THE FALSE INSPECTOR DEW by Peter Lovesey is a standalone novel by the author best known for his crime series featuring a Victorian policeman Sgt. Cribb and another featuring Bath CID policeman Peter Diamond. This novel is set in the year 1921, and based on the Cunard liner Mauretania, taking up the case of Dr. Crippen and his crime as a backdrop. Dr. Walter Baranov, a London dentist falls in love with a patient of his. Suffering under his dominating wife, the doctor along with his love struck patient plans to murder his wife, and escape to America aboard the Mauretania, taking up the pseudonym of Walter Dew. When a passenger is killed on board the false Inspector Dew is called upon to solve the mystery.
I can safely say, I did not enjoy the book as much as I would have liked to enjoy it. Yes there were funny moments in the book, and there was a nice little twist in the end, but somehow this book came out for me as a half hearted attempt from a writer capable of writing much funnier and twisted crime novel.
Though not at all a dull one to go through, but the book being shortlisted for the Dagger of Dagger by the CWA is a bit over the top. But, then again a lot of duller books have been awarded the best crime fiction title of the year by the CWA, and compared to those this one was a much better read.