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Married at last, Lord Peter and Harriet find their honeymoon interrupted by a killer

It took several near-death experiences for Lord Peter Wimsey to convince Harriet Vane to be his wife, but she has finally relented. When the dapper detective marries Britain’s most popular mystery author—just a few short years after rescuing her from the hangman’s noose—the press could not be more excited. But Lord Peter and his bride have no interest in spending their wedding night surrounded by reporters. They sneak out of their own reception to begin their honeymoon early, out of sight of the world. Unfortunately, for some couples, calamity is inescapable.
 
On their 1st morning together, the newlyweds discover the house’s caretaker bludgeoned to death in the manor’s basement. If they thought finding a few minutes alone was difficult, they’re up against even steeper odds. In a house full of suspects, identifying the killer won’t be easy.
 
Busman’s Honeymoon is the 13th book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, but you may enjoy the series by reading the books in any order.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.
 

Topics: England, Small Town, Murder, Blackmail, Marriage, Family, Death, London, Love, Suspenseful, Witty, Private Investigators, Female Author, British Author, 20th Century, Third Person Narration, 1930s, Writers, Series, and Gripping

Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on
ISBN: 9781453258965
List price: $9.99
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Busman's Honeymoon is much more about the characters than about the murder mystery. I don't recommend you read it without reading the rest of the series -- at least reading Strong Poison, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night, to get to know Harriet and Peter and their romance.

There's some very fun banter, and some glorious romantic scenes, and a tad more of the story about Peter and Bunter. There was no sign of Lady Mary and Parker, really, which was disappointing, but the large quantities of Bunter rather made up for it.

For a reader who's in love with Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, this book is lovely. If you're just looking for a murder mystery, though, not this one.more

The end of the Wimsey stories, and again, Harriet 1, Peter 0.more
This novel is really much more of a love story than a mystery, as Dorothy L Sayers herself acknowledged. But for readers who followed the story of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane through the three previous novels which featured both characters, it is a most satisfying love story and a welcome culmination to the years of Peter's patient courtship and Harriet's determined resistance. Tbere's enough of a mystery to make it worthy of being called a mystery novel, but no more than that. Apart from the love story and the mystery, Busman's Honeymoon is an interesting reflection of the era in which it was written, with its depiction of English attitudes to class and race (not critical, but descriptive and not the less interesting for that). There's a lot of French in it, which is ok for me because I am reasonably fluent in that language, but it must be a trial for readers who are not. I know how they feel, because there's a bit of Latin in there as well, the meaning of which I can only guess at. (I have an old edition of Busman's Honeymoon - probably printed in the 1970s - with no translations or notes: possibly more recent editions translate the bits which aren't in English?) Anyway, even if it could be considered pretentious by today's standards, I love the French and the Latin...and the poetry with which each chapter starts and which characters quote with abandon. They don't write mysteries like this anymore, more's the pity!more
Immediately before this I read a love story masquerading as a war novel; this was a love story masquerading (albeit not very stealthily) as a murder mystery.

Harriet and Peter's beautiful, complex, deeply human relationship pretty much steals the show; rather than a happily-ever-after, their romance is all about working through the past. The book is haunted - from the actual dead body in the basement of their honeymoon home (in Harriet's home village no less) to the brilliant ending which brings Peter back to his war experiences in a manner similar to the very first Wimsey novel, Whose Body.

Also there is a lot of Bunter! He's so important in this novel that I was beginning to find him a bit frustrating - he's so obviously a real person with a personal life, yet he accepts that it is for some reason his job, not Peter's, to deal with the muck of life. But by the end of this novel we completely understand why he has deigned Peter worthy of his awesomeness, and love him all the more for it.

The mystery was merely okay, the literary references perhaps a bit thick, but generally a great ending to a captivating series.

Oh! I should complain a bit, though, about the excessive use of French. Did Sayers actually expect her readers to know the language? She used it in previous novels, but not to the extent she did in this one, since whenever the characters start to talk about sex in this one they switch into French (I'm honestly not joking). I think she (and the characters) were being intentionally silly, but I'm honestly not sure. Luckily I could understand at least some of it....

