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In feiner Gesellschaft

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Nach ihren Flitterwochen kehren Lord Peter und Harriet Vane als glückliches Paar nach London zurück. Nicht so Laurence und Rosamund Harwell, auch wenn sie in ihren Kreisen als Paradebeispiel einer amour fou gelten. Während Laurence als Theaterproduzent seinen Geschäften nachgeht, bändelt die kapriziöse Rosamund mit einem jungen Dramatiker an. Als sie kurze Zeit später ermo Nach ihren Flitterwochen kehren Lord Peter und Harriet Vane als glückliches Paar nach London zurück. Nicht so Laurence und Rosamund Harwell, auch wenn sie in ihren Kreisen als Paradebeispiel einer amour fou gelten. Während Laurence als Theaterproduzent seinen Geschäften nachgeht, bändelt die kapriziöse Rosamund mit einem jungen Dramatiker an. Als sie kurze Zeit später ermordet aufgefunden wird, soll sich Lord Peter auf Geheiß von Scotland Yard ein wenig in der feinen Gesellschaft umhören …


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Nach ihren Flitterwochen kehren Lord Peter und Harriet Vane als glückliches Paar nach London zurück. Nicht so Laurence und Rosamund Harwell, auch wenn sie in ihren Kreisen als Paradebeispiel einer amour fou gelten. Während Laurence als Theaterproduzent seinen Geschäften nachgeht, bändelt die kapriziöse Rosamund mit einem jungen Dramatiker an. Als sie kurze Zeit später ermo Nach ihren Flitterwochen kehren Lord Peter und Harriet Vane als glückliches Paar nach London zurück. Nicht so Laurence und Rosamund Harwell, auch wenn sie in ihren Kreisen als Paradebeispiel einer amour fou gelten. Während Laurence als Theaterproduzent seinen Geschäften nachgeht, bändelt die kapriziöse Rosamund mit einem jungen Dramatiker an. Als sie kurze Zeit später ermordet aufgefunden wird, soll sich Lord Peter auf Geheiß von Scotland Yard ein wenig in der feinen Gesellschaft umhören …

30 review for In feiner Gesellschaft

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    This is going to be long. I read Thrones, Dominations not too long after it first came out; this is a second reading, and first review. Of Thrones, Dominations, Dorothy L. Sayers "had written six rough chapters, and devised a plot diagram in coloured inks. When sixty years later a brown paper parcel containing a copy of the manuscript turned up in her agent's safe in London, her literary trustees commissioned Jill Paton Walsh to complete it." I don't know. No, that's not true – I do. This is not what fans of Lo This is going to be long. I read Thrones, Dominations not too long after it first came out; this is a second reading, and first review. Of Thrones, Dominations, Dorothy L. Sayers "had written six rough chapters, and devised a plot diagram in coloured inks. When sixty years later a brown paper parcel containing a copy of the manuscript turned up in her agent's safe in London, her literary trustees commissioned Jill Paton Walsh to complete it." I don't know. No, that's not true – I do. This is not what fans of Lord Peter wanted or needed. It's not terrible, but I have seen it referred to – often – as fan-fic. I'm not sure the label exactly fits Thrones, Dominations, but it is like a great many Star Trek novels I read when I was a teenager. In so many of those, it seemed very much as if the writer had a generic science fiction manuscript sitting unsold in his drawer, realized Star Trek novels were big at that time, and changed the names and a handful of other details and got it published as part of the franchise despite barely a hint of knowledge of or similarity to Star Trek as aired on television. I have little background knowledge of Jill Paton Walsh; I'm not saying that she doesn't know and love the Lord Peter books as much as any of us. But I'm tempted to. Because there are times when Thrones, Dominations feels like it ought to. The characters strike the right chord for a paragraph, a line of narrative just feels good … and then it goes back to the feeling of the alignment being somewhat off. It's distracting to be wondering throughout the book "was that genuine Sayers or counterfeit?" – hoping in some ways that some of the good lines were JPW, because that would mean she was capable, while knowing given the sheer weight of not-Sayers that it was unlikely. The metaphor that came to me about halfway through (because I do love me a metaphor) was: it's like meeting with an old friend you haven't seen in a long time, and they've changed. Now and then as you talk there's a glimpse of the person you used to be so close to, a spark of what used to be, a connection like the old warmth - and then a minute later you're sitting with a stranger again. A mostly likeable enough stranger, in a way, but ... A complaint I've read about the book, with which I wholeheartedly agree, is that JPW seems to have gone back through the existing novels and gathered up minor characters – from Bill Rumm to Uncle Paul (and someone on the LPW group is right – he would not have called him Uncle Pandarus in front of everyone) to Harriet's friends Sylvia and Eiluned to Gerry and Freddy Arbuthnot, along with references to canon books (far more than I remember Sayers ever using), and tossed it all like fairy dust into the reader's eyes, hoping for a façade of credibility and/or distraction from the book's deficiencies. I kept waiting for Miss Climpson. Oh, there she is, and Reggie Pomfret too for heaven's sake. JPW tried so hard to cram everything into this book that she didn't spend enough time on anything – including the major characters. Where there is a plethora of cameo appearances, there is a disturbing dearth of Bunter. He has had a handful of lines of dialogue and one scene in which he sits down for a drink and a debriefing with Peter. Not enough. Not nearly enough. I hate it. For that matter, there's surprisingly little Parker, and what there is comes off as … priggish. Despite Harriet, he is primly made to state "I don't read detective novels" in an affronted tone. His working with Peter feels off; his marriage to Mary didn't change the way they worked together, why should Peter's marriage? I don't like this Charles, what little we see of him. A line from Charles: "It's like trying to overawe a brick wall". For the sake of my sanity I have to believe DLS would have come up with something sharper than that. The Dowager Duchess has always been one of my very favorite people in any book, and … I don't think this does her justice. She needs to witter away and still under it all be perfectly sensible. She doesn't witter nearly enough here; there isn't enough fluff. Harriet is much too deferential to Peter. When she is with him, she seems to walk on eggshells. When she is not with him, she references him or quotes him in nearly every other sentence. She sounds more like a June Cleaveresque 50's housewife than an independent woman who very much has her own opinions, thank you very much. And why is she supposed to have hired a secretary (Miss Bracy)? She's written for years without one, quite efficiently. Was she expecting such massive output that she would not be able to keep up with her own typing? It seems in fact to have had a dampening effect … Yes, yes, the marriage, and she's safe now and doesn't need to write. The incapacitation brought by happiness, along with the surprising leaning