The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. His second appearance is a thrilling quest to save his own brother - the Duke of Denver - from the hangman.
The Duke of Denver, accused of murder, stands trial for his life in the House of Lords. Naturally, his brother Lord Peter Wimsey is investigating the crime - this is a family affair. The murder took place at the duke's shooting lodge and Lord Peter's sister was engaged to marry the dead man.
But why does the duke refuse to co-operate with the investigation? Can he really be guilty, or is he covering up for someone?
©1926 The Trustees of Anthony Fleming (deceased) (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
"She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit." (P. D. James)
"D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers." (E. C. Bentley, Daily Telegraph)
"I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail" (Ruth Rendell)
Sadly, this fantastic story is rather hampered by the narrator who over-acts the reading and whose accents are cringeworthy and inconsistent. This plot calls for many regional voices, from Yorkshire to Cockney with quite a bit of French thrown in. I didn't find any of them convincing. If the series was narrated by Ian Carmichael or even Gordon Griffin who have narrated other Lord Wimsey stories available on Audible I would buy the lot but I'm afraid I'm put off!
The twisting plot is interesting and you learn more of the history of the main character.
Like other reviewers, I really felt that the narrator was not the best choice for this book. The range of characters are not well demonstrated by the required dialects, or indeed changes in voice.
Maybe because this was written in a different era, but I found the story a bit boring in places, although the overall outcome was interesting.
I'm a great fan of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, so was looking forward to this. But oh dear. This narrator is okay with the narrative, but her reading of dialogue is just so weird it's thoroughly distracting. Inspector Parker's voice was odd it itself, but Wimsey's voice was even worse - affected and high-pitched, bordering on shrill and squeaky. Since there is a lot of dialogue, it's difficult to ignore. Until I started listening to this book, I was looking forward to ordering other stories in the series, but I definitely won't be now. Incidentally, it was only recently that I bought Busman's Honeymoon from Audible, read by Ian Carmichael. It's excellent - but now no longer being listed! Why on earth not? Carmichael's voice is well-modulated and pleasant, and he gives such an intelligent reading that I'd happily buy any of the unabridged novels if read by him.
I like this story for its background more than its plot - it is not as satisfying a mystery as some of the others, and has quite a few coincidental red herring - but it brings Peter somewhat closer to his family and sets up future plot lines nicely. As mentioned by other reviewers, the narration is rather irritating, I agree entirely with their comments so won't repeat them. However I'd say that I got used to the style after a while so it became less grating. Though the downright errors still did annoy (eg mispronunciations which would take just a little research to have got right, and saying "first" instead of "fist", and "word" instead of "Lord"). Saying all that, I would probably have overlooked these if it weren't for the price tag of over £20.
This is a well produced and delivered piece of a classic Peter Wimsey. Always charming. Old style values and setting. Not too taxing. A pleasurable listen.
...I won't be buying any more of these: the reader is just awful. Dull, can't do acents but tries, reads these stories like they're P G Wodehouse when they are actually quite serious, dark and forensic in nature. She has a lovely voice but is completely wrong for Ms Sayers work. A great shame.
Have now listened to two titles with this narrator, my opinion has not changed. In this instance I will stick to the printed version in the hope that a less irritating narration will be forthcoming in the future.
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