One of the attractions of Peter Lovesey’s work is the interesting sidelights the author offers into esoteric aspects of history. His background in the history of sports has served him well, but not content with the Victorian setting with which he made his name, he has widened his scope to explore other time periods. Rather than trying to recapture the style of bygone eras, Lovesey writes from a modern perspective, thus achieving an interesting juxtaposition of different detective-fiction traditions. The consistently high quality of his historical research, his brilliant plots, and the skill with which he tells stories, ranging in tone from the serious to the comic, put Lovesey in the top ranks of historical mystery writers.
Lovesey’s later novels, while set in more recent times, reveal the same skill in plotting, characterization, and subtle humor, whether the novels are set in a small corner of England or range around the globe. Although Lovesey’s plots sometimes center on modern technology, his sleuths’ commitment to using traditional methods, while maintaining their own independence, shows the connection between the past and the present, particularly in the mystery genre.
Lovesey’s numerous awards include the Crime Writers’ Association’s Silver Dagger Awards in 1978 for Waxwork, 1995 for The Summons, and 1996 for Bloodhounds, and the Gold Dagger Award in 1983 for The False Inspector Dew; the Anthony Award in 1992 for The Last Detective, and Macavity Awards in 1997 for Bloodhounds and 2004 for The House Sitter. In 2000 he was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award by the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain for his lifetime achievement in the field.