toward tragedy for the new book, is nicely done – unfortunately both are beaten to death. Also beaten to a pulp is the idea that this is a New Thing for Peter and Harriet. Peter has to adjust to having the woman he has sought after so long, to living with her in a new expansive home and the changes that entails. Harriet has all that to cope with, with the added wrinkle that she is going from one income bracket to very much another, from a flat by herself to a stately home with not only Peter but a staff. From dressing as she pleased and going out when she liked with friends to patronizing a pseudo-French dressmaker and attending Wimsey family affairs. It's all new to her, every waking moment. I wonder if this is why JPW chose to stick so much to Harriet's point of view? We the loyal readers are too familiar with Peter-and-Bunter, and never had much chance to become too familiar with married-Peter-and-Harriet, even less chance than they've had themselves. She might have felt safer using eyes we haven't seen through as much, in a setting which is alien to the character, thereby accounting for any unusual behavior. Most important of all, Peter ... I don't know. There are brief flashes, as I said. Otherwise, I miss him, even though he's puportedly right there. I've been reading about writing dialogue lately, and that shed light on the problem here. I think that if you take any of the canon books (yes, I do subtract the JPW books from canon, whatever the Sayers estate might say) and strip the dialogue of all the tags ("Peter said" and "said Harriet" and "replied Parker" and so on), it would not be very hard to pick out the lines spoken by Peter (or Harriet or Parker or Bunter, for that matter). Here … Peter's dialogue is very generic, and where it's not it is very similar to lines spoken by Harriet and Parker. There are several Parker lines which I would have attributed to Peter. And Peter … Peter sounds like just anyone. That should not be.) The "scissors moment" of the book was depressingly clearly telegraphed. I saw it coming so far off. ("Scissors moment" is what it's always called on the Yahoo Lord Peter Group: In the short story "The Footsteps That Ran" it is illustrated by looking at the letters "ciorssss" and finding no meaning until the letters just jump around in the brain and "scissors" becomes clear: the "Aha!" moment.) The quotes and allusions are even more aggressively obscure to … well, to me at least, than any Dorothy L. Sayers ever used. I like that Peter and Harriet are able to volley them comfortably back and forth – they always did. But I don't remember the tags ever putting my nose out of joint quite like this before. (Which could be because I've read the books so many times – but I don't think so.) (I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is meant by "Peter dislikes women with green fingernails" – perhaps a reference to Picasso?) This is a spoiler, of sorts, but not if you've read the canon stories: (view spoiler)[ One huge complaint, loud and irritated: Oh, come on, really? Harriet is vomiting randomly and someone actually tells her "You're looking well … Positively glowing"? Oh – spare me. Isn't there some way of hinting a woman's pregnant without using clichés that have been used ad nauseum in every cheesy novel and tv show since time began? Even if I didn't know about Bredon and young Peter and company that very first scene of Harriet sprinting off to be sick – and then feeling just fine shortly after – would have pinged the radar. Spare me. (hide spoiler)] The first irritated and provoked word to come to mind regarding the mystery's solution is, I'm afraid just … dumb. I have an image of Dorothy L. watching aghast from the afterlife, shouting "No! That's why I abandoned the silly story! I put it aside until I thought of a solution that wasn't that moronic!" I didn't figure it out even in this reread, because if I'd thought of it I would have dismissed the idea as too damn stupid. I go on at great (even greater, that is) spoilerific length about this and quite a bit else on my blog.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    Dorothy L. Sayers abandoned her Lord Peter Wimsey novels, for the most part, some 20 years before she died, but she left a half-completed Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Jill Paton Walsh, hired to finish the novel, captures Sayers’ voice so admirably in Thrones, Dominations that the reader can’t tell where Sayers ends or Walsh begins — no greater praise! In this novel, set in 1936 with Edward VIII stumbling onto the throne, Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane return to London following the tumultuous honeymoo Dorothy L. Sayers abandoned her Lord Peter Wimsey novels, for the most part, some 20 years before she died, but she left a half-completed Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Jill Paton Walsh, hired to finish the novel, captures Sayers’ voice so admirably in Thrones, Dominations that the reader can’t tell where Sayers ends or Walsh begins — no greater praise! In this novel, set in 1936 with Edward VIII stumbling onto the throne, Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane return to London following the tumultuous honeymoon detailed in Busman’s Honeymoon (1937). Walsh mingles references to the anxiety provoked by the upcoming war and a feckless new king with a neat mystery and a commentary on the changed nature of marriage in the 20th century — just the sort of philosophically tinged narrative one would expect from Sayers. As to the mystery, extremely beautiful but silly Rosamund Harwell has been rescued by the wealthy Laurence Harwell from her life as a mannequin in a dress shop. The Harwells coo and bill like love birds even after two years of marriage, making them the talk of London. When Rosamund goes off to Rose Cottage in Hampton for a respite, she turns up dead, smothered to death. Lord Peter’s brother-in-law, Detective Inspector Charles Parker, calls him in to assist in the investigation, and Lord Peter immediately begins to point out some odd aspects to the case. While I thoroughly loved the cleverly plotted mystery itself, what truly delighted me was the exploration of Harriet Vane’s life as a new bride. Like modern women since, she struggles to juggle the demands of home, family, and her work as a novelist (much like Sayers herself?). I also loved the scenes featuring the snobbish, overbearing Helen, Duchess of Denver, wife of Lord Peter’s dim-witted elder brother, as she tries to steer her sister-in-law out of her career — a working wife being anathema in the aristocracy— into a life of parties with only the right people, bullying servants, paying visits to other wives, and producing children — in other words, the life expected of the decorative wife of a member of the peerage. The inevitable clash proved delicious beyond words! Helen has never approved of Harriet and her scandalous past, and I look forward to see how the relations between these two strong-willed women will play out in future books. Thrones, Dominations gives readers hope of many more years of Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. I’ve already bought The Attenbury Emeralds and the newest, The Late Scholar, but I don’t have the immediate sequel, A Presumption of Death — yet! Now to find the time to read all these….

