The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey
In the first entry to the series and winner of the 1992 Anthony Boucher Award for Best Mystery Novel, Diamond must locate two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen to solve the murder of the “Lady in the Lake.”
A woman’s body has been found floating in the weeds in a lake near Bath. There are no marks on her and no murder weapon. No one will identify her. It looks like Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond has his work cut out for him. Diamond is one of the last detectives of his kind, a gumshoe whose heroes solved crimes by question and answer, door stepping and deduction. To unravel this one, Diamond must locate two missing letters attributed to Jane Austen and defy his superiors in order to save a woman unjustly accused of murder.