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The recovery of the magnificent gem in Lord Attenbury's dazzling heirloom launched a shell-shocked young aristocrat on his career as a detective in 1921. Thirty years later, a happily married Lord Peter has just shared the secrets of that mystery with his wife, the detective novelist Harriet Vane. Suddenly, the new Lord Attenbury—grandson of Lord Peter’s first client—seeks his help to prove who owns the emeralds. As Harriet and Peter contemplate the changes that the war has wrought on English society, Peter, who always cherished the liberties of a younger son, faces the unwanted prospect of ending up the Duke of Denver after all.
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By Carol on 11-03-11
Slow, but Some Surprises
I'm guessing that anyone choosing this title would already be acquainted with Lord Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane, Bunter, and the other iconic characters created by Dorothy Sayers. In this rather offbeat pastiche, the third of Walsh's continuation of the series, we reunite with Peter and Harriet in the early 1950's, when an obituary prompts Peter's to reminisce about his "first case." The story unfolds ever so slowly as the case rises from the ashes and assumes a new life in the present.
The "mystery" is not particularly compelling--as another reviewer commented, this is no "Gaudy Night--but as it unfolds we become aware of the changes in British life and society brought about by the second world war, and new but fully recognizable incarnations of Harriet and Peter emerge. Only Bunter remains firmly in character as in former books.
I would recommend the book for those who love the characters rather than the substance of the Sayer originals. The narrator is low-key to the point of being irritating, but if you persevere there will be a payoff; whether it's worth it is a matter of personal taste, but as a major Harriet Vane fan I found it satisfying.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By John on 03-17-11
Walsh is pitch perfect on Sayers' characters and dialogue. This one was a bit slow to get started -- at first it had the feel of Sayers' short stories rather than the novels. Once it got going, it was wonderful! It was so nice to get reacquainted with Peter and Harriet. I wish Audible would get Walsh's earlier two Wimsey novels. And speaking of Sayers, where is Gaudy Night?
7 of 7 people found this review helpful