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This was enjoyable. I read it within a 24 hour period off and on between coming/going, and a dozen other physical tasks. And it still kept its integrity, cognition, feel for tone that is period/place and personality unique- through all those "interruptions". No little task. It's says so much that Walsh could keep it "in the fold" so to speak, for such an up scale entity as these Lord Peter Wimsey books are. Of course there was a style shift that did occur right about the time of the murder- and This was enjoyable. I read it within a 24 hour period off and on between coming/going, and a dozen other physical tasks. And it still kept its integrity, cognition, feel for tone that is period/place and personality unique- through all those "interruptions". No little task. It's says so much that Walsh could keep it "in the fold" so to speak, for such an up scale entity as these Lord Peter Wimsey books are. Of course there was a style shift that did occur right about the time of the murder- and with that long and first months of marriage beginning, I can understand how Sayers let this one lay. SO many questions and reactions when two such intrepid personalities and dynamos of action have attached themselves to each other. Especially at their ages and in this period! The crime itself, the plotting and the puzzle pieces of the forensics and the possible duplicity portents all fit. I wouldn't put them above average but the coupleship of Peter and Harriet is carved in such depth here that it is not needed. And I thought the escapade following the new King to France and those associations was pretty vivid to the feel too. You know Peter's true priorities. Regardless of a few shifts in style and having the word pace and speed (Sayers wrote "longer" and in more shades of allusion) change- it was a superlative effort. And I enjoyed this more than some 5 star reads for the wit, 1936 ambiance and also the portions at the end that tell you the future outcomes. When I see the lower star ratings here? I just disagree. They seemed to want less new marriage and more plot. And I completely disagree about the conversational proclivities of it being artificial or forced. This is 1936 and particularly the most "liberated" or "independent" or "modern" English couple would have had difficulty sorting out in talk the absences, family question etc. It's truly unfair to judge standards of one time by the strictures and language barriers to "intimate" talk of another era. The sensibilities and the concepts being beyond different. It's also illogical. People and their sensibilities and values to "open" conversations are closely meshed into their era and personal experience of "norm". This is 1936. What a gift for Walsh to give to Sayers. Well done!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Last year I, finally, read all of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and enjoyed them thoroughly. In fact, I missed Wimsey so much that, when a book group I am a member of, suggested reading the novels written with the involvement of Jill Paton Walsh I was tempted. However, I had read the first Sophie Hannah, so-called, Poirot sequel, and been horribly disappointed. Reading friends assured me that these were much better and I am so glad I listened and gave this a try. It is a joy to have Lord (and Last year I, finally, read all of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and enjoyed them thoroughly. In fact, I missed Wimsey so much that, when a book group I am a member of, suggested reading the novels written with the involvement of Jill Paton Walsh I was tempted. However, I had read the first Sophie Hannah, so-called, Poirot sequel, and been horribly disappointed. Reading friends assured me that these were much better and I am so glad I listened and gave this a try. It is a joy to have Lord (and now Lady) Peter Wimsey back in my life. Dorothy L. Sayers worked on this novel for some months in 1936, but put it aside after the abdication crisis and did not return to it. The notes were found in 1957 and so Jill Paton Walsh did have an idea of the early chapters, which is probably why this feels so seamless. However, I also heard an interview with her, in which she said she tried to write as Sayers would, rather than in her own voice (her own crime novels are very good), and both her sympathy for the characters, and her respect for Wimsey’s loyal readers, shines through here. We meet up with Peter and Harriet in France, where they run into Lord Peter’s uncle, Mr Paul Delgardie, and are introduced to another couple – Lawrence and Rosamund Harwell. Rosamund’s father had been imprisoned for fraud and she had been forced to find work as a mannequin, until rescued by the besotted, and wealthy, Lawrence. The couple were known for their intense love for each other, while it is clear that others are not quite so sure to make of Peter and Harriet’s marriage. Peter’s mother, the delightful Dowager Duchess, is obviously thrilled that her favourite is happy and adores Harriet. Meanwhile, the Duke of Denver is secretly happy and the icy Helen pours disapproval. It is 1936 and war clouds are approaching, while the country is aware of the abdication crisis also looming. As Peter and Harriet settle into life in London, they find they keep bumping into either Lawrence or Rosamund Harwell. Lawrence is heavily involved in the theatre, while his bored, beautiful wife, has her portrait painted by Gaston Chaparelle (who Harriet is also sitting for) and encourages the poet and playwright, Claude Amery, in his attentions. When there is a murder, Lord Peter sets out to investigate. I really enjoyed the mystery element in this novel, as well as the historical context and the continuing relationship between Peter and Harriet. There is a lot about the meaning of marriage, which continues themes in earlier novels; plus Walsh has a little fun inventing characters of her own. I missed the constant quotations and thought that Paton did take some liberties with how the aristocracy treated their servants. However, obviously, this book historically goes further than previous novels and, obviously, Harriet was not used to that kind of lifestyle. Overall, I really enjoyed it and that, as a reader, is what really counts. I look forward to reading on and feel happy I tried out these sequels for myself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I ended up just skim-reading this, in the end. Jill Paton Walsh just doesn't have the same skill with the characters that Sayers had -- although I have enjoyed one or two of Walsh's other novels -- and it's just... it's not really Peter and Harriet, somehow. I remember reading that Sayers ended up stuck with the plot of this one, hence never finishing it: in my own writing, I've always followed the line that if I'm really resistant to writing something, there's something wrong with it, which jus I ended up just skim-reading this, in the end. Jill Paton Walsh just doesn't have the same skill with the characters that Sayers had -- although I have enjoyed one or two of Walsh's other novels -- and it's just... it's not really Peter and Harriet, somehow. I remember reading that Sayers ended up stuck with the plot of this one, hence never finishing it: in my own writing, I've always followed the line that if I'm really resistant to writing something, there's something wrong with it, which just plugging away at it won't fix. Walsh probably did an admirable job of deciding where Sayers had meant the story to go -- but that doesn't mean that's what Sayers would have eventually done with it, and I think it would be the better for an author who felt able to just mess around with it, rather than someone constrained by being "true" to a different author's original idea. There's a reason stories develop as they're written. I'm not sure if I'm going to bother with A Presumption of Death and The Attenbury Emeralds at all. I haven't read The Attenbury Emeralds at all, but I have plenty of things I should be reading. Maybe Busman's Honeymoon is where I should leave Peter and Harriet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Telesilla

