Peter Lovesey

A comparison of two novels by English mystery writer, Peter Lovesey.

The paper shows how mystery novels have a habit of portraying murder as a discrete affair for the middle class and nowhere is this more apparent than in English mystery novels, as novel writers in England, being a literate caste, usually manage to present the world through tweed-colored spectacles. The paper discusses how English author, Peter Lovesey exemplifies this, as his characters always seem to evoke images of tea-sipping old women sharing a well-loved table at their favorite local haunt and recounting stories of life during the blitz. This is a far cry from the real world of murder, which is often one of drunken and drug-crazed rage, teenage street rivalries, or quiet, festering sexual perversion. This paper contrasts the differences between one of Lovesey’s most recent works, The Vault, and one of his readers’ favorites “On the Edge”.
“In On the Edge, Lovesey pays careful attention to developing the way in which the two main characters play into the national consciousness of the time, which can almost be described as a sense of angst. This is played out in the sense of divergence one feels when following the lives of Rose and Antonia. Lovesey was a child in London during the war, when one of his most poignant memories was that of his house being hit by a V-1 rocket. Lovesey’s heroines spent the war plotting the courses of Royal Air Force attacks on Germany, and part of the post-war angst they felt had to do with returning to traditional female roles. By comparison, The Vault is set in the sleepy seaside city of Bath that provides the context for his other Diamond novels.”