Thrones, Dominations (A New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery) Hardcover – 5 Feb 1998
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Asked by her new husband, the gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey, why she is having trouble writing her latest mystery novel, Harriet Vane explains, "When I needed the money, it justified itself. It was a job of work, and I did it as well as I could, and that was that. But now, you see, it has no necessity except itself. And, of course, it's hard; it's always been hard, and it's getting harder. So when I'm stuck I think, this isn't my livelihood, and it isn't great art, it's only detective stories. You read them and write them for fun." Is this a clue to the mystery of why Dorothy L. Sayers put aside her 13th full-length Lord Peter novel in 1938 and never finished it? She had made lots of money, and was much more interested in translating Dante and writing about religion. Or is it another excellent novelist, Jill Paton Walsh, speculating--in a perfect imitation of Sayers's voice--on what might have happened? Walsh was invited by the estate of Sayers' illegitimate son, Anthony Fleming, to finish Thrones, Dominations. She has done a splendid job, certain to please Sayers loyalists on the "dorothyl" listserv as well as those new to the Wimsey canon. Lord Peter has been made much more human and interesting by marriage; Harriet is a wise and acerbic companion; and the story, about the murders of two beautiful young women involved with a theatrical producer, is full of twists and connivance. There's also a fascinating subplot involving the soon-to-abdicate King Edward VII and a country on the brink of the second world war. Earlier Wimseys in paperback include The Five Red Herrings, Gaudy Night, Murder Must Advertise, and Unnatural Death. Books in print by Walsh include a mystery called A Piece of Justice and a novel, The Serpentine Cave. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition (Norma Major - The Week)See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very enjoyable engrossing would recommend D L Sayers to anyonePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very disappointing - slow and full of waffle. The whole plot could have made a short story, but there was not enough for a full length novelPublished 3 months ago by Katherine Hevezi
Really enjoyed this and thought it was a good tribute to Drothy L Sayers.Published 3 months ago by Mrs S Hastings
Good quality story written well, could have had more twists, but good in the psychology of crime. Lord Peter gets shoved into the background.Published 3 months ago by J.G.Reader
Taking on the mantle of Dorothy L Sayers could not have been easy, but Jill Paton Walsh triumphs.Published 3 months ago by Mr. Eric Smith