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Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey #13)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  10,540 ratings  ·  420 reviews
Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, mystery writer Harriet Vane, start their honeymoon with murder. The former owner of Tallboys estate is dead in the cellar with a misspelled "notise" to the milkman, not a spot of blood on his smashed skull, and 600 in his pocket. ...more
Paperback, Harper Torch, 409 pages
Published February 2006 by HarperTorch (first published 1937)
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While reading this, the fifth Sayers mystery I've read so far, I was finally able to figure out just why I love her novels more than any other mystery writer I've encountered so far: I love Dorothy Sayers because she does everything wrong, but it all somehow manages to work.

There are some commonly accepted rules for novel-writing, and detective-novel-writing specifically, that authors have to follow in order for anyone to enjoy/buy their books. Dorothy Sayers looks at these rules, scoffs, and go
Having never read Busman's Honeymoon, I'd still somehow managed to pick up the vague idea that: 1) it featured a married Peter and Harriet, and, because of that fact, 2) it wasn't very interesting. Right on the first count, definitely wrong on the second.

It's true that this final Sayers-penned Wimsey mystery is more a meditation on the ups and downs, joys and negotiations of new marriage (Harriet and Peter manage to sneak off for a honeymoon only to discover a corpse in the house), but the myste
I can't imagine reading Busman's Honeymoon for the mystery. By this point, the mystery is decidedly secondary to the characters and their relationship -- the pace is slow, and domestic details abound. I think we might learn more about Peter and Bunter than we do in any other book from how they behave in this one -- but much as I love it, I can completely understand why people who don't have any attachment to the characters (whether through not reading the previous books or just not caring for th ...more
This novel is really much more of a love story than a mystery, as Dorothy L Sayers herself acknowledged. But for readers who followed the story of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane through the three previous novels which featured both characters, it is a most satisfying love story and a welcome culmination to the years of Peter's patient courtship and Harriet's determined resistance. Tbere's enough of a mystery to make it worthy of being called a mystery novel, but no more than that. Apart from the ...more
Brilliant, as ever. An intriguing murder intrudes upon Peter and Harriet's honeymoon. Dorothy Sayers knew how to plot a mystery and she made an excellent sleuth in Peter. A very enjoyable reread.
I've never read one of Sayers' books before. It's not at all what I expected, especially the ending.

From what I've read about these books, I expected "Pip pip", "Quite, old boy", and a main character who was a blithering idiot. What I got was a real person, not a caricature. Lord Peter Wimsey loves his new wife deeply, and actually THINKS about how he feels. His declaration to Harriet is one of the most tender offerings of devotion I've ever read. Harriet's no slouch, either.

In addition to gre
Where I got the book: my bookshelf.

Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey are married at last, and have purchased an old house in the country where they intend to honeymoon. They arrive to find that the previous owner hasn't put things in order as he promised, and find out (mercifully AFTER the wedding night) that there's a good reason...

This novel was based on a stage play that Sayers wrote with a friend (presumably to capitalize on the popularity of Gaudy Night, the previous Wimsey/Vane book.) Yo
Louise Keel
When I have had a really dirty day and want to do no more than curl up with a glass of wine and a whacking good who dunnit, then it has to be Dorothy L Sayers. Ah, Lord Peter Wimsy, you either love him or loathe him! I've always loved him, and I particularly like this book because it is not your average crime novel.

Oh sure, you have a pair of newly-weds, an old house in the country, a cast of eccentric characters from the bumbling vicar to the twittery spinster to the police inspector who likes
Caro Kinkead
Sep 22, 2012 Caro Kinkead rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves classic British Mysteries
Shelves: mystery
Oh, frabjous day! At long last, Dorothy L. Sayer's marvelous Lord Peter Wimsey novels have been released in in ebook form. I say this as someone who has at least one copy of all the novels and short story collections in her house (sometimes two because one copy has simply been read to death), but having the books easily and conveniently available wherever I go is a joy.

