Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)
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Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey #13)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  9,135 ratings  ·  369 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.
Unknown Binding, Harper Torch, 403 pages
Published February 2006 by Harper Collins (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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...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
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...more
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
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...more
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
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...more
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
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
This is the last major work by Sayers that focuses on Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey together. It takes place immediately after the wedding, and involves the happy -- but as always, complicated and deliberate -- couple removing to a Tudor country house Harriet remembered from her youth, Talboys. When they get there, the redoubtable Bunter (and several bottles of carefully cradled port) in tow, the house has not been readied for their arrival, and has been left locked, with congealing food on...more
Bev Hankins
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I don't quite understand all the grumpiness about this book. Sayers clearly titled it: "Busman's Honeymoon: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions." Obviously, if you're looking for a hard-boiled, "true" mystery (whatever that is, if it exists), it's not here. Read the subtitle again. Digest it. Chew on it. Got it? Right-o.

The best thing about this book is the people Sayers populates her world with. Of course we've got Lord Peter and Harriet, and Bunter (my personal favorite), and the Dowager...more
Apr 26, 2008 booklady rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: mystery, 2008
Finished it 8 April 2008. Not the best mystery Dorothy L. Sayers (DLS) wrote but an excellent story; great comedy and continues development of the relationship between Lord Peter (LP) and Lady Harriet. Still have the short stories to read and the follow-on novels written by Jill Paton Walsh from the DLS notes. Purists would say they don't count as they weren't written by Sayers herself and there is something to be said for that, however, as they are generally accepted by most devoted fans I plan...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't quite love this one as much as I did Gaudy Night, but I do think it runs a close second for the title of my favourite among the Wimsey books. As in GN, the murder aspect to the story is quite intelligent and well thought out; the romantic/relationship part of the novel does overshadow it, though. In my opinion, I think quite rightly. The earlier books in the series are quite passable in an Agatha Christie-ish sort of way, but it's not until Peter meets Harriet that the books really begi...more
Why have I not read Dorothy Sayers before? Intrigue, romance, French quotes, dry English wit, and a stern butler - what more could one ask for? I wish I would have started at the beginning of the series (did get it from the library - hopefully can get to it before school starts again) as there were many references to previous episodes in the main characters' lives. The book begins with a series of hilarious letters to and from many of the characters, a sort of "in a previous episode". Sayers was...more
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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
More about Dorothy L. Sayers...
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 Mysteries, #10) Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #12)

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