Bath is a town layered with history, from Roman times. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is a policeman whose manner is not appreciated by his superiors, though he does solve crimes. When a skeletal hand turns up in the vault of the Pump Room, followed by the excavation of a skull, Diamond is called upon to solve a series of crimes including murder and forgery that require a knowledge of history, nineteenthcentury art and literature . . . and contemporary human nature.
Some weird objects are handed in at Bath Police Station.
WPC Enid Kelly, on des duty this afternoon, sneaked a look at the Asian man who had brought in a pizza box. She was sure of one thing: it didn't contain pizza. She just hoped it wasn't a snake. She had a dread of snakes.
"How can I help you, sir?"
the man had the black tie and white shirt of a security guard. He lifted the box up to the protective glass partition. No airholes. Officers on duty learn to watch out for any container with holes punched in the top. But there was a bulge. Something bulkier than a pizza had been stuffed inside. Bulkier than two pizzas. "This I am finding at Roman Baths."
"What is it?"
The man glanced at the other people in the waiting area as if they might not wish to hear. Leaning closer to the glass, he said, "Can I pass through?"
"Just a moment."
Enid Kelly turned for support to the sergeant filling in a form at the desk behind her. He came to the glass.
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