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Quite a good book considering it is not Sayer's own work (I don't know how much she contributed, not like Thrones, Dominations). Mostly Harriet and some good vignettes on life on the home front (though a little whitewashed). Good mystery.
posted Feb 22, 2007 at 7:25AM
Author Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was one of the Queens of Crime during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction in the 1930s and 40s. Her detective of choice was dapper aristocrat Lord Peter Wimsey. The last Wimsey story was published in 1942, but Sayers left a few other tantalizing bits and pieces behind. One of these, “The Wimsey Papers,” is a series of fictional letters to and from members of the Wimsey family that Sayers penned in 1940. In 2003, mystery writer Jill Paton Walsh filled out the details and wrote A Presumption of Death. Lord Peter is offstage most of the novel on a hush-hush government mission, but he is never out of his brainy wife Harriet’s thoughts. And Harriet has a lot on her mind during this winter of 1939—an estate to manage, children to raise, and a war to get ready for. Even more worrisome, a young woman is found murdered in the street during an air raid drill. Since the local police are already overwhelmed by war-time preparations, Harriet is asked to fill in and solve the crime. But everyone knows that the usual rules no longer apply when bombs may soon be falling in their own backyards. Walsh writes with a mastery that equally conveys a compelling murder mystery, the gossipy life of a small village town, and the harsh realities that everyday people faced while the Blitz was hot on their heels. Though they are well worth reading, there’s no need to be familiar with Sayers’ previous novels to enjoy this mysterious, historical slice of British life.
posted Aug 3, 2010 at 3:38PM
A lot of complications in this one. How will Peter and Harriet figure it out? The book also uses some of Dorothy Sayers own WWII writing to augment this story in the time of the Blitz.
posted Jun 27, 2011 at 10:48AM
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Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey
Debonair; Harriet's husband.
Harriet Deborah Vane
Peter's wife; mystery writer.