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4.1 out of 5 stars93
4.1 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 April 2011
The book starts sluggishly and I wondered when the action would get going, but once the author had got all her characters in place the story took off. As befits classic crime fiction the murder is elaborately constructed. I'd read the The Attenbury Emeralds before Thrones, Dominations , which is the wrong way round chronologically as the latter is set in abut 20 years earlier in Lord Peter and Harriet's marriage. I think that the author improved her emulation of Dorothy L Sayers' style in the later book, though in Thrones she does a good job of mimicking DLS's endless insertions of quotes, which I've always found irritating. By modern standards the social divide described, between the servant and upper classes, appears odious, but realistic.
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on 16 March 2012
Having read and very much enjoyed all Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey stories, I started reading this book with some caution, but soon found myself thoroughly engrossed. Jill Paton Walsh has, in my opinion, done a tremendous job, and I've since also enjoyed her later Wimsey novels. In fact I'm hoping she writes some more!
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on 27 January 2013
Lovely to find out more about Lord and Lady Peter, and it's a good read but doesn't work as well as the original. If you like the Lord Peter Whimsey series and the love story between him and Harriet, then I'd get it. I've read it at least three times now and still enjoy it.
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on 11 September 2002
I have adored Dorothy L Sayers for years, particularly for her erudition, wit and the OTT swooping baroque splendour of her novels. I also hugely enjoyed Jill Paton Walsh's detective novel A Piece of Justice.
However, I was very disappointed by this ending of Dorothy L Sayers last unfinished manuscript. It isn't made clear in an introduction or prologue how much of the novel was written or sketched out before it was handed over, which would have been interesting for aficionados to know. The end result, though, is incredibly bland - the one thing that Sayers NEVER was! The plot is feeble, the sentiments often anachronistic, the references to the Abdication Crisis seem incredibly forced - and it's obvious that they should have resonated so much with the book's themes of love, desire, possession and self-destruction. And the ending in the cavernous secret rivers below London is something of a damp squib. All in all a missed opportunity - there's the ghost of a truly splendid book here but this, sadly, isn't it.
Still an OK read, though, for those who either don't really know Sayer's work - treat it as something quite different - or those who are just too addicted to be able to ignore even a pallid imitation...
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on 17 August 2015
Great book! As a massive Dorothy L Sayers fan i was concerned that Jill Paton Walsh wouldn't live up to the fantastic DLS, but she certainly does! I challenge anyone to tell the difference. A really good read, with Lord Peter as brilliant as ever!
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on 29 January 2015
Super book, these older style murder mysteries are real brain stretchers, well worth the effort. Fascinating how the language has changed, perhaps we are going the wrong way. I always see Ian Carmicheal as Lord Peter, he was the perfect Wimsey.
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on 27 November 2015
I thought the first few chapters of this to be a bit of a drag and found myself willing something to happen. However, once the murder eventually takes place the pace picks up and it becomes a satisfying, though not brilliant, mystery.
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on 5 June 2010
Being a fan of Sayers and particularly the Wimsey books I was eager to read this 'new' story. However I found the characterisations dreadful, in particular that of Harriet Vane who became a rather sentimental, chick lit style of figure - as opposed to the witty, clever and unusual character written by Sayers. For me, I could detect very little of Sayers' style of writing in the book. Rather it seemed to be a rather poor pastiche, written with little understanding of the period in question nor indeed of Sayers' characters. Much of the influences of the Wimsey stories were from Sayers' own life (ie working in an advertising agency) which is of course difficult to replicate. Paton Walsh's style is just too modern.
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on 8 May 2015
Well, an interesting and valid exercise as it finishes something Sayers began. But the writing just isn't the same, compare Sayers' positively sparkling dialogue with this - but still, a good try.
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on 26 April 2015
Generally speaking a very good continuation of the Peter Wimsey stories of Dorothy L Sayers. I enjoyed reading it and will certainly read the others by Jill Paton Walsh, although I do think she has gone slightly over the top in her attempts to keep to DLS's characterisation of Peter. The characters have moved on in time in a way that I would expect from the original stories and haven't become totally unrecognisable (as has been the case with some attempts to update classics).
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