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A Presumption of Death: The new Lord Peter Wimsey Novel

A Presumption of Death: The new Lord Peter Wimsey Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dorothy L. Sayers , Jill Paton Walsh
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 8.99
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Product Description


A superb job of seamless collaboration. Thrones, Dominations is pure pleasure. (Wall Street Journal ON Thrones, Dominations)

Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition (Norma Major - The Week on Thrones, Dominations)

An engrossing, intelligent and provocative novel in the guise of a conventional mystery. (Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review)

What we have here is a true detective story unambiguously set in the Thirties and written so much in the style of Sayers that the narrative is virtually seamless. We meet familiar friends and old enemies: the dowager duchess, loquacious as usual; the duchess of Denver with her egregious snobbery and disapproval of her new sister-in-law . . . I didn't myself believe that the job could satisfactorily be done, but she has proved me wrong. (P. D. James, Observer)

Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition

Could this be the best book Dorothy L. Sayers never wrote? She has done a splendid job - certain to please the legions of Sayers loyalists as well as readers new to the Wimsey canon . . . Lord Peter has been made much more human and interesting by marriage. . . and the story is full of twists and connivance. (Chicago Tribune on THRONES, DOMINATIONS)

Miraculously right: catching precisely the tone of the relationship . . . It comes out splendidly, . . . a thrilling denouement. (Libby Purves, The Times)

A must for all Wimsey entertaining read which offers some longed for insight into the lives of the Wimseys after their marriage (Northern Echo (Presumption of Death))

Jill Paton Walsh does a fine job of taking the first third of a difficult novel of mores and manners and turning it into a readable mystery. She also answers an unasked question about Lord Peter and Harriet: Yes, dear readers, they have a lot of sex and they like it. (Globe and Mail, Toronto)

An admirable page-turner with some fascinating detail (Publishing News)

Vintage whimsey ... Wimsey lives on in delicious familiarity in this triupmh not just of one writer's art, but of two (Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Presumption of Death))

Mystery Woman

'Satisfying and impeccably researched'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable mystery to delight Wimsey fans! 25 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This book is a must for all Wimsey-lovers as we are reunited with Peter and Harriet in the first two years of the Second World War. Peter makes his appearance late in the novel but Harriet is as engaging as ever taking centre stage. Her longng for her husband keeps Lord Peter firmy in the reader's consciousness. He may not appear quite enough for everyone's taste, but his reappearance at all more than makes up for it.
The mystery itself is not particularly thrilling; most of your suspicions or hunches will prove to be right. The book compensates for this with a delightful development of the relationship between Peter and Harriet and with a real sense of period. The fear of the early was years is vividly brought home and the uncertainty felt will strike a chord with society after September 11. This is not enough to make it a great read for those unfamiliar wth Wimsey - the Wimsey uninitiated would be well advised to start elsewhere - but Jill Paton Walsh has tied the book carefully with the Wimsey Papers published in The Spectator in 1939-1940 and sets the stage more clearly for the short story Talboys (in "Striding Folly"). As with Dorothy L Sayers books, the characterisation is endearing.
Jill Paton Walsh may not have produced another work like "Thrones, Dominations", (her completion of Dorothy L Sayers unfinished Wimsey novel) but it is nevertheless an entertaining read which offers some longed for insight into the lives of the Wimseys after their marriage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable 31 Jan 2011
By Gail
On the basis of reviews here I decided not to buy the book; partly because it was more about Harriet than Peter, and partly because of the criticism of Jill Paton Walsh's style, but I've now read a friend's copy and I'm glad I did. Perhaps because I wasn't expecting too much, it was a pleasant surprise. That it wasn't written by DLS didn't jump out at me too often though there were a few places where it jarred. I thought the plot wasn't gone into deeply enough - just suddenly they seemed to know what happened, and the fact that this was so and I still enjoyed reading about the characters I already knew must say something good about Jill Paton Walsh's writing. I don't think the plot is good enough to be satisfying to someone not familiar with the characters, and I'm not sure if they are drawn strongly enough - particular Peter, to attract a new reader to then go to the earlier novels. I would give it no more than 3 stars as an independent novel but 4 for giving us something else to read about Peter and Co.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Dorothy L Sayers 4 April 2005
By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE
There is an excerpt of this book on Amazon. You might read it and think "Good heavens, this catches the tone of Sayers perfectly!". Well, of course it does. That's because the excerpt is lifted directly from Sayers' short story "The man who knew how" with just names and a few details changed and then inserted into this new book. The rest of the book doesn't live up to the writing of Sayers by a long chalk and this sort of underhand marketing ploy to make the reader think they're getting something they're not really ticks me off, especially when it is my money that they're taking.
Sayers had a delightful gift for characterisation and dialogue which few authors can manage. Jill Paton Walsh deserves credit for trying, but ultimately the fact that the publishers knew they had to run original Sayers dialogue to promote the book tells the potential buyer all they need to know.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to wallow in. 1 Nov 2009
I have re read this book several times now and also listened to the narration of it - beautifully done by Edward Petherbridge - and it is without doubt one of my favorite books to relax with. The book is based in 1939 shortly after the outbreak of WW2 and Harriet has taken her children and her in-laws children to live at Tallboys, their country farmhouse. Jill Paton Walsh writes with a very easy style and has the ability to transport you to the era in which it was written through her characters, descriptions of the wartime lifestyles and the relationships that develop. The book is mainly about Harriet Vane, now Lady Peter Wimsey, and how she has settled into the role as Peters wife to the point where she is very comfortable and a lot more confident than she was as a single lady. Harriet is asked to help investigate the murder of a young woman while Peter is abroad working for the government in a covert operation. He appears about 2/3 of the way through book to help solve the murder. I would highly recommend this book to any DLS reader as a very good interpretation of the characters that she invented before she moved onto other things.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems like a Sayer's collaboration 7 Oct 2007
This book takes place mainly in a small village in the countryside of England. The time, Wartime England, covering the end of 1939 through early 1940. While the village has its first air-raid practice, a crime is committed. They return to the streets to find a young lady murdered.

