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VINE VOICEon 6 June 2010
Like several of the other reviewers I believe I know which parts of this novel are by Sayers and which by Jill Paton Walsh. However, we all seem to be thinking of different bits. In any event, to my mind at least, this novel does not stoop to pastiche and the main clue that a modern sensibility has been involved is the fact the Jewish characters, admittedly peripheral, are treated with dignity rather than the casual anti-semitism that mars many of Sayers books. The book could never actually be mistaken for one completed in 1937 by Sayers unless one credits her with psychic powers regarding the forthcoming war and with a very modern interpretation of Edward VIII.

The plot, presumably essentially original, is closest to Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) of the previous Wimsey novels, although thankfully much less complicated. I concur that it's not one of her strongest - it's obvious who dun it and the necessary coincidences are a bit far fetched even for the genre - but it is easily good enough. In Busman's Honeymoon: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) Sayers had developed a rather prurient interest in the Wimseys' marriage bed and that is carried on here. In fact the continuity over the relatively short period covered by Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsley Mystery (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) and Busman's Honeymoon and the events of this book is strongly maintained.
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on 27 March 1999
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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on 9 March 2015
I pounced on this book at a second hand book sale and was delighted to find a 'new' Sayers book that I hadn't read. And I was encouraged by the many reviews that you couldn't tell where Sayers left off and Paton Walsh began.

WHAT a disappointment. You can tell instantly. The first quarter or so is obviously mostly Sayers, though with some slightly odd additions, but then there is a step change. The dialogue becomes cringeworthily obvious, with literary references shoved in all over the place just for the sake of it, and about five separate conversations about the perils of marrying for gratitude - I think that's been sufficiently dealt with, don't you? Harriet becomes this hideous arch woman, constantly calling Peter 'my lord' in private, which she never does in any of the other books - he's just Peter. She also seems to become a feminist in a way that didn't really exist until much later. Wimsey calls her 'Domina' as a nickname (ugh ugh), and all the conversations between him and Parker are just so fake. Wimsey himself practically isn't there, and comes across as the silly ass that he always plays in public, with added James Bond skills, not the sensitive, intelligent man that we know and love. The Dowager Duchess becomes a silly old woman obsessed with interior decor, there is no understanding of the subtleties of how the upper classes relate to their servants, and every single character that ever appears in a Lord Peter Wimsey novel pops up, often for no reason at all, and then doesn't sound like themselves in the slightest, particularly Freddy Arbuthnot. There are loads of places where the language seems wrong for the period (not that I'm an expert) and I spent the whole of the rest of the book desperately hoping that it would improve, but it just gets worse and worse.

To be fair, the plot isn't bad (though a bit obvious), and the cultural context of King George V / Edward VIII is interesting in a way. But that's all I have to say in favour of it. I'm now going to read every single Wimsey/Harriet Vane book in a row to expunge the memory of this one, and pretend that it never happened. Or perhaps that it happened, but written about as Sayers would have done.
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on 14 March 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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on 1 December 2006
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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on 31 August 2015
I had to have this collection of stories as one in particular follows on from the wedding and consequence first child born to Harriet and Lord Peter. As far as romantic couples go, these two seem to be so in tune and with the utmost respect for each other but are not over-sentimental. They beat hands down the Scarlett O,Hara and Rhett Butler combo!
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on 13 August 2001
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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on 28 July 2001
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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on 25 May 2014
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.
Sorry I bought it.
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on 21 June 2013
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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