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Mystery Review: Killing with Confetti, Peter Lovesey (2019)

Killing with Confetti is Peter Lovesey's latest Peter Diamond (his eighteenth!) mystery. Intertwining the story of a prison break and the Romeo and Juliet pairing of a deputy chief constable's son and a gang boss's daughter, Lovesey manages to keep you guessing the whole way through about what exactly what crime is going to be committed and who the culprit will be.

The main thread of the story concerns the wedding of Ben Brace - the aforementioned deputy chief constable's son - and Caroline Irving, only daughter of notorious gang leader Joe Irving. With Joe freshly out of prison to attend, the wedding seems like an ideal opportunity for a rival gang to try to gun him down. This is when Peter Diamond is dragged - reluctantly, in a wrinkled suit, the worst shooting bodyguard of all time - into the case. (When he receives the invite, Peter despairs over the "handsome invitation to his shittiest invitation ever.") He's sent to the the wedding in order to make sure that nothing goes wrong ...

... and he nearly succeeds, but a body is found at the Roman Baths reception - and it's up to Diamond to figure out who was killed, by whom, and why. There is a kitten, a dog, and Diamond's fashion faux pauses aplenty in the process, until Diamond stages an Hercule Poirot-esque reveal at the site of the crime to unmask the killer, and the story hurtles to a satisfying and hilarious confusion.

Overall: 4.5 Sherlocks. Above all - Lovesey is funny ("You're used to plainclothes." "None plainer.") and Diamond is a charming sleuth, delightfully bewildered by distressed jeans but razor sharp on crime. This mystery is well plotted, moving between various viewpoints and spending just the right amount of time at each point, with clues sprinkled in very fairly for the reader to have a sporting chance at figuring out the solution before the final reveal.

Best enjoyed with a a large latte and slice of banana and chocolate chip cake. (As Lovesey reminds us: "Useful tip from Peter Diamond: if you need to blend in with the crowd make sure it's the section of the crowd who eat well.")

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