Finally there's merely a brief moment when Peter and Harriet allude to their statuses as corpse magnets, when in fact they should be completely amazed that this keeps happening to them... but whatever, it's a murder mystery.more
“It has been said, by myself and others, that a love-interest is only an intrusion upon a detective story,” Sayers says in the dedication. “But to the characters involved, the detective-interest might well seem an irritating intrusion upon their love-story.” And that is exactly what happens here.

Lord Peter and the new Lady Peter, previously Miss Harriet Vane, have gone off to the country on their honeymoon. Peter has purchased an old Tudor manor-house for Harriet as a wedding present, and they move in in the middle of the night, having narrowly escaped floods of newspaper reporters. The house has not been aired, food has not been brought in, the chimneys have not been swept, but they topple into bed to deal with it in the morning. And in the morning, they discover a body in the basement – but not before having the housekeeper and the chimneysweep in, neatly destroying most of the potential clues.

I admit, I was a little worried at about a third of the way through the book. Large portions of it are from Harriet’s point of view, and she was having a difficult time juggling the demands of honeymoon and of a detecting husband all at the same time. I was afraid she was going to go all feminine and wifely. But she recognizes the impulse and throws it away, in one of the most wonderful scenes I have ever read. (And Lord Peter, being the wonderful person that he is, recognizes her achievement and is suitably humbled.)

This is very much a book about a romance. Just because the characters are already together doesn’t mean there’s no tension — the tension they’re dealing with is how to remain true to themselves while being married and madly in love, rather than the will they/won’t they tension of most romance stories. Of course they will; they are. (There’s a hilarious scene of double entendre toward the beginning with one of the new neighbors.) The question is, though, once you’ve fallen madly in love with someone, do you continue to treat them like a person or do you start to treat them like a fragile and precious object? And what happens to you if you do?

