"If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle."
Set in the early days of WW II, this book is an enjoyable, plaus"If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle."
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 they met in Strong Poison. They do banter, and throw erudite, quotation-laden barbs at each other, but the writing doesn’t quite capture the mordant wit and wry humor of the original. But never mind, as “a facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought”*, anyway. What bothers me more is that Lord Peter doesn’t show up until the story is almost halfway through (he was too busy spying for England behind enemy lines): Walsh’ domesticated Lady Peter (nee Vane) is just not a terribly interesting character in her own right. Where is the woman who, during her busman’s honeymoon, contemplated the word “husband” and came up with “…a repressive word, that, when you came to think of it, compounded of a grumble and a thump”?
And Bunter with a wife and kid? Sacrilege! Bunter is the quintessential gentleman’s gentleman and should be solely devoted to Lord Peter for eternity.
On the plus side, Walsh’s WW II-in-a-small-English-village setting is perfectly believable, the mystery is coherent (and neatly solved) --- and the book incorporated several letters written in character by Sayers (anything from Honoria Lucasta, Dowager Duchess of Denver is always a fun epistolary treat). So if you badly need your Sayers fix and have gone through all the originals, it is not a bad idea to while away a few enjoyable hours with this book.