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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers

A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers. New York: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002. ISBN: 0-312-29100-0

It seems that Dorothy Sayers wrote a few “mock” letters from various members of the Wimsey family after she stopped writing Lord Peter mysteries. As Walsh explains in an "Author's Note" at the end of the book, these letters explain what the various family members were up to during the Second World War. Lord Peter, with Bunter, was off abroad on a secret mission of some sort. Harriet and their two children, plus three of Peter's sister Mary's, are at their country estate in Paggleford.

Based on and staying true to the clues provided by this correspondence, Walsh has constructed a delightful if harrowing, at times, murder mystery set in wartime Britain. With the characters, we suffer through rationing, blackouts, air raids, and the like. The murder itself almost seems beside the point.

This is the second post-Sayers Lord Peter mystery written by Walsh. Highly recommended for all Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter fans such as myself. Others might not be quite as entranced.


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