    Once you get it in your head that you're reading fan fiction, this isn't a horrible book. Trouble is, I read and write fan fiction and I've read better stuff than this. Sayers' style isn't easy and while Paton Walsh had notes and even some actual text to go off, the dialog often feels forced, as does the attempt to add historical events to the narrative even though Sayers herself had done that in both Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. It all boils down to the fact that Paton Walsh simply Once you get it in your head that you're reading fan fiction, this isn't a horrible book. Trouble is, I read and write fan fiction and I've read better stuff than this. Sayers' style isn't easy and while Paton Walsh had notes and even some actual text to go off, the dialog often feels forced, as does the attempt to add historical events to the narrative even though Sayers herself had done that in both Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. It all boils down to the fact that Paton Walsh simply isn't the writer that Sayers was. She's all right when she's dealing with the murder, which is actually fairly clever, but when it comes to Peter and Harriet and Bunter all stumbling a little while they work out the early days of Peter and Harriet's marriage, she falls down on the job.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dorothy Sayers stopped writing detective fiction in the late 1930's. ("Busman's Honeymoon" was published in 1937) She sketched out the plot for a Lord Peter / Harriet Vane mystery set in the early months of Lord Peter and Harriet's marriage (after "Busman's Honeymoon") but never completed the sketches or the novel. My understanding is that the first 6 chapters have most of the Sayers material in them, but the remaining 15 chapters are written solely by Jill Paton Walsh. This book was published i Dorothy Sayers stopped writing detective fiction in the late 1930's. ("Busman's Honeymoon" was published in 1937) She sketched out the plot for a Lord Peter / Harriet Vane mystery set in the early months of Lord Peter and Harriet's marriage (after "Busman's Honeymoon") but never completed the sketches or the novel. My understanding is that the first 6 chapters have most of the Sayers material in them, but the remaining 15 chapters are written solely by Jill Paton Walsh. This book was published in 1998. Understanding immediately that this book was one that Dorothy Sayers herself never really wrote, I still decided to forge ahead and read it. First off, it is a very poor murder mystery. ***spoiler**** Who will be killed and why is fairly obvious from the start, rather the "Othello / Desdemona" type crime. Even without a badly contrived scene where Harriet reads in the paper about a manslaughter case where a man has attacked his wife in a fit of passion and then accidentally killed her by falling on her, the crime provides little interest because you know what it will be and who will do it almost from the start. Little sleuthing is needed. The secondary crime, an actual murder and not manslaughter, is almost thrown in without much thought. Second, Walsh turns the characters of Lord Peter and Harriet into flat and wooden caricatures. They lack interest as people and act via stilted posturing. The passages that lend extra dimensions are ones that quote most significantly from Dorothy Sayers other Lord Peter books. The love between Lord Peter and Harriet as evidenced in "Busman's Honeymoon" is totally mechanical in this book. It is as though Walsh is writing about something she seems to know nothing about.... an intelligent woman and an intelligent man in love with each other both head (intellect) and heart (emotion). I understand that the literary banter so joyfully demonstrated in "Busman's Honeymoon" would be difficult to recreate. And sadly Walsh does not recreate it. It is as though she is searching for some literary quotes that she can some how throw in here and there. It does not work, alas. Next, Walsh does not understand the relationship between Bunter and Lord Peter, nor indeed the relationship between the servants and the landed gentry. At one point, Bunter is invited by Lord Peter to "get yourself a drink and come help me work on this" as though he is a colleague. YIKES! That is so totally wrong for both the Lord Peter character, and also for the Bunter character. It just would not work that way. My recommendation? If you have read any of the Lord Peter mysteries, don't read this one. It isn't the same Lord Peter, Harriet is a stereotype and not a real woman, the crime is uninteresting, and the sparkle so usual in Sayers books is totally gone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gwenyth

    If you really, really like Dorothy L. Sayers you might in a fit of grief after finishing all her Peter Wimsey books turn to "Thrones, Dominations", in which Walsh rounds some scratching of notes left behind by Sayers up to a novel. This isn't a Sayers book, it's more the literary equivalent of a designer knock-off. I have mixed feelings about efforts like this. On the one hand, if they're good, I'll forgive anything. If they're not and I've been tricked into reading them anyway by the If you really, really like Dorothy L. Sayers you might in a fit of grief after finishing all her Peter Wimsey books turn to "Thrones, Dominations", in which Walsh rounds some scratching of notes left behind by Sayers up to a novel. This isn't a Sayers book, it's more the literary equivalent of a designer knock-off. I have mixed feelings about efforts like this. On the one hand, if they're good, I'll forgive anything. If they're not and I've been tricked into reading them anyway by the transparent marketing scheme, I end up annoyed. In my opinion, this is slightly different than when a writer pays homage to a book they themselves love in a playful way (Murder Comes to Pemberley might fall into this category, since PD James obviously doesn't need to boost her sales using Austen's name). Or when the writer is doing something more complicated than trying to imitate the original (Wide Sargasso Sea). Basically if you really like Sayers you probably do so in part because she's such a good writer. Walsh can't match up, so don't bother, you're just going to be disappointed. On the other hand I do recommend this short piece of Dorothy L. Sayers fanfiction, which is a lovely piece of amateur appreciation that captures the shadow that WWII throws back over the golden age detective stories.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    So I've been Lord Peter re-reading binge lately, and having just enjoyed Busman's Honeymoon, I decided to go ahead and give Thrones, Dominations another try. I'd read it some years ago when I first got into the Lord Peter books, and then, I'd found it sort of meh. I didn't think it was that bad, but I didn't think it was that good, either. This time around, I can't believe how FULL OF FAIL it is. The most obvious problem is that it doesn't have the soul of all the originals. It feels So I've been Lord Peter re-reading binge lately, and having just enjoyed Busman's Honeymoon, I decided to go ahead and give Thrones, Dominations another try. I'd read it some years ago when I first got into the Lord Peter books, and then, I'd found it sort of meh. I didn't think it was that bad, but I didn't think it was that good, either. This time around, I can't believe how FULL OF FAIL it is. The most obvious problem is that it doesn't have the soul of all the originals. It feels very mechanical, and lacks the wonderful humanity that Sayers breathed into her works. But more than that, it has all sorts of characterization fail. Not a single one of the characters comes off feeling entirely true to form- but Parker, Harriet, and Bunter all suffer the most. Sayers was often accused of being in love with her own creation; whether or not that was true, her affection made Peter LIVE. Walsh seems to have the distant, vague affection of a absent-minded great aunt. The huge gap between when the book was begun (the 1930s) and completed (1998) certainly doesn't help- the world is simply a different place now, and Walsh seems to lack the imagination to write as if it were still 1936.