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
Titles in this series (16)
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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
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
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