My favorite part about this book, though, was the ending. Once the murderer has been caught, there’s still the trial and execution to deal with. We’ve seen in earlier books that Peter doesn’t deal with that part well; he likes the investigation but he hates the fact that he, personally, is responsible for people being hanged. This is just the first time that we see his reactions in detail, and it’s heartbreaking and wonderful. Wonderful, of course, because now he has Harriet for support. I know there are more books in this series, finished from Sayers’ notes by Jill Paton Walsh, but this was such a perfect end to the series I don’t know that I’ll read them.more
Where I got the book: my bookshelf. Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey are married at last, and have purchased an old house in the country where they intend to honeymoon. They arrive to find that the previous owner hasn't put things in order as he promised, and find out (mercifully AFTER the wedding night) that there's a good reason...This novel was based on a stage play that Sayers wrote with a friend (presumably to capitalize on the popularity of Gaudy Night, the previous Wimsey/Vane book.) You can still, if you think about it, see the original bones of the play's structure underneath the accretion of quotations, letters and inner monologues that glorify The Relationship into something way larger than any real relationship could be. Having spent so long getting her two characters together, Sayers endows them with superhuman amounts of tact, class and sexual prowess (hinted at above and beyond the bounds of delicacy.) The bones rest on the murder story itself, which is quite ingeniously done with a very devious murder method and a pretty decent supporting cast.As for the rest...Sayers seems to have decided that now that she's made Harriet and Wimsey fall in love, she's going to make them very, very happy. Wimsey does, at the end, fall prey to the psychological problems that have haunted him since the War, but Harriet, naturally, provides the outlet for his guilt and pain so we're all good.Don't get me wrong, I find this book very enjoyable and have read it several times. But after Gaudy Night which is a heartfelt exploration of her characters' psychology, Sayers seems content to fall back on a mess of quotations, sturm und drang and family ghosts to fill out her murder plot. However enjoyable, I'm kind of glad it was her last full-length Wimsey book. She needed to rein herself in and didn't.more
Harriet and Peter on honeymoon desperately wanting to do right by each other. What sets Peter Wimsey apart from other literary sleuths is his sense of responsibility for the consequences of his actions, that whilst finding the culprit is an intellectual game for him, is a matter of the hangman's noose for the guilty.more
Busman's Honeymoon is the story of a new marriage with an incidental murder that happens at the same. As with all the Sayers' novels that have both Lord Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane, they are best read in order as the focus is on their relationship and less on the crimes around them. In this case, the crime is part of the setting for their new marriage at Talboys, a country house that Harriet knew growing up. The first part of the book is conducted in letters that retell their marriage and the story begins as they arrive at Talboys. In terms of the mystery, it is the classic country house sort with hidden secrets and complicated solutions. What truly makes this book an enjoyable read is seeing Peter and Harriet, two adults who have been living by themselves for many years adjusting and learning and enjoying what it means to be married. To best appreciate their rocky relationship, it is good to begin with Strong Poison and then read Have His Body and Gaudy Night as they contain the rest of their story. Harriet and Peter are such a compelling couple to read because they are equally matched in terms of having a number of issues, intelligence and not being used to sharing their life with another. Though their conversation occurs in foreign languages and grand quotes in a way that is not terribly common, the sentiments and confusion behind them are shared by anyone who suddenly realizes I'm with this person in a whole new way, how strange.more
Silly, privileged neweds Harriet Vane and Lord Peter travel to their just purchased country home to find themselves locked out and a dead body in the basement. Bunter, valet-butler-chief-cook and bottle washer, must deal with the locals while keeping his Lordship's wine from getting jostled. Slapstick comedy/mystery of the 1930s typemore
Not the best of the Wimsey books, but that's not exactly much of a criticism! The crime plot is clever, but the main focus is on the relationship between the newly weds - and I can't get enough of Lord Peter and Harriet.I do wish Sayers wouldn't write in eye dialect, though...more
An old mystery classic. Not quite Agatha Christie, but lots of fun anyway. She uses many literary references, though, which is good and sometimes, a little annoying. Even for an English teacher!more
It's so romantic! Except for the dead guy.more
This is my least favorite of the Peter Wimsey mysteries, and whenever I reread it I'm pleasantly surprised by how much better it is than I remember it being.What always throws me off is random, clumsy scenes and transitions - the scene, for example, where Bunter discovers the housekeeper dusting the wine bottles. It reads clumsily on the page, and seems to play Bunter for laughs in a way that undermines what we know of his character. There are scenes like this all over the book, and from the first time I read it, they have always jumped out at me, and pulled me out of my enjoyment of the rest of it.Years later, I discovered why. Sayers didn't write this book. A friend of hers wrote a stage play using the characters, and when publishers and public were badgering her for more Peter Wimsey, she grabbed the play and adapted it. This revelation clarified everything. I can see an audience roaring with laughter at Bunter's sudden discomfiture, and so many of the scenes I deplore are now revealed as stage directions converted to text.Having said all that, there is a lot to like about this book. Peter and Harriet are wonderful characters, and watching them settle in to life together is a joy. The whole game of quotations they constantly play is well worth whatever anyone might pay for a copy. There are other memorable characters, and Sayers did a good job with dialogue and setting.This gets four stars, which is low only in that everything else in this series gets five.more