Sayers called the book "A love story with detective interruptions" and that it is. Lord Peter has finally won Harriet Vane, but
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Even though I'm giving this five stars, I do rather agree with those of you who didn't like it as well as you expected. It's just that the good parts are SO GOOD. The ending in particular means the book NEEDS five stars.

Overall, though, there was too much time spent on villagers and I didn't like them as well as I often like Sayers's side characters. I just wanted to get back to Peter and Harriet!

But ohhh, the bits we DID get of them were so great. (view spoiler)
Ivonne Rovira
Dorothy L. Sayers created a memorable sleuth in the patrician Lord Peter Wimsey, whom she envisioned as a cross between the debonair Fred Astaire and the wooly-headed Bertie Wooster. Like the latter, Lord Peter's frequently rescued by his man, Bunter; unlike either, Lord Peter conceals a perspicacious mind and an overly sentimental heart underneath his frivolous exterior. Nearly a century later, mystery lovers like myself still enjoy Sayers' mystery novels.

That said, Sayers, while enjoyable, doe
Highly disappointing.

The set up has Lord Peter Wimsey enjoying his honeymoon with Harriet Vane, but finding a body in their honeymoon home. The main problem is that is takes over a hundred pages of the book to find the body and before that is a kind of sub-Evelyn Waugh examination of upper class manners. (Although she can turn the odd good phrase, Sayers lacks Waugh's wit.)

The pace does not improve once the body is found and this book really is a less than compulsive read.

Sayers is regarded as o
I have no idea why I'm so infatuated with Lord Peter Wimsey. He's arrogant, prudish and often guilty of behaving in a terribly condescending manner to those he feels are beneath him in social status. He has no qualms about flaunting his money, his social status, his intelligence and his impeccable good taste in everything from expensive port to the proper attire for an afternoon in the country. I'm sure that in real life he would be insufferable, but in the world of fiction he's the one man I wo ...more
Brandy Painter
Busman's Honeymoon picks up the story of Peter and Harriet on the day of their wedding. There are several amusing, and sometimes sweet, letters and journal entries at the beginning that fill in the details of the time that has elapsed from the end of Gaudy Night to the big day. Peter and Harriet leave for their honeymoon at a house they have purchased near where Harriet lived as a child. The first day there one catastrophe after another occurs, culminating with the discovery of the former owner ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Mahala added it
Shelves: mystery
It's really true that you only pick things up when you're ready for them. I used to think reading choices explained something about the kind of person I am, but if there's something to be deduced from my reading patterns I'm not sure I want to know.

I've never thought of myself as a mystery fan in the same way I think of myself as an sf/fantasy fan. I have a mainstay 'comfort list' (Doyle, Christie, Poe) and of course there are my favourite mysteries muddled with other genres (Pratchett's Night
Jan 25, 2010 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-wimsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2012 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
I've enjoyed the few Lord Peter Wimsey stories I've read so far, so I'm not sure why this one was such a slow read for me. I think I was just distracted on my trip. The language was a bit difficult to slog through at times, and the dialogue was rather bombastic. The story was engaging, however, and the solution to the crime was brilliant. (view spoiler) ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really don't want to be on the last radioplay (though I suppose the Paton Walsh books might've been recorded too?). By this point in reading the books, I was in love with both Peter and Harriet and I never wanted to leave them. It's worse coming to the book a second time -- and with the fact that it's a full cast audiobook. (And I've been watching Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter in the mini-series, too.)

