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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable reading
Jill Paton Walsh has taken Dorothy L Sayer's novels onwards after the end of the Second World War and into a more modern age. She has had to adjust her inherited characters to reflect the social changes of the time. In addition, because she writes in the present day she has to reflect present social attitudes more than Sayers did because we expect our modern authors to...
Published 17 months ago by Anne

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For fans only
This is noticeably weaker than the previous volumes in the series (which as a die-hard Sayers fan I much enjoyed). As other reviewers have pointed out there are numerous historical inaccuracies - for example, I think it unlikely gloves would have been used to handle a manuscript in the 1950s. Every couple of pages something grates, and the more formal relationships...
Published 10 months ago by Mark N


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable reading, 9 Dec. 2013
By 
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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Jill Paton Walsh has taken Dorothy L Sayer's novels onwards after the end of the Second World War and into a more modern age. She has had to adjust her inherited characters to reflect the social changes of the time. In addition, because she writes in the present day she has to reflect present social attitudes more than Sayers did because we expect our modern authors to reflect the way that we think now and reflect it into the past. This is hard going for any writer and presents a lot of issues for a series where class is a very important feature of the story and the setting.

I think that this novel succeeds admirably. Although I have read and loved the original novels for years I am very much enjoying these sequels. I enjoy meeting again the old characters and seeing them change, and also reading a good mystery novel.

I felt that Harriet and Peter were very recognisable and familiar to fans of the series. Their passion is undimmed and they approach things in a more mature light whilst retaining their integrity. I loved the way in which Harriet dealt with her son's lack of academic success and how difficult that Peter found it. I loved Harriet's internal monologue when she recounts how she breaks down social barriers between herself and Bunter to make her feel more comfortable but hasn't the courage to keep them up which would be more acceptable to him. It was a delight to see how they are coming to terms with Peter's new status.

The book is set in Oxford - the setting of my favourite of the original novels Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) but the author also includes lots of references to previous novels and includes plenty of previous characters. The familiarity of the cast and location, and the delight that I felt in meeting them again and seeing what the author had done with them was one of the delights of the novel.

The actual mystery is well enough done but nothing special. I was a bit bemused about what had happened to the police investigation whilst Peter did his own thing. I really couldn't anticipate the ending but I thought that the solution was very much in the spirit of the original novels.

I am a fan of the original series and also these sequels. I found this book absorbing and entertaining. A few continuity errors and a slightly weak plot in no war marred my total enjoyment of the novel.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of Much Loved Friends, 26 Dec. 2013
Once again another welcome return to the world of Lord Peter Wimsey. The sequel books have never been quite as good as the original Dorothy L Sayers work (which I re read every year and remain superb), but I grew up with the characters and it is always very enjoyanle to return to that world and in my opinoin Jill Paton Walsh still captures the feel and rhytym of the original books.

You need to remember that this is now the 1950's not the 1920's but its still like having your favourite uncle over again - he may be 30 years older but he is still and always with be your favourite. Thank you JPW
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For fans only, 12 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey) (Paperback)
This is noticeably weaker than the previous volumes in the series (which as a die-hard Sayers fan I much enjoyed). As other reviewers have pointed out there are numerous historical inaccuracies - for example, I think it unlikely gloves would have been used to handle a manuscript in the 1950s. Every couple of pages something grates, and the more formal relationships between people in the early 1950s are not captured. The plot turns on the manuscript but this is an underwhelming object and it's never clear why it is so valuable. That said, the writing is good, the dialogue well written, and it was a pleasure to settle back into Sayers' world. But definitely not the one to start with in this series.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings, 18 Feb. 2014
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This was enjoyable to read once but ultimately disappointing; it's possibly time for Peter and Harriet to drive off into the sunset in peace. This series has gone at least one book too far. It's good to read that Peter is making a good job of being a Duke, and the sons seem to be turning out well. But enjoying that's much the same as the vaguely guilty enjoyment of following "The Archers". The plot with its reliance on Peter's previous cases (allegedly adapted by Harriet in her detective novels) is just too clever-clever. There are some grating anachronisms (ploughman's lunches in the very early 50s is the most glaring, and Jill Paton Walsh should at least have looked up about pubs in the Oxford area online before name-checking them.) I suppose you could argue that these are not errors but point to the fact that this is Oxford in an alternate universe or cloud cuckoo land and not the Oxford we know. Still, bottom line, none of these things would have mattered had we been swept up by a strong, fast-moving plot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the "new" Wimsey novels, 10 May 2014
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fivestarfrankie (chippenham, wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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First a little moan or two, I don't feel that mentioning Tolkien, C S Lewis, L P Hartley, Eden and Macmillan adds anything to the book, simply because if this had been written in the fifties then surely people would be mentioned who were not well known today? Then a real error, still repeated in the second printing - Charles Parker arrives in the book as an Assistant Chief Constable, odd as he has always served in the Metropolitan Police reaching the rank of Commander ( a London rank which equates to ACC). Even more strange is that when he appears in the book twice more he has it seems been demoted to Detective Inspector! I somehow don't believe that DLS or her publishers would have let that error sneak through.