This is a locked-door mystery as well as a murder in which the act leading to death happens way before the death itself (as is the case in many of Dorothy Sayers books), which sort of makes the locked door less of an obstacle. I did not guess whodunit, but I'm not sure I really cared. As she touched on in her note before the story, the "love-interest" and the "detective-interest" do not always mesh well. Lots of literary references, many of them obscure and not necessarily more clever than P.G. Wodehouse's. And then there are the letters from Lord Peter's uncle written in French with no clue in English as to what profound statements about life and love they contain. Still, I wanted to read it to the end; it's only after the book is over that it feels lacking.more
Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, Harriet Vane, are caught up in a murder case while honeymooning in a newly acquired home in a small English village. We know, of course, that Lord Peter and his wife who shares his sleuthing talents, will solve the case. What we are allowed to witness in this book, however, is the personal cost to Lord Peter as he sends a man to his death. As an officer in WWI, Lord Peter was called upon to order many of his men into battles from which they did not return. Having a sensitive nature, he did not easily recover from this knowledge and suffers from nightmares and renewed psychological distress whenever confronted with being the agent to send a man once more to death no matter what crime has been committed. We also witness the healing qualities of a loving marriage as Harriet struggles to comfort and help him through this traumatic experience. A very literate book displaying the considerable intellectual breadth and depth of the mind of Dorothy Sayers.more
Loved the read--but then I was predisposed to.Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane finally get married & (almost incidentally) solve the problem of nasty Noakes who sold his 'country' house to them being found with his head bashed in in the celler.No, this probably wasn't the best if you're looking for tight plots & procedurals.But I really loved:Dowager Duchess of Denver's appearances--she is so sweetly loving & adaptable to anything Lord Peter comes up with.Bunter losing his cool with the dreadful Mrs Ruddles over port.The so sarky snobbish Helen.The loyal, unworldly lady dons of Harriet's 'home' college.The wonderfully nasty yet charismatic Frank CrutchleyThe vicar & cactus devotee, Mr Goodacre.Their game of applied quotations.So yes--I really enjoyed reading it, though it might not qualify as a great whodunnit it felt like a cross between fantasy & nostalgia for a time I never experienced.more
Accurately described as a "love story with intervals of detecting" not bad, but I prefer Murder Must Advertise or Lord Petermore
Lord Peter No. 11, 1937Even though their honeymoon is (partly) spent with crime solving, Sayers finds time for subtle romancing.more
Murder on the Wimseys' honeymoon--ingenious at times but the least compelling of the Wimsey mysteriesmore
This was my first mystery by Dorothy Sayers and I will definitely be returning for more. Lord Peter Wimsey is finally married, and he and his wife, Harriet Vane, must learn how to live together in their new roles. But on the first morning of their honeymoon a corpse is discovered in their new country house and dreams of a peaceful happy life are thrown into question.I've seen reviews that complain this mystery was a bit self-indulgent, and I won't disagree, but I think this just goes to show how well-loved Wimsey is by his creator and his readers alike. The mystery itself is first-rate and the village personalities great fun--especially the police superintendent who plays literary games with the Wimseys. I'll definitely be starting this series over at the beginning.more
Dorothy Sayers created the perfect complement to Lord Peter, Harriet Vane. Of course you know I think this is a wonderful book, full of humor, pathos and romance. Lord Peter and his wife, Harriet, begin their married life by trying to avoid the massive press invasion that celebrities are subjected to. They begin well, by having a quiet wedding and slipping past the reporters to their secret home in the country. Things go downhill from there though, because a corpse is discovered in the basement. Now begins the real test of the marriage. Will it survive the solution to the mysterymore
A well written Wimsey mystery /romance. Also in insight into English society of the 20's with a degree of casual racism that would be unacceptable today. The huge differences between the classes at the time is also evident.Well worth the re reading.more
Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane are just married. Discovering a body in the cellar of their new home, the ameteur sleuth and detective novelist find themselves engaged in a very interesting albeit morbid honeymoon. Fun characters, a good plot. Nothing gorey or disturbing!more
I love Dorothy Sayers. She has a wonderful writing style, a highly educated mind, and a delightful wit. Some more adult content.more
The story of what happens on Lord Peter's honeymoon - loads of fun. Also a great look into the Wimsey-Vane marriage. Highly recommended.more
I always foruget how much I like Dorothy Sayers. And after this novel, I will always like Lord Peter better. He's clever but I have previously thought him pretenious. British nobility can hardly avoid it. It is interesting how the story is told primarily fromthe perspecitve of Harriet, his new wife; or from bunter, his "man"; we never see what Lard Peter is thinking or feeling except as translated by those who know him best. And how much managing he requires! i thought I lucky I am that my husband doesn't require that much managing, waiting, hoping,a nd understanding. Though, probably my single female friends think I spend too much time and energy managing my husband. Oh, what we do for love.more
In the words of Ms. Sayers: "It has been said, by myself and others, that a love-interest is only an intrusion upon a detective story. But to the characters involved, the detective-interest might well seem an irritating intrusion upon their love-story. This book deals with such a situation. It also provides some sort of answer to many kindly inquiries as to how Lord Peter and his Harriet solved their matrimonial problem. If there is but a ha'porth of detection to an intolerable deal of saccharine, let the occasion be the excuse."This is really a gift to the many fans of Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, and thus should really only be read after one has read all of the other Lord Peter mysteries (or at the very least, Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night). On its own, I'm not sure if it's really that great a mystery, but it IS a wonderful love story about two strong-minded people who've found love later in life and must figure out how to make married life work.more
Read all 31 reviews