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I was hesitant to read this book as my understanding is that Sayers herself didn't finish the novel but that the plot was taken fom her rough drafts. As desperate as I was to get news of the Wimseys post-honeymoon, I think ultimately this book is a failure. Although there are glimpses of Sayer and I think some of the themes she was going to develop, the ghostwriter does not have her depth of knowledge or even a vague imitation of her voice. In fact everybody's voice was off. Harriet was a shadow I was hesitant to read this book as my understanding is that Sayers herself didn't finish the novel but that the plot was taken fom her rough drafts. As desperate as I was to get news of the Wimseys post-honeymoon, I think ultimately this book is a failure. Although there are glimpses of Sayer and I think some of the themes she was going to develop, the ghostwriter does not have her depth of knowledge or even a vague imitation of her voice. In fact everybody's voice was off. Harriet was a shadow of her former self and rather trite and "of the people" and Wimsey barely existed. And the Dowager Duchess was foolish and silly in her comments. Bunter is thrown a love-interest and we get a redundant and already well-known look into King Edward's Nazi sympathies. Exposition is one thing but I really hate being educated in such a rough, unskilled way. I can understand the urge to finish the book but whoever chose the author made a terrible mistake. The story has suffered as a result and surely that's the ultimate insult to the original author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I liked this book more than I expected to and less than I wanted to. I've been on a bit of a Dorothy L Sayers binge recently. Or rather, I've been on a Peter and Harriet binge, as over the past few weeks I've re-read the four novels involving them one after the other. I remember hearing about Thrones, Dominations when it was first published, but didn't read it at the time. Always very wary about anything which could be classed as fan fiction, I was pleasantly surprised that Jill Paton Walsh stru I liked this book more than I expected to and less than I wanted to. I've been on a bit of a Dorothy L Sayers binge recently. Or rather, I've been on a Peter and Harriet binge, as over the past few weeks I've re-read the four novels involving them one after the other. I remember hearing about Thrones, Dominations when it was first published, but didn't read it at the time. Always very wary about anything which could be classed as fan fiction, I was pleasantly surprised that Jill Paton Walsh struck the right tone for Peter and Harriet most of time. However, there were a few occasions when I thought that DLS would never have had Peter (or Harriet, or Bunter) say or do a particular thing - and it jarred unpleasantly. Still and all, I enjoyed being able to spend more time with one of my favourite literary couples. And I am very glad that I have two more instalments to go!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Walsh took the notes that Sayers left for a Wimsey/Vane mystery, and finished it. I'd rather they had simply published the notes. It is quite obvious where Sayers notes ended, and Walsh is simply incapable of writing in anything like Sayers' voice. She may well write decent novels of her own, but I wish she'd kept her hands off Peter and Harriet.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    I actually finished reading this book over a month ago, and even though I meant to write a review immediately, I obviously kind of forgot about that. So I apologize in advance, because I'm going to be a little fuzzy on the details. First, background: Dorothy Sayers left this book unfinished, having abandoned it in 1936. She left some fragments of the novel behind, and Jill Paton Walsh was recruited to finish the book in 1998. It's not clear how much of the book is Sayers and how much I actually finished reading this book over a month ago, and even though I meant to write a review immediately, I obviously kind of forgot about that. So I apologize in advance, because I'm going to be a little fuzzy on the details. First, background: Dorothy Sayers left this book unfinished, having abandoned it in 1936. She left some fragments of the novel behind, and Jill Paton Walsh was recruited to finish the book in 1998. It's not clear how much of the book is Sayers and how much is Walsh, but it feels primarily the latter, and I'm try to articulate why I felt this way. So when this novel starts, Peter and Harriet have returned from their honeymoon (which we saw in Busman's Honeymoon) and are settled into married life. In true Sayers fashion, a lot of time is spent leisurely exploring their new life as a couple - we get a lot of stuff about the new Wimsey/Vane household, the pressure on Harriet and Peter to have babies and provide backup Wimsey heirs, and (somewhat weirdly) occasional diary entries from Peter's mother intrude on the narrative. Sure, whatever. As I said in my review of Busman's Honeymoon, I would only recommend this book to people who are already head-over-heels in love with Peter and Harriet's dynamic, because anyone else will be confused and annoyed that we're spending so many pages not solving a mystery. I, of course, was delighted, because I would read a novel that's just Harriet and Peter having tea in real time, because it would mean lots of lovely banter like this, when the Wimseys are discussing a dinner party with the in-laws: "'There is an argument for getting on with it,' said his lordship. 'While we can still sit together.' 'I thought husbands and wives were always placed apart,' said Harriet. 'No; for the first six months after marriage we are allowed to sit together.' 'Are we allowed to hold hands under the table?' 'Best not, I should think,' said Peter. 'Unless about to go down with the ship. But we are allowed to talk to each other for the duration of one course of the dinner.'" I loved all of the Peter/Harriet banter, because these two are never not delightful (a fun addition in this book, that I'm sure was Walsh's idea because we never see it in any other Sayers mystery, is Peter's habit of addressing Harriet as "Domina." Swoon) Another wonderful choice made in this novel - Harriet gets her own Bunter! Walsh is clearly just as in love with Peter and his manservant, Bunter, as I am. In this novel, Harriet gets a lady's maid named Miss Mango, who is recruited into the mystery solving and throws herself into the work with professional gusto, and it is wonderful. I feel like this was Walsh's idea instead of Sayers', because giving each of the Wimsey's a mystery-assisting servant gives the story almost too much symmetry, and feels like something a fan would write, rather than the author. I also thought that naming the character "Miss Mango" wasn't something Sayers would do, but then I remembered the man named Waffles, so who knows. Either way, Miss Mango is a fantastic addition to the team. That's about where my love of this book ends, however. The mystery is pretty straightforward, as they usually are in Sayers novels - basically, we have a dead wife, a suspicious husband, and some potential lovers. Plus a faked break-in, so that's fun! But the solution to the mystery was not what I was expecting, and not in a good way. (view spoiler)[So the dead wife's face is really battered, and in most mysteries, wrecking the corpse's face means that you're trying to disguise the identity of said corpse. It's discovered later that the husband has a mistress who, like his wife, has red hair. So I was thinking, okay, maybe the dead body is actually the mistress, and the wife ran off? I figured there had to be a reason that the wife and the mistress looked similar, but there really isn't - it felt sloppy, and very un-Sayers, so I'm going to blame it on Walsh (hide spoiler)] Also, since the book takes place in the 1930's but was (mostly) written in the 1990's, it unfortunately suffers the curse of bad historic fiction: excessive, distracting foreshadowing. The events of this book take place right around the time Edward VIII was trying to marry Wallis Simpson, so there's a lot of very obvious "Gee, hope this won't have any long-reaching consequences for the monarchy!" and it was tiring. The diary entries written by Peter's mother are the worst source of obnoxious foreshadowing - they're all "oh, the king would never marry a divorced woman!" and "man, what's up with Germany lately?" It was distracting and stupid, because it was so clearly written by someone living decades after the original draft, who had the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. It was lazy and cheap, and took me out of the story completely because it was obviously not written by Sayers. Sayers abandoned this story in 1936, but she didn't abandon Harriet and Peter - she went on to write several short stories that took place after the events of this novel (which means one of the central conflicts of this book - will Harriet and Peter have kids? - has already been resolved by later stories). I dunno, I think it's a sign that Sayers continued writing about Harriet and Peter, but never went back to try to make this book work. Maybe they should have just left it alone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Garnette