They managed to keep the balance between the mystery and the new marriage very well, in t
"Busman's Holiday: a vacation or form of recreation that involves doing the same thing that one does at work."
For once, I don't have a gut reaction for rating a book. It''s what every reader wants in a sequel to their favorite characters. Details. Not explicit ones, but the knowledge that they did indeed make it to the altar and survived afterwards.
It is kind of breathtaking, really. 12 books of falling in love with the characters and then 13. With a satisfying sort of casualne
This book has a bad reputation, I think mainly for the murder method, which is kind of dopey, and for some of the more overwritten love scenes (when they slip into French and quote even more densely, you know they're up to something). But really, is this murder that much worse than others that Sayers imagines? And though I can't stand untranslated French and dense erudition either (I yelled in triumph, "Ha! Shingles IS contagious!" when Sayers and Harriet got that wrong), it could be lots worse. ...more
Rereading Dorothy Sayers is like spending time with old, much loved friends, but while I'm glad that the series ends on an optimistic note, I find "Busman's Honeymoon to be mostly icing with very little cake and, unfortunately, not much mystery, either. The novel is an odd hybrid that is part Noel Coward-eque stage play, part epistolary novel and part high quality fan fiction. For me, the letters that make up the first portion are the most fun, and read most like something that belongs in the Wi ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
I think it would never happen today that large chunks of French and Latin text would not be translated for the reader. That's one of the things I love about these books, the assumption of a certain level of culture and education. It doesn't make the book less readable, but it adds to the feeling that there is a mystery embedded within the mystery. Perhaps someday I'll feel motivated to get out my dictionaries and grammar books and try to translate. Dorothy L Sayers must have had a mind like a sc ...more
I was plowing through the Iliad when this distracted me. But it's the last part of the Wimsey/Vane series, and those two might be my favoritest literary couple ever, so...I think it was worth it.

I really, really want to give this four stars, but for me, this was a three star book with some great four star moments. Peter and Harriet are ridiculously clever, and they're pleasantly romantic without being sappy or possessive.

The mystery and the plot came secondary for me, mostly because I skim like
Aug 05, 2011 Karen added it
While some find Sayers to be the ultimate mystery writer, I'm not among them. As a non-fan of most mysteries, I grabbed this book almost immediately after reading Gaudy Night, because I was intrigued by her character of Harriet Vane and was anxious to read more about her. This was Sayers' final Vane/Wimsey book, and through a beautifully written series of letters, describes their life after Gaudy Night's engagement, through the wedding, then takes up a regular narrative as they begin their honey ...more
Confession: I'm not into mystery.

I'm not just talking about handsome, brooding men with a secret past (although I'm not really into that, either. Except maybe the handsome part. Secret pasts and brooding, though: no, thank you). I'm talking about the literary genre.

To be fair, my lack of enthusiasm has more to do with my lack of exposure to the genre. I refused to read science fiction until a coworker forced me to read Ender's Game, which is now one of my favorite books of all time.

A friend t
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 1998.

This was the last full-length Peter Wimsey story written by Dorothy Sayers, and follows on more or less immediately from Gaudy Night. The first half of the book details the preparations for Lord Peter and Harriet to get married, and enables Sayers to bring in many characters who will be remembered by fans of the earlier books in the series, from the architect from Whose Body to the retired burglar from Strong Poison to the senior common room of S
In the words of Ms. Sayers: "It has been said, by myself and others, that a love-interest is only an intrusion upon a detective story. But to the characters involved, the detective-interest might well seem an irritating intrusion upon their love-story. This book deals with such a situation. It also provides some sort of answer to many kindly inquiries as to how Lord Peter and his Harriet solved their matrimonial problem. If there is but a ha'porth of detection to an intolerable deal of saccharin ...more
Bill Rogers
There is a problem with popular characters. All too often the authors run out of ideas for them. You can tell that they're going through the motions, perhaps because they, their readers, their editors or their agents can't bear the thought of abandoning these dear (and profitable) old friends.

In Gaudy Night Sayers had Harriet Vane, her somewhat-vaguely-author character, dreaming of abandoning mystery writing and of returning to serious historical scholarship. That is pretty much what Ms. Sayers
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Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herse
More about Dorothy L. Sayers...

Other Books in the Series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #4)
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
  • Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6)
  • Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7)
  • Have His Carcase  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #8)
  • Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries (Lord Peter Wimsey, #9)
  • Murder Must Advertise  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10)
Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6) Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3) Murder Must Advertise  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10) Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12)

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