Reviews

Busman's Honeymoon is much more about the characters than about the murder mystery. I don't recommend you read it without reading the rest of the series -- at least reading Strong Poison, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night, to get to know Harriet and Peter and their romance.

There's some very fun banter, and some glorious romantic scenes, and a tad more of the story about Peter and Bunter. There was no sign of Lady Mary and Parker, really, which was disappointing, but the large quantities of Bunter rather made up for it.

For a reader who's in love with Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, this book is lovely. If you're just looking for a murder mystery, though, not this one.more

The end of the Wimsey stories, and again, Harriet 1, Peter 0.more
This novel is really much more of a love story than a mystery, as Dorothy L Sayers herself acknowledged. But for readers who followed the story of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane through the three previous novels which featured both characters, it is a most satisfying love story and a welcome culmination to the years of Peter's patient courtship and Harriet's determined resistance. Tbere's enough of a mystery to make it worthy of being called a mystery novel, but no more than that. Apart from the love story and the mystery, Busman's Honeymoon is an interesting reflection of the era in which it was written, with its depiction of English attitudes to class and race (not critical, but descriptive and not the less interesting for that). There's a lot of French in it, which is ok for me because I am reasonably fluent in that language, but it must be a trial for readers who are not. I know how they feel, because there's a bit of Latin in there as well, the meaning of which I can only guess at. (I have an old edition of Busman's Honeymoon - probably printed in the 1970s - with no translations or notes: possibly more recent editions translate the bits which aren't in English?) Anyway, even if it could be considered pretentious by today's standards, I love the French and the Latin...and the poetry with which each chapter starts and which characters quote with abandon. They don't write mysteries like this anymore, more's the pity!more
Immediately before this I read a love story masquerading as a war novel; this was a love story masquerading (albeit not very stealthily) as a murder mystery.

Harriet and Peter's beautiful, complex, deeply human relationship pretty much steals the show; rather than a happily-ever-after, their romance is all about working through the past. The book is haunted - from the actual dead body in the basement of their honeymoon home (in Harriet's home village no less) to the brilliant ending which brings Peter back to his war experiences in a manner similar to the very first Wimsey novel, Whose Body.

Also there is a lot of Bunter! He's so important in this novel that I was beginning to find him a bit frustrating - he's so obviously a real person with a personal life, yet he accepts that it is for some reason his job, not Peter's, to deal with the muck of life. But by the end of this novel we completely understand why he has deigned Peter worthy of his awesomeness, and love him all the more for it.

The mystery was merely okay, the literary references perhaps a bit thick, but generally a great ending to a captivating series.

Oh! I should complain a bit, though, about the excessive use of French. Did Sayers actually expect her readers to know the language? She used it in previous novels, but not to the extent she did in this one, since whenever the characters start to talk about sex in this one they switch into French (I'm honestly not joking). I think she (and the characters) were being intentionally silly, but I'm honestly not sure. Luckily I could understand at least some of it....

Finally there's merely a brief moment when Peter and Harriet allude to their statuses as corpse magnets, when in fact they should be completely amazed that this keeps happening to them... but whatever, it's a murder mystery.more
“It has been said, by myself and others, that a love-interest is only an intrusion upon a detective story,” Sayers says in the dedication. “But to the characters involved, the detective-interest might well seem an irritating intrusion upon their love-story.” And that is exactly what happens here.

