This is the unfinished crime novel started by Dorothy L. Sayers but still uncompleted at her death. Set in London in 1936, it is the thrilling story of a society murder and how Lord Peter Wimsey unmasks the killer.
©2009 Dorothy L. Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Ian Carmichael reads this brilliantly. Started by Sayers and finished by Paton Walsh, you can sometimes hear an occasional jar where the writing style differs from the usual Wimsey, but all in all this fits in very well with the other Wimsey stories.
"Two authors, one book"
For the many lovers of Dorothy L. Sayers' novels about Lord Peter Wimsey, this story brings together the writing talents of Jill Paton Walsh and Sayers to complete an unfinished book. Is it possible for a modern author to take up a story begun in 1936 and continue it seamlessly? The answer is a mixed 'yes' as afficiandos of Sayers will feel that there comes a point when a more modern hand takes over but nonetheless this is a most satisfying read. Ian Carmichael finishes his canon of work reading the Wimsey novels and brings to life Harriet Vane and a wonderful Duchess of Denver. The marriage of Lord Peter and Harriet is more fully explored and the plot itself has sufficient twists and turns to keep the listener fully absorbed. Indeed it is Harriet who finally comes to turn with her own imprisonment and trial that brings her to peace in her own marriage.
"Emulates Dorothy L Sayers pretty well"
The book starts sluggishly and I wondered when the action would get going, but once the author had got all her characters in place the story took off. As befits classic crime fiction the murder is elaborately constructed. I'd listened to the The Attenbury Emeralds before Thrones, Dominations , which is the wrong way round chronologically as the latter is set in abut 20 years earlier in Lord Peter and Harriet's marriage. I think that the author improved her emulation of Dorothy L Sayers' style in the later book, though in Thrones she does a good job of mimicking DLS's endless insertions of quotes, which I've always found irritating. By modern standards the social divide described, between the servant and upper classes, appears odious, but realistic.
For me Edward Petherbridge is the embodiment of Lord Peter and I prefer him reading the Wimsey novels, bu thought Ian Carmichael did a good job (for me he's Bertie Wooster!)
"Give this book a read"
This book is excellent as you wouldn't know from the style it wasn't written by Dorothy Sayers. The only giveaway for me is you seem to get more information about the main characters feelings than from the original stories. Although I don't actually think that is a bad thing as it gives the stories another dimension it may not be to everyone's taste in detective fiction.
"Well done Jill Paton Walsh!"
JPW almost seamlessly meshes her story into the existing unfinished sections left by Dorothy L Sayers. The end result is very satisfying and somehow comforting. It would be nice if JPW could write a completely original Wimsey story.
"An interesting "new" Lord Peter mystery"
A book based on notes left by DL Sayers, but never completed by her.
An excellent novel that captures the essence of the original DL Sayers novels, while bringing them upto the start of World War II (more or less).
I found it a little meandering at first... it takes a while to get down to the main murder, but for all that it sets the scene "post-marriage" very well... and ends with another marriage!
Excellent narration, with good attempts at various voices by Ian Carmichael... First Class, What!
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