    Only after one reads all of Lord Peter, perhaps twice or thrice, then turn to this most marvelous book, written sixty years after she abandoned the ms but left the outline for us. Written, unlike most follow-ups aka the Austen knock-offs except Pamela Aiden, and completed in Sayers' voice and according to her outline by Jill Paton Walsh. Walsh because of reading Sayers' went to Oxford. If I could know that even one person was so inspired to appropriate action by any of my books, I would be joyou Only after one reads all of Lord Peter, perhaps twice or thrice, then turn to this most marvelous book, written sixty years after she abandoned the ms but left the outline for us. Written, unlike most follow-ups aka the Austen knock-offs except Pamela Aiden, and completed in Sayers' voice and according to her outline by Jill Paton Walsh. Walsh because of reading Sayers' went to Oxford. If I could know that even one person was so inspired to appropriate action by any of my books, I would be joyous. Walsh's book is so satisfying, Lord Peter and Harriet are so believable, so true to themselves. Now I am going to read some Walsh. I do love the book life, one book leading to another book, always a delight to anticipate. One neat trick in the title: I did not see the clue in it until I entered title into Good Reads. I just too quickly thought 'o, thrones, dominions' Sayers' quoting from Paul. But not so! A pun, a clue, a mystery in the mystery title. Have a good time finding it. Also I am going to seek out Sayers' Dante translation, maybe I can read that.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Of the Wimsey continuation novels by Jill Paton Walsh, Thrones, Dominations is the best. Most likely because it has the largest amount of Sayers in it. Sayers sketched out most of the novel, left plot diagrams, and wrote about six chapters of the novel before abandoning it in 1936. When I first read it, long before blogging, I was incredibly eager to do so--knowing how much Sayers had left to work with and longing for more Lord Peter Wimsey. At that time I rated it a decent outing, but it also m Of the Wimsey continuation novels by Jill Paton Walsh, Thrones, Dominations is the best. Most likely because it has the largest amount of Sayers in it. Sayers sketched out most of the novel, left plot diagrams, and wrote about six chapters of the novel before abandoning it in 1936. When I first read it, long before blogging, I was incredibly eager to do so--knowing how much Sayers had left to work with and longing for more Lord Peter Wimsey. At that time I rated it a decent outing, but it also made me sad because I knew how very outstanding it could have been if Sayers had completed. Needless to say--Paton Walsh is no Sayers. She doesn't have the literary style, nor the Renaissance-woman feel of Sayers (despite having been inspired to attend Oxford after reading Sayers' novels). But I thought her handling of the characters decent. There was, however, an indecent lack of Bunter. And when he did appear it was not for long and he did not have the importance of Sayers' character. This time around I am feeling a bit more generous. In part that is because I don't have the same heightened expectations. But also this "reading" was an audio novel read by Lord Peter Wimsey himself, Ian Carmichael. Carmichael was my first filmed Wimsey and embodies the man for me. Edward Petherbridge also gave a fine performance--but Carmichael was first. His reading of the novel breathes a spirit of the Sayers Wimsey into the work that is lacking on the written page. He knows the Wimsey way (and by extension that of the other characters in the novel) even if Paton Walsh doesn't have complete mastery of it and he brings the work up to another level. Two notes on the book itself: The novel is worth it for the appearance of the Countess of Severn and Thames when she swoops down upon Harriet to spy out for herself how her godson's marriage is getting along. I love the way she and Harriet size each other up and come to like one another. Harriet isn't about to be cowed by this formidable woman and gives just as good as she gets. On a more serious note, this novel continues to explore the themes of love and marriage first broached in Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon. So, on that count, it makes for an interesting follow-up. Where Gaudy Night has Peter tell Harriet "But when you have come to a conclusion about all this, will you remember that it was I who asked you to take a dispassionate view, and I who told that of all the devils let loos in the world there was no devil like devoted love...." Thrones, Dominations examines the jealous, possessive side of love. Sayers' outline contrasts the marriage of equality, respect, and deep love of the Wimseys with the jealous, possessive love of the Harwells. It seems that the Harwells are not happy unless Laurence is repeatedly "storming the citadel" and taking possession of his wife once again. And Rosamund loves to play the ice queen who must be won over and warmed by love and adoration of her man. Last time round, I gave this three stars. I'm upping the ante just a bit (primarily for Ian Carmichael's reading): ★★★★. First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting review content. Thanks.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where I got the book: my bookshelf. A re-read. After reading through the Wimsey series in the last year or so, I found myself reaching for Jill Paton Walsh's authorized continuation of the Peter/Harriet story out of the need for a comforting shot of a world where, amid chaos and murder, two characters have found a still center of mutual adoration. Like Busman's Honeymoon, an awful lot of Thrones, Dominations seems to be devoted to showing the Wimsey marriage as a perfect model of harmony both in and out o Where I got the book: my bookshelf. A re-read. After reading through the Wimsey series in the last year or so, I found myself reaching for Jill Paton Walsh's authorized continuation of the Peter/Harriet story out of the need for a comforting shot of a world where, amid chaos and murder, two characters have found a still center of mutual adoration. Like Busman's Honeymoon, an awful lot of Thrones, Dominations seems to be devoted to showing the Wimsey marriage as a perfect model of harmony both in and out of the bedroom, based on mutual respect and friendship that dominate but do not stifle physical passion. Ah, how many of us expected love to be like that, and have been disappointed! I don't think any real people can rise to the heights of nobility and intelligence that the Wimseys achieve. That aside, it's a nice little mystery involving, with rather heavy obviousness, a marriage that contrasts with the Wimseys'; two people engaged in a constant game of oneupmanship and unhappy misunderstanding. Normal marriage, in other words. In late Sayers style it brings in two French characters who possess a deep wisdom in all matters concerning l'amour, another idealization that devoted readers must forgive. I feel that Jill Paton Walsh's main contribution to this novel (which Sayers had sketched out and, I think, started to write but abandoned) might be the plot involving King Edward VIII, the rather worryingly pro-German monarch who abdicated to marry Mrs. Simpson. Sayers tended to ignore history in her novels--except, of course, for the after-effects of World War I, which had evidently made a deep impression on her. Not a bad story, on the whole, and a decent fix for Wimsey fans who want more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    "Deemed 'one of the greatest mystery writers of this century' by the Los Angeles Times>, Dorothy L. Sayers first captivated readers nearly seventy years ago with her beloved sleuths Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in the novel Strong Poison. In Busman's Honeymoon, her loast completed Wimsey/Vane novel, Lord Peter and Harriet culminated their partnership with marriage. Now Thrones, Dominations, Sayers' uncompleted last novel, satisfied the vast readership hungry to know what happened after the honeymoon. Here award-winning "Deemed 'one of the greatest mystery writers of this century' by the Los Angeles Times>, Dorothy L. Sayers first captivated readers nearly seventy years ago with her beloved sleuths Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in the novel Strong Poison. In Busman's Honeymoon, her loast completed Wimsey/Vane novel, Lord Peter and Harriet culminated their partnership with marriage. Now Thrones, Dominations, Sayers' uncompleted last novel, satisfied the vast readership hungry to know what happened after the honeymoon. Here award-winning author Jill Paton Walsh picks up where Sayers left off, bringing Wimsey and Vane brilliantly to life in Sayers' unmistakable voice. Readers and reviewer are rejoicing at the return of this delightful sleuthing couple--as adept at solving a baffling murder mystery as they are at balancing the delicate demands of their loving union." ~~from the back cover It was all right, I guess. But not really, either. It was "off" in some way I can't define, not really Sayers' voice and not really Sayers' characters. I wish I could put my finger on what was wrong with this gallant attempt to finish the ms posthumously, but I can't. Not bad, and certainly I wouldn't caution against reading it. But nor would I thrust a copy eagerly into your hands and implore you to read it -- I'd be afraid you'd be disappointed as I was.