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Download A Presumption of Death ePub

by Jill Paton Walsh

Download A Presumption of Death ePub
  • ISBN 0754093360
  • ISBN13 978-0754093367
  • Language English
  • Author Jill Paton Walsh
  • Publisher Chivers (June 1, 2003)
  • Pages 472
  • Formats lit lrf azw lrf
  • Category Mystery and Suspense
  • Subcategory Mystery
  • Size ePub 1687 kb
  • Size Fb2 1456 kb
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 639

Drawing on the events of "The Wimsey Papers," a tale set during the Blitz in 1940 London finds Lord Peter conducting secret business for the Foreign Office, while Harriet, caring for the family, is shocked by the murder of a young Land Girl.

A Presumption of Death is a Lord Peter Wimsey-Harriet Vane mystery novel by Jill Paton Walsh, based loosely on The Wimsey Papers by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Author Jill Paton Walsh crafted A Presumption of Death from a series by. .All in all, this is probably the weakest of the Paton Walsh Wimsey books.

Mystery written by Jill Paton Walsh based on Dorothy Sayers's descriptions .

Start reading A Presumption of Death on your Kindle in under a minute. I read somewhere that Jill Paton Walsh was such a fan of Harriet Vane's that "Gaudy Night" inspired her to attend Oxford.

A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, by Jill Paton Walsh · Dorothy L.

A Presumption of Death Dorothy L. Sayers,Jill Paton Walsh Недоступно . Before writing for adults she made a career as a writer of children& books and has won many literary prizes.

Walsh has used a series of letters Sayers wrote for the Spectator as the . Well, it is A Presumption of Death which creates the possibility of the imposture in the first place.

Jill Paton Walsh fulfills those hopes in A Presumption of Death. Although Sayers never began another Wimsey novel, she did leave clues.

A Presumption of Death. A Presumption of Death. Sayers Dorothy L, Walsh Jill Paton.

Talk about A Presumption of Death

I read somewhere that Jill Paton Walsh was such a fan of Harriet Vane's that "Gaudy Night" inspired her to attend Oxford.

That's a wonderful little detail, and I love hearing stuff like that. But unfortunately for me as a Lord Peter Wimsey fan, it seems that Walsh's identification with Harriet means that Lord Peter is being winnowed out of her version of Sayers's stories almost completely.

So once again, as with "Thrones, Dominations," we have a solid, competently written book that doesn't feel much like part of the "Lord Peter" series except in name only. Most of the book takes place in WWII England, at Talboys (Harriet's childhood home, and the setting of "Busman's Honeymoon"), and Peter is absent for most of the book, off on mysterious wartime missions.

I really felt like this Harriet-centric narrative device was a mistake. We're left with Harriet's rather straightforward, plainer personality, and without even a little of the Wimsey sparkle, the book drags for long sections. The only relief is a surprisingly enjoyable portrait of Bunter, whose character is believably expanded and who is one of the book's bright spots. But nobody else really feels like themselves. Harriet is more humorless than ever, Kirk and Twitterton are both rather grim and seem to return just for fan-service (and they're completely unlike their "Busman's Honeymoon" selves). But it's the bright, mercurial characters that suffer most -- the Dowager is, like Peter, a shadow of her usually wonderful, funny self, Jerry (Pickled Gherkins) is unrecognizable and lacking his usual charm, and worst of all, Walsh cannot even seem to write Miss Climpson, who is presented without her ever-present breathless over-emphasis and italics (surely Climpson's distinctive voice could have and should have been better captured). It's as if Walsh is writing these faintly dry, academic, competent fan-fictions that happen to include Sayers characters, but she can't seem to capture the real vividness of the characters themselves.

Lord Peter does return eventually, but he's once again rather sparkless. It's not that I think he should be dancing jigs in wartime, but Lord Peter does tend to whistle in the dark, and in addition to that, a sense of humor can be slyly evident as a personality trait even under pressure. With Lord Peter, in fact? Especially under pressure!

But not here. As before, the character just doesn't feel much like Lord Peter at all -- once again, Walsh's take on Lord Peter is rather humorless and stuffy, with little wit or wordplay. Worst of all, she has Lord Peter apologizing repeatedly for being so "foolish" in the past -- this comes up repeatedly, and annoyed me a lot. Lord Peter's 'laughing on the outside' tomfoolery isn't actually foolish, and that's what's fun about the character. He's usually clowning around right when the danger is greatest or when his heart is breaking -- so for Walsh to essentially dismiss and criticize the earlier Sayers (real) Lord Peter as some kind of flighty annoyance is upsetting if you're a fan of the series.

