A Presumption of Death

A New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery

Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mysteries (Volume 2 of 4)

Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers

Minotaur Books

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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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Reviews

Praise for A Presumption of Death

“Sayers’ fans are in Walsh’s debt.” ---San Francisco Chronicle

"The setting is authentic and the story is gripping, but this is also a serious and committed book." --Barbara Reynolds, President of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society and author of Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul

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About the Author

Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers

Jill Paton Walsh is the author of books for adults, young adults and children. Her novel Knowledge of Angels was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Her crime novels and mystery novels include The Attenbury Emeralds, The Wyndham Case and A Piece of Justice, which was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. She completed Dorothy L. Sayers' unfinished novel Thrones, Dominations. Her novels for children and young adults include The Green Book and A Parcel of Patterns. She lives in Cambridge, England. Dorothy L. Sayers, the greatest of the golden age detective novelists, was born in Oxford in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University and worked as a copywriter in an advertising agency from 1921 to 1932. Her aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, became one of the most popular fictional heroes of the twentieth century. Dorothy L. Sayers also became famous for her religious plays, notably The Man Born to Be King, which was broadcast controversially during the war years, but she considered her translation of Dante's Divine Comedy to be her best work. She died in 1957.

Jill Paton Walsh
Dorothy L. Sayers

Jill Paton Walsh

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Presumption of Death
A New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery
Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429982115
ISBN10: 142998211X
384 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
November 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250017444
ISBN10: 1250017440
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$20.99
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Minotaur Books

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