Sayers, Dorothy L. Busman’s Honeymoon.

NY: Harper & Row, 1937.

This is the last novel in the series featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, talented amateur sleuth, and that’s rather a shame. At the very end of the previous novel, Gaudy Night, Peter proposed yet again to Miss Harriet Vane, whom he had saved from the gallows six years before and had been pursuing avidly ever since. Only this time (things being different), she accepted.

The first part of the book is the mostly lighthearted story of their wedding and the lengths they had to go to in order to get what they wanted. (It’s not always easy, being the younger brother of a duke and constantly in the public eye.) But they manage it and head off to what they hope will be a private honeymoon in a house they’ve just purchased in the Norfolk village where Harriet grew up. They meet a number of locals, of course, and Sayers, a master of characterization, does a terrific job with all of them. But Lord Peter just can’t escape Fate and when the previous owner of the house turns up dead in the cellar, the happy couple is drawn into the police investigation whether they like it or not. The local superintendent is particularly good in his quotation-competition with the newlyweds. And the solution to the crime is certainly original. It’s a pity Sayers declined to continue to produce these marvelous books. I’d much rather read a Peter Wimsey mystery than a translation of Dante.

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Published in: on 5 April 2011 at 6:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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