The Diamond Brothers

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The Diamond Brothers is a series of humorous children's detective books by Anthony Horowitz, the first of which was published in 1986. The books tell the adventures of the world's worst private detective, Tim Diamond, and his younger brother, Nick Diamond, who is considerably more intelligent. These books are aimed at young teenagers, slightly younger than those aimed at with the more recent Alex Rider series. However, both series star a teenage boy and include guns, fights and world-wide criminals. The most notable difference is that The Diamond Brothers series contains much more humour, with many puns, pop culture references and absurd situations. Although the books started in the late 1980s and have continued into the millennium, Nick and Tim remain roughly the same age (14 and 28 respectively), while London changes with the times (the newer books feature Oyster Cards and computers for example, whereas the older books feature parts of London that have long since changed, such as smoking in offices). The entire series was re-issued in 2007 with new covers.[1]

When released in the North American market, although the stories remained the same, the currency was changed: Therefore, although Nick and Tim live in London, in the American edition they pay for everything in dollars.


The series consists of the following books:

  • The Falcon's Malteser (1986): A mystery that starts with Tim being hired to protect a box of Maltesers.
  • Public Enemy Number Two (1987): A dangerous criminal needs to be caught, so Nick Diamond is once again thrust into danger, and must go undercover as a criminal to catch the crook.
  • South by South East (1991) Nick and Tim Diamond are once again forced into a mystery, this time going to Amsterdam to discover the identity of the mysterious assassin Charon. The brothers have many hair-raising adventures, including one in which they are chased by a small plane in a scene reminiscent of Hitchcock's classic film North by Northwest.
  • Three of Diamonds (2004): Three stories previously published separately.
    • The Blurred Man: A man who may not have actually been real, but just the made-up story of a made-up organisation, which was never really there.
    • The French Confection: The two detective brothers are attacked, arrested, kidnapped, imprisoned, drugged, half-killed and all this on a normal trip to Paris.
    • I Know What You Did Last Wednesday: Seven friends along with the Diamond brothers are invited to a remote island for a school reunion. But then the host is found dead, and other people start dying in bizarre ways with no way off the island. A parody of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
  • The Greek Who Stole Christmas: When Minerva, a famous Greek pop singer and movie star, is sent anonymous death threat notes, her husband is so worried he hires Tim to protect her.
  • The Double Eagle Has Landed (2011): An short story in which Tim is hired to protect a valuable gold coin, published in Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka.[2]

Early editions of the Alex Rider novel Scorpia (2004), and of Three of Diamonds claimed that Horowitz was planning an Australian adventure for the Diamond Brothers, entitled The Radius of the Lost Shark. This title was also mentioned in the introduction to Three of Diamonds and at the end of Ark Angel. It was again mentioned in The Greek Who Stole Christmas, when Nick and Tim get enough money to go to Australia to visit their parents. Anthony Horowitz was asked in 2012 on Twitter by a fan when this book would come out, to which Horowitz replied that he had not started on the book yet, so certainly not for another 3 years.[3] In 2015, Horowitz stated in a newspaper interview that there would be at least another 6 books written by him before continuing the Diamond Brothers series.[4]

Film and TV adaptations[edit]

There was a film made in 1989 called Just Ask for Diamond, which was an adaptation of The Falcon's Malteser.[5] In the North American market the film was released under the name Diamond's Edge.

The Diamond Brothers, a six-episode television series based on the book South by Southeast, was broadcast on ITV in 1991.[6] However, it has never been released on DVD, unlike Just Ask for Diamond.

Both the series and the film starred Dursley McLinden as Tim and Colin Dale as Nick.