5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This required some patience, but then it got much better.,
This review is from: The Attenbury Emeralds: Lord Peter Wimsey's First Case (Hardcover)
I sincerely hope that Jill Paton Walsh was simply using the characters created by Dorothy L. Sayers and not her style of writing as well. She did succeed to a certain extent by bringing a new mystery featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, his wife Harriet and the faithful Bunter for readers to explore and enjoy. She did not write this book in the style of Dorothy Sayers so perhaps that was never her intention. If you are a very patient reader you will make it into the heart of the story. If not, you may give up on this one too soon. The first 129 pages are used by the author to fill in the back story concerning the famous Attenbury emeralds. That is a long time to expect to hold a readers attention to get to the current happenings in this mystery. So what the reader is given is actually three mysteries, all concerning the jewels owned by the Attenbury family. Lord Peter was involved in the two past episodes when catastrophe happened around the jewels and now calamity has struck again.
The first section of the book dealing with the background mysteries was interesting but not compelling for me. I could easily put the book down and not feel an intense desire to continue reading. Once the latest mystery began to unfold I became much more interested. There are a very large number of characters in the book, in fact it takes about three pages for the author to list them all - quite a group to try to keep up with. There are also many rabbit trails we as readers are led down before we get to the crux of who was committing these crimes spanning so many years. Was the revelation of the guilty party a surprise to me? Good heavens yes. I had never even considered that person to have been responsible so I should have been satisfied, but there is that little bit of questioning in me that wonders if the author knew who was going to be guilty before she got to the revealing portions.
I enjoyed the book as a whole, but would have liked for it to have been presented in a somewhat different manner. All of that back story took a long time to wade through. I am sorry to say that this novel did not make me want to seek out the other Wimsey/Vane books written by this author. This one was an enjoyable reading experience, but it didn't fire my imagination enough to make me want to read additional works by this author.