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In her second Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane whodunit, Booker Prize finalist Walsh (Knowledge of Angels) does a far better job of honoring Sayers than she did in their first posthumous collaboration, Thrones, Dominations (1998). Walsh's starting point here is "The Wimsey Papers," a series of letters on home front conditions, ostensibly written by various members of the Wimsey family, which ran in the Spectator at the outset of WWII. Lord Peter himself is offstage for most of the novel, involved in some covert mission in Europe, leaving his wife to take care of their household. When a young Land Girl is found murdered during an air raid, the local superintendent enlists Harriet's aid. Harriet's traditional line of inquiry into possible spurned suitors is diverted when an eccentric and seemingly paranoid dentist discloses that the quiet, ordinary village of Paggleham is actually a nest of German spies. Despite Peter's diminished role, he remains a vital presence throughout, thanks to his place at the center of Harriet's thoughts. Should Walsh have no further original Sayers material to draw on, she seems perfectly suited to continue the series entirely on her own.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
One specific criticism: Walsh seems to have mixed up the Wimsey children Roger and Paul: in Sayers' story Talboys, set after this book, Bredon is six, Roger is four, and Paul is... Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2004 by Kristiana W
I'm a big fan of Sayers and have sometimes found "continuations" by other authors to be a disappointment. Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2003 by CrisInTexas
I have to admit that I was hoping Walsh would get better at doing Sayers, & instead she seems to have strayed further from her writing than in the previous attempt (which I... Read morePublished on Aug. 8 2003 by Bob Purvis
This novel was not as rich in the Sayeresque detail as other Sayers/Wimsey books. Thrones Dominations had more of the detail that makes Lord Peter such a joy. Read morePublished on June 22 2003
I have been reading and re-reading the entire Sayers/Wimsey body of work for more than 35 years. Jill Walsh has done all the Wimsey fans a great service in continuing the Wimsey... Read morePublished on June 20 2003 by "snoozq"
I wish that Dorothy Sayers had written more Wimsey novels. However, I think it is a really bad idea for any writer to try and fill another writer's boots. Read morePublished on June 2 2003
Jill Paton Walsh does a superior job of creating an intriguing mystery while maintaining the charm and appeal of the Wimseys, et al. Read morePublished on May 19 2003