Lord Peter and the new Lady Peter, previously Miss Harriet Vane, have gone off to the country on their honeymoon. Peter has purchased an old Tudor manor-house for Harriet as a wedding present, and they move in in the middle of the night, having narrowly escaped floods of newspaper reporters. The house has not been aired, food has not been brought in, the chimneys have not been swept, but they topple into bed to deal with it in the morning. And in the morning, they discover a body in the basement – but not before having the housekeeper and the chimneysweep in, neatly destroying most of the potential clues.

I admit, I was a little worried at about a third of the way through the book. Large portions of it are from Harriet’s point of view, and she was having a difficult time juggling the demands of honeymoon and of a detecting husband all at the same time. I was afraid she was going to go all feminine and wifely. But she recognizes the impulse and throws it away, in one of the most wonderful scenes I have ever read. (And Lord Peter, being the wonderful person that he is, recognizes her achievement and is suitably humbled.)

This is very much a book about a romance. Just because the characters are already together doesn’t mean there’s no tension — the tension they’re dealing with is how to remain true to themselves while being married and madly in love, rather than the will they/won’t they tension of most romance stories. Of course they will; they are. (There’s a hilarious scene of double entendre toward the beginning with one of the new neighbors.) The question is, though, once you’ve fallen madly in love with someone, do you continue to treat them like a person or do you start to treat them like a fragile and precious object? And what happens to you if you do?

