Busman's Honeymoon: Lord Peter Wimsey Book 13: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Paperback – 1 May 1974
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She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit. (P.D. James)
Dorothy L Sayers is one of the best detective story writers. (E. C. Bentley Daily Telegraph)
I admire her novels ... she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail. (Ruth Rendell)
A truly great storyteller. (Minette Walters)
The classic British detective series featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Just as a busman's holiday is a vacation where the busman is likely to be as involved with driving as he is throughout the rest of the year, a busman's honeymoon (a phrase which she coined) is one where the busman (in this case Lord Peter Wimsey) is likely to spend his honeymoon checking alibis, interviewing murder suspects, observing rigor mortis, and all the other tiresome activities of an amateur detective.
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane are the honeymooners. After their wedding (reported in a series of letters that begin the novel), they travel to "Talboys", a country house chosen by Harriet. Their reception is not as predicted. Eventually Lord Peter's butler, Bunter, discovers a corpse in the cellar.
The novel began life as a play, as you may infer from the many static scenes involving a large ensemble of characters entering and exiting. The prose is as rich in wit, classical illusions and sophistication as you will ever encounter in detective fiction. Dorothy L. Sayers was an honours graduate and capable of writing as well as George Eliot.
Don't expect the kind of fast food satisfaction that Agatha Christie provided so successfully. You will find instead the full silver service dining and wining experience here.
The first time that I read this many years ago I remember being bemused by the workings of Oxford University, what with 'The House', subfusc, the etiquette of punting and scholars and commoners etc. Fortunately you can google these things now! Like Harriet, I have looked for Cardinal Wolsey's carp in Mercury and listened to the choir in the cathedral.
This book is the one that moves Harriet and Peter on from sparring partners to....? It is very much about relationships, and the unpleasantness, and eventually crimes, that the two of them 'sleuth' are also about a form of love, but of a more destructive nature. No murders this time, but plenty of interesting characterisation, including female dons and Peter's nephew, Jerry. If you like intelligent period crime writing, this is for you.
A 'busman's holiday' is an old-fashioned phrase for a holiday where someone does exactly the same thing as he or she does for a living, like a bus driver going on a bus tour.
The book, of course, is about the Wimseys' honeymoon in a country cottage, accompanied and waited upon by the faithful Bunter. The couple spend their wedding night joyously making love (as Sayers tells us) while the dead body lies in the cellar. Finding the corpse next morning does not exactly enhance their honeymoon, but their fundamental happiness is unquenched. The mystery is solved in a satisfactory manner, though the whodunnit is rather secondary to the love story. I read the book first when I was very young. I loved it then and I love it now, though really it isn't such a good novel as its predecessor. It is simply lovely, witty, joyous entertainment with a glimpse of upper-crust country life in the 1930s with a good mystery in it and a few classical references which add texture to the whole mix. At the end, the relationship with Harriet is shown to have begun to heal some of the emotional wounds which the erudite and apparently light-hearted Lord Peter has hidden from the world since he experienced shell-shock during the first world war. Yet the mental anguish Wimsey suffers leaves in doubt whether he will ever engage in detective work again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love all this series of books,so glad you can now get then in ebookPublished 3 months ago by Int345
Another entertaining read and always an accurate return to our close history.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane finally married and still solving murdersPublished 6 months ago by marion musgrove
present for a friend so can't really say anything except it is what they wanted and enjoyed reading itPublished 7 months ago by anick
This copy of Busman's Honeymoon arrived as stated. We have read various D L Sayers books for our book club and it was the best one of hers I've read so far. With thanksPublished 7 months ago by Mrs S Morland