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Thrones, Dominations [Paperback]

Dorothy L Sayers , Jill Paton Walsh
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £7.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

17 Sep 1998

It is 1936 and Lord Peter Wimsey has returned from his honeymoon to set up home with his cherished new wife, the novelist Harriet Vane. As they become part of fashionable London society they encounter the glamorous socialite Rosamund Harwell and her wealthy impressario husband Laurence. Unlike the Wimseys, they are not in love - and all too soon, one of them is dead. A murder case that only Lord Peter Wimsey can solve.

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Thrones, Dominations + A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey) + The Attenbury Emeralds
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (17 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340684569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340684566
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Asked by her new husband, the gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey, why she is having trouble writing her latest mystery novel, Harriet Vane explains, "When I needed the money, it justified itself. It was a job of work, and I did it as well as I could, and that was that. But now, you see, it has no necessity except itself. And, of course, it's hard; it's always been hard, and it's getting harder. So when I'm stuck I think, this isn't my livelihood, and it isn't great art, it's only detective stories. You read them and write them for fun." Is this a clue to the mystery of why Dorothy L. Sayers put aside her 13th full-length Lord Peter novel in 1938 and never finished it? She had made lots of money, and was much more interested in translating Dante and writing about religion. Or is it another excellent novelist, Jill Paton Walsh, speculating--in a perfect imitation of Sayers's voice--on what might have happened? Walsh was invited by the estate of Sayers' illegitimate son, Anthony Fleming, to finish Thrones, Dominations. She has done a splendid job, certain to please Sayers loyalists on the "dorothyl" listserv as well as those new to the Wimsey canon. Lord Peter has been made much more human and interesting by marriage; Harriet is a wise and acerbic companion; and the story, about the murders of two beautiful young women involved with a theatrical producer, is full of twists and connivance. There's also a fascinating subplot involving the soon-to-abdicate King Edward VII and a country on the brink of the second world war. Earlier Wimseys in paperback include The Five Red Herrings, Gaudy Night, Murder Must Advertise, and Unnatural Death. Books in print by Walsh include a mystery called A Piece of Justice and a novel, The Serpentine Cave. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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)

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)

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))

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))

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

Jill Paton Walsh excels as Ms Sayers' posthumous voice. As before the two authors blend seamlessly and the intricately woven plot would grace anything from the golden age of detective writing (Norfolk Journal (Presumption of Death))

Undeniably fascinating reading for lovers of good crime novels - nad, in particular, those who loved the Lord Peter Wimsey series. (Liverpool Echo)

A must for all Wimsey lovers, this beautifully written novel is a murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie. (Lancashire Evening Post)

A truly engaging read (Lancashire Evening Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This, the final Peter Wimsey book, began as a few pages and some schematic notes left by Dorothy L Sayers, and was completed by Jill Paton Walsh in the 1990s. Walsh does an excellent job: "Thrones, Dominations", while not quite as good as "Busman's Honeymoon" or "The Nine Tailors", is easily up there with, say, "Have His Carcase". The join between the two authors is almost invisible. The development of the Wimsey/Vane marriage is convincingly described; the characterizations of both major and minor players are excellent; and Jill Paton Walsh comes up with an original and plausible explanation as to why the faithful Bunter was so much less in evidence in the short stories set after the marriage, despite obviously still working for Peter.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A credit to the memory of Dorothy L. Sayers 27 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Jill Paton Walsh is surely a credit to the memory of Dorothy L. Sayers and a true friend to Peter and Harriet Wimsey's fans the world over. Thrones, Dominations is entirely convincing and hugely enjoyable. Perhaps the first chapter does not quite hit the Sayers note but the book then reads in a manner which honours one of Britain's favourite Queens of Crime, especially after the introduction of the criminal element.
I found Harriet Vane on the whole slightly better drawn than Peter Wimsey. Her growing confidence in her new persona as 'her Ladyship', her ever present sense of fun and essential decency are all very credible. They also represent a convincing progression from the troubled soul of Strong Poison and Have His Carcase and then her more mellow moods in Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. Peter Wimsey is at once too stuffy (in his reaction at Bunter's momentous decision and his disapproval of the new King for instance) and too socially in advance of his times for plausability. But Wimsey did evolve under Sayer's pen, from a rather superifical dilettante to a more thoughtful and complex character. And who can blame Paton Walsh for having a little fun with one of his ex-mistresses or a less than respectful jobbing actor ? As to the plot, this is worked through most competently and entertainingly, with suitably dramatic and sinister moments which involve exploring a tributary of the Thames and an unfortunate dog.
It is only to be hoped that the little précis of events in the Wimsey households during the war years, at the end of the book, is not an indication that Paton Walsh does not intend to write them up as further novels. The short paragraphs are a tantalising tasters of what could make several novels between The Haunted Policeman and Talboys, where the Wimseys appeared for the last time under Sayers's pen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good 1 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very reluctant to read a Peter Wimsey book not written by Sayers herself. However, I wanted some closure on how the Wimseys marriage went on and, comforted by the fact that at least Sayers had planned the book, I decided to order it. I have not regreted it, as it is a very interesting book. It is obvious both that she thought of the plot and that she did not write the actual book, but I don't think she would have been ashamed to have written; in fact, although not as good as her later novels, it is on the same level as her earlier works.