My favorite part about this book, though, was the ending. Once the murderer has been caught, there’s still the trial and execution to deal with. We’ve seen in earlier books that Peter doesn’t deal with that part well; he likes the investigation but he hates the fact that he, personally, is responsible for people being hanged. This is just the first time that we see his reactions in detail, and it’s heartbreaking and wonderful. Wonderful, of course, because now he has Harriet for support. I know there are more books in this series, finished from Sayers’ notes by Jill Paton Walsh, but this was such a perfect end to the series I don’t know that I’ll read them.more
Where I got the book: my bookshelf. Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey are married at last, and have purchased an old house in the country where they intend to honeymoon. They arrive to find that the previous owner hasn't put things in order as he promised, and find out (mercifully AFTER the wedding night) that there's a good reason...This novel was based on a stage play that Sayers wrote with a friend (presumably to capitalize on the popularity of Gaudy Night, the previous Wimsey/Vane book.) You can still, if you think about it, see the original bones of the play's structure underneath the accretion of quotations, letters and inner monologues that glorify The Relationship into something way larger than any real relationship could be. Having spent so long getting her two characters together, Sayers endows them with superhuman amounts of tact, class and sexual prowess (hinted at above and beyond the bounds of delicacy.) The bones rest on the murder story itself, which is quite ingeniously done with a very devious murder method and a pretty decent supporting cast.As for the rest...Sayers seems to have decided that now that she's made Harriet and Wimsey fall in love, she's going to make them very, very happy. Wimsey does, at the end, fall prey to the psychological problems that have haunted him since the War, but Harriet, naturally, provides the outlet for his guilt and pain so we're all good.Don't get me wrong, I find this book very enjoyable and have read it several times. But after Gaudy Night which is a heartfelt exploration of her characters' psychology, Sayers seems content to fall back on a mess of quotations, sturm und drang and family ghosts to fill out her murder plot. However enjoyable, I'm kind of glad it was her last full-length Wimsey book. She needed to rein herself in and didn't.more
Harriet and Peter on honeymoon desperately wanting to do right by each other. What sets Peter Wimsey apart from other literary sleuths is his sense of responsibility for the consequences of his actions, that whilst finding the culprit is an intellectual game for him, is a matter of the hangman's noose for the guilty.more
Busman's Honeymoon is the story of a new marriage with an incidental murder that happens at the same. As with all the Sayers' novels that have both Lord Peter Whimsey and Harriet Vane, they are best read in order as the focus is on their relationship and less on the crimes around them. In this case, the crime is part of the setting for their new marriage at Talboys, a country house that Harriet knew growing up. The first part of the book is conducted in letters that retell their marriage and the story begins as they arrive at Talboys. In terms of the mystery, it is the classic country house sort with hidden secrets and complicated solutions. What truly makes this book an enjoyable read is seeing Peter and Harriet, two adults who have been living by themselves for many years adjusting and learning and enjoying what it means to be married. To best appreciate their rocky relationship, it is good to begin with Strong Poison and then read Have His Body and Gaudy Night as they contain the rest of their story. Harriet and Peter are such a compelling couple to read because they are equally matched in terms of having a number of issues, intelligence and not being used to sharing their life with another. Though their conversation occurs in foreign languages and grand quotes in a way that is not terribly common, the sentiments and confusion behind them are shared by anyone who suddenly realizes I'm with this person in a whole new way, how strange.more
Silly, privileged neweds Harriet Vane and Lord Peter travel to their just purchased country home to find themselves locked out and a dead body in the basement. Bunter, valet-butler-chief-cook and bottle washer, must deal with the locals while keeping his Lordship's wine from getting jostled. Slapstick comedy/mystery of the 1930s typemore
Not the best of the Wimsey books, but that's not exactly much of a criticism! The crime plot is clever, but the main focus is on the relationship between the newly weds - and I can't get enough of Lord Peter and Harriet.I do wish Sayers wouldn't write in eye dialect, though...more
An old mystery classic. Not quite Agatha Christie, but lots of fun anyway. She uses many literary references, though, which is good and sometimes, a little annoying. Even for an English teacher!more
It's so romantic! Except for the dead guy.more
This is my least favorite of the Peter Wimsey mysteries, and whenever I reread it I'm pleasantly surprised by how much better it is than I remember it being.What always throws me off is random, clumsy scenes and transitions - the scene, for example, where Bunter discovers the housekeeper dusting the wine bottles. It reads clumsily on the page, and seems to play Bunter for laughs in a way that undermines what we know of his character. There are scenes like this all over the book, and from the first time I read it, they have always jumped out at me, and pulled me out of my enjoyment of the rest of it.Years later, I discovered why. Sayers didn't write this book. A friend of hers wrote a stage play using the characters, and when publishers and public were badgering her for more Peter Wimsey, she grabbed the play and adapted it. This revelation clarified everything. I can see an audience roaring with laughter at Bunter's sudden discomfiture, and so many of the scenes I deplore are now revealed as stage directions converted to text.Having said all that, there is a lot to like about this book. Peter and Harriet are wonderful characters, and watching them settle in to life together is a joy. The whole game of quotations they constantly play is well worth whatever anyone might pay for a copy. There are other memorable characters, and Sayers did a good job with dialogue and setting.This gets four stars, which is low only in that everything else in this series gets five.more
