My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s a mystery, and a cracking good one. Upon a Dark Night opens with a case of amnesia, a young woman found unconscious in a hospital parking lot. “Rose” is released into the care of Bath Social Services, and is soon reunited with her step-sister. In the meantime, head of murder squad Peter Diamond is bored and listless, in the absence of any murder cases, stuck working on an apparent suicide and a woman who fell off a roof. He won’t be bored for long.
Though his colleagues believe Diamond has set off on a wild goose chase, he’s convinced that more than coincidence lies behind these seemingly unrelated but concurrent events. His thinking is propelled, though he’d never admit it, by the brazen, colorful, tenacious Ada Shaftsbury, the homeless woman with “form” for shoplifting who lived with both Rose and the faller. Ada doesn’t hold with coincidence or accident, and Diamond takes some very flimsy evidence and soon has a puzzler on his hands. Nothing he likes better. And nothing that devoted mysteries like better either. Though plenty of clues are dropped along the way, solving this case is no slam dunk. An intricate plot, a motley cast of lively characters, a brilliant detective, and the setting in Bath make Upon a Dark Night a delightful way to spend your precious reading time.