many other writers at their best, but if you have read Lovesey before you may find a lot lacking. I look forward to the author's redemption with his next effort.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read, 16 Mar 2014
By 
Rob Ollerton (Monmouthshire, South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck (Kindle Edition)
Based all around the THeatre Royal in Bath. Makes it interesting if you know it. Zips along, though a bit unsatisfying ending
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5.0 out of 5 stars stagestruck my assesment, 3 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Stagestruck (Kindle Edition)
a really excellent plot kept me riveted to the very end not the book you should read if you have important other work to do
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 23 Sep 2013
By 
Ms. Ann S. Ballard (Calne, Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Peter Diamond Mystery) (Paperback)
Peter Lovesey always writes great stories. The places he writes about are real and very accurate. Lovely grumpy detective, never disappoints.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stage struck, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Stagestruck (Kindle Edition)
Up to the usual Peter Lovesey standard, well written and fairly well paced. Peter should be working for the Bath tourist board as his stories make the city an interesting place to visit - if you ignore the criminal activities of some of his characters!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Lovesey at his best., 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Stagestruck: 11 (Peter Diamond Mystery) (Paperback)
I love all of his books and this one is no exception. Brilliant plot and characters, keeps you intrigued till the end.
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Stagestruck: 11 (Peter Diamond Mystery)
Stagestruck: 11 (Peter Diamond Mystery) by Peter Lovesey (Paperback - 2 Feb 2012)
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