A Presumption of Death: NO. 2 OF 3 (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, 2)

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9781250017444: A Presumption of Death: NO. 2 OF 3 (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, 2)
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Sixty years after Dorothy L. Sayers began her unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Thrones Dominations, Booker Prize finalist Jill Paton Walsh took on the challenge of completing the manuscript--with extraordinary success. "The transition is seamless," said the San Francisco Chronicle; "you cannot tell where Sayers leaves off and Walsh begins."

"Will Paton Walsh do it again?" wondered Ruth Rendell in London's Sunday Times. "We must hope so."

Jill Paton Walsh fulfills those hopes in A Presumption of Death. Although Sayers never began another Wimsey novel, she did leave clues. Drawing on "The Wimsey Papers," in which Sayers showed various members of the family coping with wartime conditions, Walsh has devised an irresistible story set in 1940, at the start of the Blitz in London.

Lord Peter is abroad on secret business for the Foreign Office, while Harriet Vane, now Lady Peter Wimsey, has taken their children to safety in the country. But war has followed them there---glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalize the villagers, and the blackout makes the nighttime lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London. Daily life reminds them of the war so constantly that, when the village's first air-raid practice ends with a real body on the ground, it's almost a shock to hear the doctor declare that it was not enemy action, but plain, old-fashioned murder. Or was it?

At the request of the overstretched local police, Harriet reluctantly agrees to investigate. The mystery that unfolds is every bit as literate, ingenious, and compelling as the best of original Lord Peter Wimsey novels.

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Review:

Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition (Norma Major - The Week on Thrones, Dominations)

A superb job of seamless collaboration. Thrones, Dominations is pure pleasure. (Wall Street Journal ON Thrones, Dominations)

What we have here is a true detective story unambiguously set in the Thirties and written so much in the style of Sayers that the narrative is virtually seamless. We meet familiar friends and old enemies: the dowager duchess, loquacious as usual; the duchess of Denver with her egregious snobbery and disapproval of her new sister-in-law . . . I didn't myself believe that the job could satisfactorily be done, but she has proved me wrong. (P. D. James, Observer)

An engrossing, intelligent and provocative novel in the guise of a conventional mystery. (Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review)

Could this be the best book Dorothy L. Sayers never wrote? She has done a splendid job - certain to please the legions of Sayers loyalists as well as readers new to the Wimsey canon . . . Lord Peter has been made much more human and interesting by marriage. . . and the story is full of twists and connivance. (Chicago Tribune on THRONES, DOMINATIONS)

Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition

Miraculously right: catching precisely the tone of the relationship . . . It comes out splendidly, . . . a thrilling denouement. (Libby Purves, The Times)

A must for all Wimsey lovers...an entertaining read which offers some longed for insight into the lives of the Wimseys after their marriage (Northern Echo (Presumption of Death))

Vintage whimsey ... Wimsey lives on in delicious familiarity in this triupmh not just of one writer's art, but of two (Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Presumption of Death))

Jill Paton Walsh does a fine job of taking the first third of a difficult novel of mores and manners and turning it into a readable mystery. She also answers an unasked question about Lord Peter and Harriet: Yes, dear readers, they have a lot of sex and they like it. (Globe and Mail, Toronto)

Book Description:

Although Sayers never began another Wimsey novel - she did leave clues.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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