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    FULL OF FAIL. The most obvious problem is that it doesn't have the soul of all the originals. It feels very mechanical, and lacks the wonderful humanity that Sayers breathed into her works. But more than that, it has all sorts of characterization fail. Not a single one of the characters comes off feeling entirely true to form- but Parker, Harriet, and Bunter all suffer the most. Sayers was often accused of being in love with her own creation; whether or not that was true, her affectio FULL OF FAIL. The most obvious problem is that it doesn't have the soul of all the originals. It feels very mechanical, and lacks the wonderful humanity that Sayers breathed into her works. But more than that, it has all sorts of characterization fail. Not a single one of the characters comes off feeling entirely true to form- but Parker, Harriet, and Bunter all suffer the most. Sayers was often accused of being in love with her own creation; whether or not that was true, her affection made Peter LIVE. Walsh seems to have the distant, vague affection of a absent-minded great aunt. The huge gap between when the book was begun (the 1930s) and completed (1998) certainly doesn't help- the world is simply a different place now, and Walsh seems to lack the imagination to write as if it were still 1936. Ninety percent of the fanfic out there is so vastly superior to this THING that I lack the vocabulary to compare them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I was reluctant to read this, since it wasn't all Sayers' work. I'm not madly in love, but it was fun enough, and very easy to read. Bunter having a happy ending of his own is somewhat out of the blue, since you'd think he was married to his job, but the solution they come up with is quite nice. All the scenes between Harriet and Peter got a bit much. A little goes a long way with them: having read Busman's Honeymoon, I'd had my fill of love scenes for a while. I probably w I was reluctant to read this, since it wasn't all Sayers' work. I'm not madly in love, but it was fun enough, and very easy to read. Bunter having a happy ending of his own is somewhat out of the blue, since you'd think he was married to his job, but the solution they come up with is quite nice. All the scenes between Harriet and Peter got a bit much. A little goes a long way with them: having read Busman's Honeymoon, I'd had my fill of love scenes for a while. I probably wouldn't have read it if we hadn't already owned a copy, but it's not terrible.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I liked this! Overall, it felt fairly Sayers-esque. The language and characters feel pretty right from the beginning, but the plot took a while. It took too long for the mystery aspect to kick in and too much time was spent with non-Peter and Harriet people for the first third or so of the book. I do see this more as fanfic and not sure I consider it . . . uh, real. But, oh, I wanted more Peter/Harriet and this scratched that itch. I will read more!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marlee Pinsker

    Some high points of this excellent book: Peter is worried that his playing a detective is just a rich man's game. "When you have seen people die," he said, "when you have seen at what abominable and appalling cost the peace and safety of England was secured,and then you see the peace squalidly broken, you see killing that has been perpetrated for vile and selfish motives..." "Oh, yes, I can see that," she said. "Beloved, I do see." "Justice is a terrible thing," he sai Some high points of this excellent book: Peter is worried that his playing a detective is just a rich man's game. "When you have seen people die," he said, "when you have seen at what abominable and appalling cost the peace and safety of England was secured,and then you see the peace squalidly broken, you see killing that has been perpetrated for vile and selfish motives..." "Oh, yes, I can see that," she said. "Beloved, I do see." "Justice is a terrible thing," he said, "but injustice is worse." ...................................... "Nothing you could tell me would be as bad as the thought that there was some subject we couldn't talk over together..."................... About the title....since in Paradise Lost the losing angels were cast down into hell, I believe it reflects that the winning side must earn their lofty status. Peter says, "I accuse myself of accepting and enjoying the title and rank and privilege - the unthinking automatic respect given me for reasons of birth - and not giving back value for them, not pulling my weight."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Genia Lukin

    So, okay, this is not Dorothy Sayers. Obviously, Miss Walsh doesn't have her education, erudition, or grace as a writer, but it's still quite a fun book, and parts of it 0 the more Sayersy parts - are a thrill to read. The mystery, which I hear is mostly Walsh's work, is admittedly rather dull, and so pat it makes one almost annoyed; everything somehow coincidentally happens to fall into place with some helpful husband-wife dynamics, and that comparison between the two couples is fabu So, okay, this is not Dorothy Sayers. Obviously, Miss Walsh doesn't have her education, erudition, or grace as a writer, but it's still quite a fun book, and parts of it 0 the more Sayersy parts - are a thrill to read. The mystery, which I hear is mostly Walsh's work, is admittedly rather dull, and so pat it makes one almost annoyed; everything somehow coincidentally happens to fall into place with some helpful husband-wife dynamics, and that comparison between the two couples is fabulously heavy-handed... but who reads the Wimsey books for the mystery anyway? Not I. It was a fun read. I got through it in a weekend. While it lacked the depth and dynamics of Gaudy Night or the philosophical undercurrents of Murder, Must Advertise, it still was a fun murder mystery with some comedy of manners, and had bits of Peter and Harriet that were a pleasure to read. I'm glad the manuscript Sayers left got published in some form, anyway.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Sullivan

    My general rule for Jane Austen fan fiction and paraliterature (that is, fan fiction of the published variety) is that if one is going to play in Jane Austen's sandbox, one should endeavor to play by her rules. Extending that rule to Sayers, I am satisfied that Jill Paton Walsh did an excellent job following Sayers' sandbox rules. Peter and Harriet were just as they ought; though I think the mystery was lacking a bit by Sayers' lights. However, I'm not sure how much of the plot was Sayers, and h My general rule for Jane Austen fan fiction and paraliterature (that is, fan fiction of the published variety) is that if one is going to play in Jane Austen's sandbox, one should endeavor to play by her rules. Extending that rule to Sayers, I am satisfied that Jill Paton Walsh did an excellent job following Sayers' sandbox rules. Peter and Harriet were just as they ought; though I think the mystery was lacking a bit by Sayers' lights. However, I'm not sure how much of the plot was Sayers, and how much was Walsh. I enjoyed it, though, and I think Walsh has written some more Peter and Harriet books, which I shall certainly look up. But not till after a re-read of Strong Poison/Gaudy Night/Busman's Honeymoon.