Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Jill Paton Walsh may not be Dorothy L. Sayers, but this is still a witty, entertaining story and it’s wonderful to have more Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet. This story takes place later than Sayer’s books, after the WWII, but fortunately Bunter is still around serving as Lord Peter’s devoted valet. Like Gaudy Night, my favorite Sayers book, the setting is the world of Oxford in all its insular arcane academic glory. St. Severin's College must decide whether it should sell a moldering but valuable ancient manuscript to acquire more land, and it turns out it’s Lord Peter who, through a hereditary appointment, is supposed to cast the deciding vote. This won’t be an easy matter because passions are quite heated and though he will only be dealing with the highly educated Lord Peter is forewarned that people overestimate the power of reason among intellectuals. As Peter certainly knows well already.
It’s been a while since I read Dorothy Sayers, which maybe was an advantage for enjoying this novel, but one difference did stand out to me though I didn’t mind it--I don’t believe Sayers would have let us know that Peter and Harriet spent an afternoon dallying in bed. Rest assured, it’s just a brief, tasteful mention. My only (mild) complaint has to do with an excess of riches. There were so many Oxford fellows who had a vote in the to sell or not to sell the manuscript decision that it was difficult to keep track of who was who and what side they were on. I should have made myself a cheat sheet, but even without it the novel was a delight.