Lord Peter Wimbsy is off on a Secret Mission for his country. Leaving the short-handed police to turn to his wife for assistance, Writer and amateur detective Lady Peter Wimsey, known before her marriage as Harriet Vane.

We follow Harriet as she tries to solve this mystery. The story is well woven and just when we figure out who did it, we are thrown a curious twist. The cast of characters in the village makes for a fun read. We are also given a good look at life in England during the early part of World War II.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on!
Brilliant recreation of the original characters. The kind of complex character driven plots Sayers always gave us. True to the orignal. Highly recommended.
Published 4 days ago by Helen Mary Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey Live On
Believable Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey, the plot ran true to form, enjoyable read, not comparable to the heaviest of Dorothy L Sayers and not the lightest.
Published 1 month ago by Pamela
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I expected
The story was well written, but the characters didn't ring true to the original Dorothy Sayers creations. Harriet was more Mrs Miniver than Lady Peter.
Published 1 month ago by Ms Margaret Hanrahan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Presumption of Death
Having thought that there would be no more Lord Peter Wimsey books this one has come as a very pleasant surprise and I hope there may be at least one more sometime.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. J. M. Gibb
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Good easy reading especially on my HUDL and very quick and easy to purchase, will definitely buy ebooks again from Amazon
Published 2 months ago by SANDRA C PHILLIPS
5.0 out of 5 stars Lors Peter Wimsey excels again
It is a splendid book, interesting and well written. I lived through the second world war and references to it are true and valid. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barb Mackenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Wartime Wimsey
Very enjoyable, Harriet's character is done well. Quite a slight story but worth the read. Nice to revisit characters from Busman's Honeymoon.
Published 2 months ago by Ms Rosemary C Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better, perhaps?
I don't much like the current trend to contribute to series of books others started, but I'd have to make an exception in this case. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Playwood Providence
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good whodunnit
I picked up an inexpensive copy of this after hearing an interview with Jill Paton Walsh about her latest Peter Wimsey book. It is a thoroughly enjoyable whodunit. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phillyfan
5.0 out of 5 stars continuing the saga
Well written in the spirit and style of the original books. I was sceptical that it could succeed convincingly but delighted to be proved wrong.
Published 3 months ago by Hariseldon
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