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Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey #13)

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,793 Ratings  ·  474 Reviews
Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, mystery writer Harriet Vane, start their honeymoon with murder. The former owner of Talboys 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Madeline
May 20, 2011 Madeline rated it really liked it
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
sharon
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
Kim
Mar 13, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
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
Nikki
Sep 15, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, mystery, crime
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
Miki
Jun 05, 2015 Miki rated it liked it
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
...more
Jane
Jan 01, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 Hartgen
Nov 08, 2012 Louise Hartgen rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Bev
Jul 08, 2015 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
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)
...more
Trelawn
Jul 12, 2015 Trelawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collectable
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.
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
Ruby Rose Scarlett
I think I've given up on Sayers. Nothing will ever be as good as Gaudy Night. Busman's Honeymoon, to me, needed a lot of editing. There were a lot of passages I felt were all over the place with no sense of cohesion whatsoever. I did enjoy the honeymoon parts and the relationship between Harriet and Peter, as well as Sayers' courage in dealing with married life but it wasn't a great book. Her elitism (several pages include long untranslated passages in French or Latin) I could give or take, too.
F.R.
Jan 16, 2015 F.R. rated it did not like it
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
...more
Trisha
Mar 30, 2014 Trisha rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 15, 2010 Brandy Painter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mystery
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
Mahala
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
Dolly
Sep 01, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
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
Becky
Jul 05, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Feb 28, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, audio
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
Helen
Read this a long time ago but it was time to read it again. I recognized the clues as they appeared but didn't remember for sure who had done it. That's the odd thing about mysteries; you spend such a short time with the answer to the puzzle that it's the first bit of information you forget.
This story follows on from Gaudy Night and gets Peter and Harriet married finally. Harriet has told Peter about a house she had always admired when she was a girl and Peter has found that the place is availab
...more
Cirtnecce
Apr 19, 2016 Cirtnecce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Busman’s Honeymoon begins with the wedding of Lord Peter Wimsy to his long standing inamorata Miss Harriet Vane and departing for his honeymoon accompanied by his faithful valet Bunter to a farmhouse in Hertfordshire, a long cherished place of Harriets. However on arriving to the farmhouse, they find the scene quite chaotic, the owner, Noakes, from whom the farmhouse had been bought, is missing and no one, including his niece are even aware that the farmhouse had been sold. As the Wimsy’s try an ...more
Dave
Feb 18, 2014 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-reread
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
Teri-k
Jan 12, 2016 Teri-k rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite of the series. Sayers wasn't a one-trick writer, all of her books are different. This one, covering Lord Peter's wedding and the few days following, is a simple mystery with a limited cast. It focuses on Peter and Harriet and is a delight to read. I think it's a very satisfying end to the series. Just be sure to read Strong Poison, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night first so you can really enjoy it. :)
Amy
Mar 06, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detection-club
"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...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 BAM...book 13. With a satisfying sort of casualne
...more
Maria Elisabeth
Oct 24, 2014 Maria Elisabeth rated it it was amazing
I have succumbed. Rereading this AGAIN, definitely the third, probably the fourth time.

As good as the first times I've read it. Possibly better. The mystery is more fascinating than I remember and don't even get me started on the real story. Peter and Harriet may very well be my favourite couple of all time. Dorothy L. Sayers is certainly my favorite author. So there.
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The glorious conclusion to the Wimsey series. And oh, wow, can Dorothy Sayers write! The romance in this book goes to your h
...more
Telyn
Aug 07, 2010 Telyn rated it liked it
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
Valerie
If you find the epistolary beginning of this story somewhat offputting, don't worry: it's only about the first 30 pages.

But this doesn't mean the letters, diary entries, etc, can be safely skipped. I tried that the first time I read the book, and it doesn't work--several important plot points are introduced in that section.

Starting, of course, in the dedicatory letter in which Sayers thanks three of her close (female) friends for their input, editing, etc. In this letter, Sayers warns any reade
...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Feb 21, 2013 Annie Oosterwyk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Briana
Jul 18, 2010 Briana rated it liked it
Shelves: dorothy-sayers
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
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Dorothy Leigh Sayers 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 herself considered her translation of Dante's Divina Co
...more
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)

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“For God's sake, let's take the word 'possess' and put a brick round its neck and drown it ... We can't possess one another. We can only give and hazard all we have.” 67 likes
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