Diamond ordered a Cornish pasty and a double helping of chips ... . “One useful tip I learned early on in my police career: never go past a food outlet or a toilet. It might be the last you see all day.”
“I had a good breakfast,” Leaman said.
“So did I. That was two hours ago.” -- The Stone Wife by Peter Lovesey, p. 110)
If there wasn't so much variety and inventiveness within these books I definitely wouldn't have kept on reading. As I always do, I paid attention to what the characters ate, and tried to notice how, and if, eating and food contributed to their characterization and the flow of the plot of each novel. As in many detective stories, meals often punctuate the action and serve to help show that time is passing throughout days of detecting. Peter Diamond loves pub food such as burgers, bangers and mash, meat pies with chips, a beef sandwich, a full English breakfast, and the like.
“He ambled down to the canteen for some supper. Baked beans, bacon, fried eggs, chips and toast, with a mug of tea.
'You’re a credit to us, Mr. Diamond,' the manageress told him.
'Stoking up,' he said. 'Heavy session in prospect.'" (Upon a Dark Night p. 211).Peter Diamond's relationships with women are important in every book. His wife Steph is tragically murdered at the beginning of one book; he mourns for her throughout the rest of the books. Her cooking was a comfort against the many stresses of his job: "After viewing the corpse, Diamond went home briefly. Steph offered to cook his usual bacon and eggs, but he didn’t fancy anything except a black coffee. (Bloodhounds, Kindle Locations 4264-4265). After she dies, he often settles for "for his staple fare of baked beans on toast," or he's left with "microwaving a TV dinner" (Stagestruck, p. 147 & 144).
His boss Georgina in the later books is vain and not very talented as a police official, and he has to constantly trick her into thinking she had come up with his ideas and solutions. Avoiding the pain of having a meal with Georgina plays a big role in the final book, when she sets herself up as his partner in solving a crime wave.
His girlfriend Paloma, a successful businesswoman that he meets after his wife dies, often listens to his thoughts and helps him gain insight from what he's observed. At "an evening in with Paloma at her house on Lyncombe Hill," he enjoys "a supper of baked salmon and asparagus helped down with Prosecco. He didn’t mind discussing his work with Paloma." (The Stone Wife, p. 121).
Paloma's upscale tastes often contrast to what he orders, as do those of Georgina: "... their appetites weren’t affected. They tucked into the char-grilled rib-eye steak with black pudding butter, fries and salad (his) and vegetarian bake with salad leaves ([Paloma's])," or when he just can't avoid eating with Georgina again: "The food arrived, sausages and mash for Diamond, lemon sole for Georgina." (Down among the Dead Men, p. 54 & 83).
Lots of fun. I recommend that you read one or a few or all of these amusing books, though maybe 2 months is a rather short time period in which to do it! Yes, I insanely read all of them in the order in which they were published. (If you like historical fiction, I recommend the earlier ones, which have plot elements about Jane Austen and other famous historical figures that lived in Bath.) Yes, they take place at approximately the time they were written, with occasional references to previous cases. No, I can't remember all the plots even though I just read them all. Yes, the detective does age somewhat as the series moves forward, though after his 50th birthday he hasn't changed much. No, I didn't exactly mean to do this crazy thing. Amazon.com links to all of them: HERE.