While this was an interesting story that brought to life WWII Britain, I ultimately felt this one was less successful than "Thrones, Dominations," which I also felt was an okay novel, but a substandard attempt at Lord Peter. However, where "Thrones" offered a mystery that felt like Sayers, the mystery here not only is very oddly presented and explored, it's almost thrown away by the end of the book -- almost incidental, as if it doesn't matter. Both books are well-researched and presented, and Walsh obviously enjoys Sayers's works, but it's like hearing a barely competent musician play Mozart -- there's little real feeling to what feels like an almost academic exercise.

I will keep reading Walsh's take -- substandard Lord Peter is better in a weird way than none at all, and I'm interested to see where she takes the characters. But it's been a quiet disappointment, as she has taken so much of the dazzle and dash of one of my favorite characters and made him rather ordinary -- that's the real crime here.

I hope I'm explaining myself well. It's a decent book. But not one to introduce Lord Peter to newcomers, certainly, and only a pale reflection of one of the great literary characters. As an example -- one of my favorite moments in the Lord Peter Wimsey series is a moment in the book "Strong Poison," when Lord Peter is rambling humorously at Harriet about the case (while making yet another marriage proposal), and charmed in spite of herself, she tells him that if anyone ever does marry him, it will be for the pleasure of hearing him "talk piffle."

That's my problem with Walsh's take on the characters. There's plenty of mystery but no piffle.
Little Devil
When I read the completion of the unfinished novel Thrones, Dominions by Jill Paton Walsh, I was impressed by her ability to copy Sayer's voice so well I couldn't tell where one left off and another took over. I had high hopes that she could continue on her own. Unfortunately this book failed to fulfill that promise. Lord Peter is missing, gone on a secret mission, for most of the book, and Lady Peter is just not as interesting when alone.

When he returns, things don't improve much. His ghostly presence reminds us of the old Lord Peter, but he is an anemic shadow of his former self. Jill Paton Walsh just doesn't have the knack of bringing him to life. Sayers was accused of falling in love with her creation, but it made for a robust, lifelike character. Walsh is too detached to bring him to life.
Ms. Walsh does a wonderful job revisiting the tumultuous WWII period and how it affects the Wimsey family. The Duchess is as starchy as ever, the Dowager as delightful, the Duke as bluffly bewildered - Lord Peter and Bunter are mostly off-stage, but as I enjoy Harriet I found this delightful to see her finding her own footing as a wife, mother, and sometimes detective. I didn't mind "Thrones, Domination" although it's not my favorite of "their" adventures, but "A Presumption of Death" does very well at continuing the delicate balancing act of Peter and Harriet's relationship.

Is it Identical to what Sayers might have written? Probably not. Is it enjoyable on its own, by an author who clearly loves all of Sayers' incomparable characters? Oh, absolutely yes! I've collected all four of Walsh's books and am looking forward to more from her in the near future.
As an affection ado of the original Dorothy Sayers' books, I found this book interesting and a lovely addition to the saga of Lord and Lady Peter. While the author was true to the trope of Harriet Vane stories, she sometimes was wordy, rather than eloquent. To be fair, Sayers command of the language was masterful. There were no wasted words. Walsh, at times, seemed to be trying to mimic Sayers' style with limited success. The story arch lost some of its flow toward the end as the mystery deepened and information became compressed. The uneven pace was, at times, distracting. I will read more from this author because I am addicted to Lord Peter and have been for over 40 years.
I am listening to the unabridged audio version of POD with Edward Petherbridge (best Wimsey ever). I love Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter mysteries and have read them all multiple times. So I desperately wanted this to be a fair continuation of Peter and Harriet's story. But it is not working for me. At all. The awkward description of wartime Britain, flat characterisation of known characters, intrusive references to older stories and, most of all, the embarrassing crassness of Harriet's behaviour and observations have me muttering "No!" and "That is so stupid!" at distressingly frequent intervals.

Right now I am attempting to recover my respect for Lady Peter after a humiliating and absolutely unnecessary exchange with a Brigadier General about why Peter married her. This uncharacteristic crudeness on Harriet's part is first signaled when, out of the blue, she decides to publicly defame a young woman utterly unknown to her as she (Lady Peter)and half the village wait in a crammed bomb shelter, the ugly comments apparently intended to "lighten the atmosphere". Harriet, with her own painful history, would never have done it. Walsh may be an excellent mystery writer in her own right, but, for me, she is simply incapable of catching the spirit of Sayers' Wimsey series.