The Late Scholar

  • by Jill Paton Walsh
  • Narrated by Gordon Griffin
  • 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When the fellows at an Oxford college appeal to Peter Wimsey to resolve a dispute, he and Harriet are happy to oblige. The dispute between the two passionate parties is evenly balanced, that is, until several of the fellows unexpectedly die. And the causes of death bear an uncanny resemblance to the murder methods in Peter's past cases - methods that Harriet has used in her novels.…


What the Critics Say

"Sayers's fans won't be disappointed, and newcomers are in for a treat" (Guardian on The Attenbury Emeralds)
"A pitch-perfect Golden Age mystery; not a pastiche but a gem of a period puzzle that belongs on the shelf beside the Wimsey originals." (Financial Times on The Attenbury Emeralds)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Reasonable Progression

I write this after reading some less than positive reviews from others. JPW has made a good effort to keep the Wimsey canon going, and has done quite well. The stories have progressed the timeline reasonably although there seems an undue concentration on the domestic arrangements rather than the 'plot'.
Generally JPW books are longer, slower and more ponderous than those of Dorothy Sayers herself. The originals were much tighter, even if Sayers had a predilection for literary quotations, a predilection that JPW overuses.
I think The Late Scholar is one of JPWs better efforts, along the lines of The Attenbury Diamonds (athough in that book the fire a Dukes Denver and ducal accession were unecessary distractions). I enjoyed its sense of time and style and a good evocation of Oxford, certainly as good as the Gaudy Night sense of the University.
The narration was not good and did not add to the experience nor help the book, but this is compared to Ian Carmichael who was made for the part, as a narrator or actor.
Yes there were mispronunciations, yes the was confusion over character voices (Parker was the wrong voice altogether), but overall the sense of the place and time and people was reasonable. I do not agree with the reviewer who could not finish the audiobook. I have listened to it three times this year (in full) and probably will do again in the next few months.
Just a few other points, in my subjective view:

- Contrary to the Publishers Note, Gaudy Night was not one of Sayers's best, it also was too slow and ponderous.

- The Wimsey canon is just that, about Lord Peter Wimsey, and should not be just a vehicle for Harriet Vane.

- I hope JPW does continue the canon, about and of Wimsey, preferably set in the pre-WWII years, because that is his real period.

- I hope Ian Carmichael can be convinced to revive from his eternal rest too give us the best narration, or if not then a IC clone.
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- Duncan


What was most disappointing about Jill Paton Walsh’s story?

The story is contrived. Too many bits brought in from earlier Sayers books in a very contrived way and lacking the development of relationship between Peter and Harriet. Lovely descriptions of Oxford but really not as good as Jill Paton walsh's earlier Sayers books.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Like the other reviewers I love Edward Petherbridge and Ian Carmichael. Gordon Griffiths was a shock. You become used to it after a while but it lacks Peter's tone of irony and bunter's voice didn't seem to match at all.

Any additional comments?

I did listen all the way through but it was never gripping. If you have read all of the Sayers books then walsh's thrones and dominions! and the Attenborough emeralds are really good. Read them.

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- Judith

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2014
  • Publisher: Lamplight