A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane #2)
Sixty years after Dorothy L. Sayers began her unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Thrones Dominations, Booker Prize finalist Jill Paton Walsh took on the challenge of completing the manuscript---with extraordinary success. "The transition is seamless," said the San Francisco Chronicle; "you cannot tell where Sayers leaves off and Walsh begins."
"Will Paton Walsh do it again...more
Set in the early days of WW II, this book is an enjoyable, plausible continuation of the Wimsey-Vane marriage post Busman’s Honeymoon, Sayers’ last complete Lord Peter mystery. Walsh created reasonably faithful versions of both the central characters, but somehow was not entirely successful in recreating the spark between them, which for me has always been one of the most delightful aspects of the series since...more
All in all, this is probably the weakest of the Paton Walsh Wimsey books. Paton Walsh does a reasonable facsimile of Sayers' high-life dialogue, but falls down when it comes to rendering the speech of ordinary people--and this novel puts the Wimseys among the villagers of Paggleham, where Harriet and the children are escaping from the London Blitz while Peter--who, by this time, must be getting a bit geriatric for intelligence work--goes off to Destinations Unk...more
The story is set in the early days of the war, Harriet and the children are living in Talboys, Peter is away at the start on intelligence work. One night as the village practices the procedures for an air raid, a Land Girl is murdered. Harriet is asked by the police to help with the investigation.
Walsh, Jill Payton and Dorothy L. Sayers – Last in series (EMBRG Selection)
New English Library Ltd, 2003, US Paperback – ISBN: 978-0340820674
It’s WWII and Lord Peter is away on a mission. Harriet has moved the household to the country for safety. Emerging from shelter after an air-raid, the body of a land-girl is found in the street. It wasn’t bombs that killer her, but a quick lethal physical killing. The local police superintenden...more
A Presumption of Death is a very fast, satisfying read. I do enjoy Harriet Vane, and Walsh does an almost-seamless job picking up where Sayers left off. The part of the book I thought felt least Sayers-like, the letters (I thought they came off too forced) turns out to be the only part entirely written by Sayers, so that goes to show how much I...more
The setting is 1940, and the war is heating up for Britain, with the Battle of Britain and Hitler's attempted invasion looming just ahead with intensity that is very well depicted without being heavy-handed. I could feel the threat of the times these...more
A really well-developed plot, with great insights into the lives of the different classes of people living through the war in Britain. Well-strewn with red herrings, the ending was a complete surprise.
My only question was whether or not the morse code was deciphered - what messages had been sent?
Definitely worth reading this one!
In 1939/1940 Sayers wrote a series of (what today would be op-ed) pieces for one of the major London papers. They were more “buck-up” pieces using her ‘W...more
The characters aren't Sayers. They're random people with Sayers' character names. The plot is pretty thin, and all the wartime "historical" stuff didn't really add anything.
Pretty disappointing overall. I would not recommend this to a Sayers fan looking for more of the same.
Note that this book isn't really written by Dorothy Sayers. A handful of the pages were written by her, but the vast majority of the book was written...more
There's a subtle difference between this story and Thrones, Dominations . And it could well be just my imagination not believing that Walsh could do as well as Sayers. It is a cleverly written story. Walsh has used a series of letters Sayers wrote for the Spectator as the bones for this story. And I'm most grateful.
I did thoroughly...more
The popularity of TV shows set in 1940s and post-war England (Downton Abbey, Bomb Girls, Land Girls, Wartime Farm, Call the Midwife, etc.) show our convenience-addicted society the roots of our modern, gender-equal world. Looking back on an economy of scarcity, on changes in women's roles, on lives lost and famili...more
By Jill Paton Walsh & Dorothy L. Sayers
This is one of those distressing books written by not the author, but by a presumptuous (forgive the pun) upstart trying to ride the original author’s coattails, the original author being long since dead. Or so I thought, indignantly, until I read it. The book is actually based on The Wimsey Papers, a loose epistolary collection by Lord Peter and various family members written during World War II. (These are all fictional character...more
Jill Paton Walsh has won the Book World Festival Award, 1970, for Fireweed; the Whitbread Prize, 1974 (for a Children's novel) for The Emperor's Winding Sheet; The...more