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Thrones, Dominations (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312968302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312968304
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,174,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By A Customer on April 25 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In my mind, Dorothy Sayers is quite the best mystery writer ever. What sets her apart in my mind, is not just the intricate plot of a tightly woven detective stories - you can find plenty of that with Agatha Christie and Cornan Doyle also. The pleasure of reading Sayers comes from her sheer fortitude as a writer with unsurpassed erudition (I use this word as a complement in this case). Her penetrating analysis of the psychology of the main characters. Casually strawn references to Greek Mythologies, European history, and, of course, deliciously wonton quotations from classical writers and poets. This is what makes reading Sayers such a pleasure. (I follow most of her references, but am still searching the correct source of King Cophetua and Pandarus) I especially enjoyed Wimsey in the context of his pursuit of Vane in the four books Sayers herself wrote, with all of his (Sayers') finest display of the intellectual prowess. From this angle, Thrones and Dominations was a sad disappointment. But then again, I don't see how anyone without the turn of the century classical education and Sayers own intellect can duplicate the feat. Ms. Walsh's Wimsey and Vane have none of the sparkling intelligence or erudition. In fact, this "new" pair comes across only as a juvenile shadow of the original pair, almost vulgar at times.... Another minor irritation was Ms. Walsh's unrelenting effort to demonstrate to the readers that she did her "homework" by reading all of Sayers' works. There are quite a lot of tiresome verbatim quotes from previous Wimsey-Vane stories and references to the events that were described in previous stories. I would say Sayers herself would have never been so compulsively driven to prove the "continuity" of the authorship. I guess this in the same vein as in "Thou protestth too much!" As a detective story, the plot is good, and overall within the middle range of what Sayers herself would have accomplished.
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By A Customer on Aug. 12 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big fan of the Peter Wimsey books, but I guess I don't qualify as hard-core. I really loved this book. I thought Walsh did an excellent job of recreating the characters and fleshing out a novel from Sayers' notes. The mystery was not incredibly complex, but the pschology in it was interesting. The ending of this book left me feeling ludicrously happy. I like a happy ending emerging from a sordid tale of murder, personally.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Murder Must Advertise, Wimsey briefly portrays a charicature of himself as a cold, stiff, conceited, well-educated lord. It's an hilarious episode, since it's a ruse perpetrated by the true Lord Peter (dear Lord Peter!) - quick-witted, playful, noble in the ancient sense.

In Thrones, Dominations, however, not only Wimsey, but also Harriet, Parker, and Bunter are sad, pale imitations of themselves. There's even one scene in which Parker says something abysmal like, "I don't mind if Bunter takes photgraphs. I have seen Bunter's photographs before. They are of a good quality. He knows better than to mess up the evidence, too." Who ARE these people? It's true that Wimsey and Harriet still quote various texts at one another. In the grand style of an ill-begot sequel, however, the majority of the quoting is from Sayer's previous works - half the sentences seem to start with "Remember that time when we...?". There's a very obnoxious mix of constant reference to Sayers' novels, a desire to wrap up all the "loose ends" in them, and complete lack of any resemblence to them.
More upsetting, however, than the problems with style and characterization, is the heavy-handed way in which Walsh handles the moral and ethical dilemmas Sayers carefully developed over the whole of the LPW series. The worst error is perhaps made just in the "wrapping-up" tone that permeates the novel - as if Lord Peter and Harriet had reached their pinnacle, and would not grow any farther. One equally striking, however, is Walsh's incapacity to deal delicately and knowledgeably with the notion of nobility.
Thrones, Dominations may be a decent book. It's not an especially intricate or interesting mystery story - it has none of the technical descriptions and details that characterize Sayers' books. But it's certainly not a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read some, not all, of the singular Dorothy Sayers, and having marveled at the word craft of Jill Paton Walsh (The Emperor's Winding Sheet) I had a spasm of impulsive delight to buy Thrones, Dominations. These two writers are among a handful who use precise, uncommon English to make a good story better. Finding them "working together" was a tickle.
JPW took on quite a challenge knowing there would be scores of DS aficionados for whom even DS coming back as JPW's muse would be insufficient. Thanks to both writers and an especial brava to JPW who fearlessly breathed life into Peter and Harriet once more.
I loved the struggle of the newlyweds designing their own sort of loving relationship. Those reviewers who felt this was too modern might enjoy reading the works of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Margaret Fuller, and many others who wrote about male-female relations. Dorothy Sayers is likely to have been exposed to such philosophy since women's suffrage was a critical issue on both sides of the Atlantic. Harriet Vane, one may be certain, would have spent time considering human rights without being a novel character for her times.
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