This is a locked-door mystery as well as a murder in which the act leading to death happens way before the death itself (as is the case in many of Dorothy Sayers books), which sort of makes the locked door less of an obstacle. I did not guess whodunit, but I'm not sure I really cared. As she touched on in her note before the story, the "love-interest" and the "detective-interest" do not always mesh well. Lots of literary references, many of them obscure and not necessarily more clever than P.G. Wodehouse's. And then there are the letters from Lord Peter's uncle written in French with no clue in English as to what profound statements about life and love they contain. Still, I wanted to read it to the end; it's only after the book is over that it feels lacking.more
Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, Harriet Vane, are caught up in a murder case while honeymooning in a newly acquired home in a small English village. We know, of course, that Lord Peter and his wife who shares his sleuthing talents, will solve the case. What we are allowed to witness in this book, however, is the personal cost to Lord Peter as he sends a man to his death. As an officer in WWI, Lord Peter was called upon to order many of his men into battles from which they did not return. Having a sensitive nature, he did not easily recover from this knowledge and suffers from nightmares and renewed psychological distress whenever confronted with being the agent to send a man once more to death no matter what crime has been committed. We also witness the healing qualities of a loving marriage as Harriet struggles to comfort and help him through this traumatic experience. A very literate book displaying the considerable intellectual breadth and depth of the mind of Dorothy Sayers.more
Loved the read--but then I was predisposed to.Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane finally get married & (almost incidentally) solve the problem of nasty Noakes who sold his 'country' house to them being found with his head bashed in in the celler.No, this probably wasn't the best if you're looking for tight plots & procedurals.But I really loved:Dowager Duchess of Denver's appearances--she is so sweetly loving & adaptable to anything Lord Peter comes up with.Bunter losing his cool with the dreadful Mrs Ruddles over port.The so sarky snobbish Helen.The loyal, unworldly lady dons of Harriet's 'home' college.The wonderfully nasty yet charismatic Frank CrutchleyThe vicar & cactus devotee, Mr Goodacre.Their game of applied quotations.So yes--I really enjoyed reading it, though it might not qualify as a great whodunnit it felt like a cross between fantasy & nostalgia for a time I never experienced.more
Accurately described as a "love story with intervals of detecting" not bad, but I prefer Murder Must Advertise or Lord Petermore
Lord Peter No. 11, 1937Even though their honeymoon is (partly) spent with crime solving, Sayers finds time for subtle romancing.more
Murder on the Wimseys' honeymoon--ingenious at times but the least compelling of the Wimsey mysteriesmore
This was my first mystery by Dorothy Sayers and I will definitely be returning for more. Lord Peter Wimsey is finally married, and he and his wife, Harriet Vane, must learn how to live together in their new roles. But on the first morning of their honeymoon a corpse is discovered in their new country house and dreams of a peaceful happy life are thrown into question.I've seen reviews that complain this mystery was a bit self-indulgent, and I won't disagree, but I think this just goes to show how well-loved Wimsey is by his creator and his readers alike. The mystery itself is first-rate and the village personalities great fun--especially the police superintendent who plays literary games with the Wimseys. I'll definitely be starting this series over at the beginning.more
Dorothy Sayers created the perfect complement to Lord Peter, Harriet Vane. Of course you know I think this is a wonderful book, full of humor, pathos and romance. Lord Peter and his wife, Harriet, begin their married life by trying to avoid the massive press invasion that celebrities are subjected to. They begin well, by having a quiet wedding and slipping past the reporters to their secret home in the country. Things go downhill from there though, because a corpse is discovered in the basement. Now begins the real test of the marriage. Will it survive the solution to the mysterymore
A well written Wimsey mystery /romance. Also in insight into English society of the 20's with a degree of casual racism that would be unacceptable today. The huge differences between the classes at the time is also evident.Well worth the re reading.more
Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane are just married. Discovering a body in the cellar of their new home, the ameteur sleuth and detective novelist find themselves engaged in a very interesting albeit morbid honeymoon. Fun characters, a good plot. Nothing gorey or disturbing!more
I love Dorothy Sayers. She has a wonderful writing style, a highly educated mind, and a delightful wit. Some more adult content.more
The story of what happens on Lord Peter's honeymoon - loads of fun. Also a great look into the Wimsey-Vane marriage. Highly recommended.more
I always foruget how much I like Dorothy Sayers. And after this novel, I will always like Lord Peter better. He's clever but I have previously thought him pretenious. British nobility can hardly avoid it. It is interesting how the story is told primarily fromthe perspecitve of Harriet, his new wife; or from bunter, his "man"; we never see what Lard Peter is thinking or feeling except as translated by those who know him best. And how much managing he requires! i thought I lucky I am that my husband doesn't require that much managing, waiting, hoping,a nd understanding. Though, probably my single female friends think I spend too much time and energy managing my husband. Oh, what we do for love.more
In the words of Ms. Sayers: "It has been said, by myself and others, that a love-interest is only an intrusion upon a detective story. But to the characters involved, the detective-interest might well seem an irritating intrusion upon their love-story. This book deals with such a situation. It also provides some sort of answer to many kindly inquiries as to how Lord Peter and his Harriet solved their matrimonial problem. If there is but a ha'porth of detection to an intolerable deal of saccharine, let the occasion be the excuse."This is really a gift to the many fans of Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, and thus should really only be read after one has read all of the other Lord Peter mysteries (or at the very least, Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night). On its own, I'm not sure if it's really that great a mystery, but it IS a wonderful love story about two strong-minded people who've found love later in life and must figure out how to make married life work.more
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