Notwithstanding the above this is a well plotted and written book which bears comparison with the original series. Miss Paton Walsh deserves our thanks and praise for adding to the greatest series of Detective novels ever written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheesey plot (pun intended), 19 Jan. 2014
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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The author presumably thought it important to tie this back to Sayers' original novels, hence the return of various modus operandi (I know that's not the plural) from the original books plus a prurient interest in the main characters' sex life. I'm not sure she needed to bother because she's easily a good enough writer to plot and write a Wimsey book from scratch. It's not in the slightest believable, but then it's about a murder solving Duke married to a detective novelist. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the only fault I can offer up is that Wimsey on more than one occasion pops into the pub for a ploughman's lunch. Seeing as the term wasn't invented by the Milk Marketing Board until the 1960s he is being somewhat anachronistic which is a shame given all the other period colour that is trowelled on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Peter wimsey fans, 31 Dec. 2013
I lived this. As a detective story it is a bit weak but for fans of the characters it is great fun
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A THIRD CLASS DEGREE, 3 Jan. 2014
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After Paton Walsh's two previous successful Wimseys based on Sayers fragments, which I thought good and have re-read with pleasure, this was a real come down. The plot was bizarre without being comic. The whole thing felt written without the attention to period style and accuracy I would have expected. A number of obvious errors such as reference to Miss Lydgate's hairpins when it was Miss de Vine whose hairpins wandered, and the gross error of the enquiry after Lord St George when Peter Wimsey could not have become duke without his death seemed ridiculous coming from so historically informed and astute a person - errors appearing within the space of a couple of pages, seemed to me to betray a lack of real commitment on the part of the author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 10 Jan. 2014
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I like Jill Paton Walsh's writing style which is good homage to Sayers while leaving out the long letters in French & Latin quotes that do tax the brain cells! The plot was amusingly far fetched & there were a few inconsistencies which grated a bit - surely the SCR of Shrewsbury would have known that if Harriet was a Duchess then gorgeous Jerry had died!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars doesn't match the brilliance of the originals, 25 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey) (Paperback)
Peter and Harriet, or, to give them their current titles, the Duke and Duchess of Denver, travel back to Oxford. This time, it’s to St. Severing College, where Peter has inherited the job of Visitor, and has been asked to settle a dispute causing division within the College.

There are many little links and references put in to their earlier Oxford adventure, Gaudy Night. Some of them just don’t ring true. For example, when Harriet visits some of her old friends in Shrewsbury College, she is asked how St. George is doing, and she has to explain. But surely, given they know Peter is now Duke, yet they knew St. George was previously heir to the title, they must realise what that means?

However, the real problem with all the little references is they feel forced. They aren’t just background, but plunked down determinedly. Rather than providing a depth of history, they seem to scream, “Notice! This really is a Peter and Harriet novel!”

And it’s worse that that. The murders that start happening seem to be based on Peter’s old cases, and Harriet’s books. This level of self reference might have worked well, if made sufficiently complex, but here falls flat: not enough is made of them.

All in all, these “later Wimseys” try hard, but don’t match the brilliance of the originals.
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The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey)
The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey) by Jill Paton Walsh (Paperback - 5 Jun. 2014)
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