20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Attenbury Emeralds (Kindle Edition)
I seem to be in a minority here but I'm afraid I found this a disappointingly unconvincing sequel to Sayers' own Peter Wimsey series. I quite enjoyed Thrones, Dominations, didn't like A Presumption of Death and found this the least successful of the three.
The first third is taken up by a very artifical and strained 3-way conversation in which Peter and Bunter in 1951 retell the story of their first case in 1921. Then there's a 1941 interlude, and finally we move into 1951 - the Attenbury emeralds link all three parts, not completely successfully in my view.
Part of the problem is that the characters of Wimsey, Harriet and Bunter are so much of their time i.e. 1920s,1930s, and I don't feel that Paton Walsh is successful at moving them into the 1950s. What used to be their charm becomes far more socially unsettling in the post-war years and smacks a little, despite their constant apologising (irritating in itself) of post-war priviledge.
I also felt that Paton hasn't developed the characters in any way and falls back on old characteristics to ground them: so the Wimseys are still quoting Donne to each other, for example, or having the same arguments over duty and justice as they have done in the past - which felt a bit lazy to me.
Even the plot is an old-fashioned Agatha Christie-style missing jewels one which just felt terribly awkward to me in the 1950s setting.
I'm a huge fan of Sayers and other old-school detective fiction - but their charm lies, I think, in their authenticity, and this attempt at recreation felt more than a bit flat to me.
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Initial post: 1 Jun 2011 04:44:58 BDT
Having just read the book I have to agree. Rather a disappointment for all the reasons stated above.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2011 19:15:22 BDT
B. Bartlett says:
Yes - forced to agree as well. Looked forward to this but found it deeply disappointing. Think this review says it all.
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