I must say, though, that it has not inspired me to buy the next book, which I understand in written exclusively by Walsh. This novel in my view completes the story of Peter Wimsey and anything more would be too much of a good thing. Also, I am not sure Ms.Walsh could continue writing about these characters without altering them in essentials or making them sound too modern. Besides, Peter Wimsey is a creature of the thirties; I cannot imagine him in wartime ot post-war Britain, or (God forbid!) in the sixties!
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord Peter Lives! 14 Mar 2004
Initially I wasn't too sure of this book; I get a slightly queasy feeling at the idea of one author taking over the characters of another but this novel is such a treat!
I'm fairly sure I can spot at least some of the areas where Sayers leaves off and Patton Walsh takes over (DLS didn't have to work so hard to be 'period' for example - she just was!) but it was so delightful to have Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane alive once more.
A word of warning, however... whilst deeply engrossed in this book I've missed my stop on the tube a couple of times and managed to get on completely the wrong train and ended up miles from home (not a common occurance) still, at least I had the book for company!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost seamless 21 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Walsh speaks with an authentic voice which can come only from a proud knowledge of and great liking for the Wimsey novels.. It is very hard indeed to make out where Sayers falters and Walsh begins. She is to be congratulated for this splendid pastiche. Any Sayers fan must enjoy this addition to the canon.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, and a satisfactory read 13 Aug 2001
By A Customer
I was wary of this book, as I was afraid that this late collaboration would not match the original. However I was very pleasantly surprised. There were the occasional touches that felt late, rather than early, twentieth century, and were perhaps a little PC.
It rounded the stories off, as it felt like it gave you the chance to find out what happened after the last page. Overall, it was great fun, and a joy to be reunited with characters who you thought would go no more a roving.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Exactly how it should be
Good read. Exactly how it should be.
Published 29 days ago by Christine Stanbridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
m in the middle of this book good
Published 1 month ago by Sheila
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
poor digtrssion from original Peter Whimsey style and story development
Published 2 months ago by Mr J Kilburn
1.0 out of 5 stars Lord Peter never shows up.
this book does little to bring Lord Peter Wimsey back.
Introductory quotations do little to enhance a verbose exercise.
.Sorry Dorothys Sayer name is on the cover. Read more
Published 4 months ago by musik liebhaber von toronto
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't read this
I was attracted by the idea of a new book featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Abandoned it after a couple of chapters. I may have another try....
Published 5 months ago by owlservice
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely to have their story continued
This is a satisfying book as it lovely to see how Peter & Harriet's married life pans out. The description of George V's death & funeral is very poignant and the mystery fairly... Read more
Published 5 months ago by GK Ingram
3.0 out of 5 stars hybrid
Dorothy Sayers is good as ever. Quality falls off a bit when the new writer takes over. Plot not too clever.
Published 6 months ago by DMT
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
So hard to put it down. Gripping, flowing prose.with erudition are rare enough; combined with such insight to human emotion, almost unique.
Published 7 months ago by D C Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Sayers
Didn't think I would enjoy this book, as much as I did.
One critiscm, does author really have to mention Wimseys wealth quite so often ?
Published 7 months ago by ElizJane
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 7 months ago by SANDRA C PHILLIPS
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