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I thought that this book was remarkably well written. I already previously knew that Dorthy L. Sayers had not written the entire book and accordingly read with a bit of trepidation. It's difficult to immitate an author's style, phrasing, characterization and such, but I think that Jill Patton Walsh did a good job of it. I liked that comparison that Sayers set up between Peter and Harriet and Rosamund and Laurence. The mystery itself seemed to be played out in a similar manner to others of the Wi I thought that this book was remarkably well written. I already previously knew that Dorthy L. Sayers had not written the entire book and accordingly read with a bit of trepidation. It's difficult to immitate an author's style, phrasing, characterization and such, but I think that Jill Patton Walsh did a good job of it. I liked that comparison that Sayers set up between Peter and Harriet and Rosamund and Laurence. The mystery itself seemed to be played out in a similar manner to others of the Wimsey series, seeming to be, in my opinion almost set as a background for the rest of the book. So, I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to reading the next one.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    I thought Jill Paton Walsh did a great job of finishing this story begun by Dorothy Sayers. It takes place very shortly after her final complete book about Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, and I couldn't tell what was Sayers and what was Walsh. To me it was pretty seamless. Strangely enough, I think this book was my introduction to Lord Peter years ago, as it was the only one my library had. Then I had to go and find Sayers' original novels.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    Whatever happened to Lord Peter Wimsey after he was married? How did Harriet deal with the duchess? Where did they live? Answers to these and more questions reside in Thrones, Dominations, first of the “new” Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels, based on notes left by the original author. The novel reads just like its predecessors. Lord Peter and Harriet Vane change only in that they’re growing together, as married couples will. Coping and changing are interesting, of course, bound b Whatever happened to Lord Peter Wimsey after he was married? How did Harriet deal with the duchess? Where did they live? Answers to these and more questions reside in Thrones, Dominations, first of the “new” Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels, based on notes left by the original author. The novel reads just like its predecessors. Lord Peter and Harriet Vane change only in that they’re growing together, as married couples will. Coping and changing are interesting, of course, bound by love and split by family and a changing world. So a dead body isn’t the only complication. Society moves on, ideas change, and Harriet leads the way, very tidily. The dialog remains pitch-perfect, relationships just as expected and nicely humorous. The gap between rich and poor opens occasional doors. And a home in the country might be as dangerous as one in town. A story of culture and relationships, told with well timed mystery; I’d love to read move. Disclosure: I loved Dorothy Sayers’ books and wasn’t sure what to expect, but now I’m delighted.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    This just goes to show that romantic love is an absolute crock. I'm having a hard time expressing what exactly I found so frustrating about this book - it might just be the knowledge that we can't Know how Sayers would have ended it. I think it was also the vulgarity of so many of the characters - from Uncle Pandarus at the outset even to Jerry and on occasion Peter himself. The kind of love depicted between Laurence and Rosamund is either intended to be portraying the suffocating power of passi This just goes to show that romantic love is an absolute crock. I'm having a hard time expressing what exactly I found so frustrating about this book - it might just be the knowledge that we can't Know how Sayers would have ended it. I think it was also the vulgarity of so many of the characters - from Uncle Pandarus at the outset even to Jerry and on occasion Peter himself. The kind of love depicted between Laurence and Rosamund is either intended to be portraying the suffocating power of passion or that any crime committed in a passion is forgivable. I think Laurence was disgusting from start to finish and Rosamund would have been much better off still working in the dress shop. As for Harriet and Peter, I miss the nuance Sayers brought to them. As fine as the story was, it didn't feel any better as a take on them and their relationship than I could have done (obviously the plot is another thing entirely. i can't do plot if my life is at stake.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I always thoroughly enjoyed the Lord Peter Wimsey stories. They are among the few books that I have read several times. So when I discovered there were still a few more, I was first delighted, and then worried that they might not be as good, since they were written by someone else. A few weeks ago a friend of mine said that this book really was as good as the others, so I decided to give it a try. I wasn't very disappointed, I actually liked the book and laughed about the familiar wit I always thoroughly enjoyed the Lord Peter Wimsey stories. They are among the few books that I have read several times. So when I discovered there were still a few more, I was first delighted, and then worried that they might not be as good, since they were written by someone else. A few weeks ago a friend of mine said that this book really was as good as the others, so I decided to give it a try. I wasn't very disappointed, I actually liked the book and laughed about the familiar witty comments. Only I do think that the general atmosphere in the book was decidedly more soft and gentle, not so crisp and witty and dry humor, nor the sharp observations of humanity as I always enjoyed. So on the whole I wouldn't really recommend it to a Lord Peter Wimsey lover. But it is a very enjoyable detective story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bookjazzer2010

    3.5 It took a long time to get into this one, but it was better than average in the end.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steph Miller

    I found this book to be a delightful read, largely because it gives a glimpse into the married life of Peter and Harriet. Though Busman's Honeymoon did this somewhat, in Thrones, Dominations we see them adjusting to London society as a united front, often resisting the social conventions, especially where it concerns the proper place for a lady. What is especially charming is Lord Peter's determination to be on equal footing with his wife, and to ensure she continues to write, though others assu I found this book to be a delightful read, largely because it gives a glimpse into the married life of Peter and Harriet. Though Busman's Honeymoon did this somewhat, in Thrones, Dominations we see them adjusting to London society as a united front, often resisting the social conventions, especially where it concerns the proper place for a lady. What is especially charming is Lord Peter's determination to be on equal footing with his wife, and to ensure she continues to write, though others assume it is improper for a married woman to do so. This book is a beautiful culmination of the Vane/Wimsey mystery collection because it shows these two strong-willed, intelligent, independent people in a loving marriage. Their union defies convention, both in the sense of being happy and fulfilling, and in their determination to resist the conventional gender roles, in vocational life and in marriage. The reader will have a much greater appreciation of this book if it is read after the other Vane/Wimsey novels. Gaudy Night is especially important in the development of their relationship because of its theme of female academics and the changing roles of women during this time in history, and there couldn't be a more appropriate setting for the turning point in Harriet's relationship with Peter, and her view of marriage in general. Thrones, Dominations highlights the success of the couple's marriage by setting it in contrast to the marriage of another pair, whose deficiencies are apparent from the beginning of the book. Overall it was an enjoyable and amusing read, interspersed with the expected literary quotations and allusions which are naturally inherent in Harriet and Peter's daily conversations. Paton Walsh did a fine job, and I understand that Sayers scholars agree!

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