Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars, Miranda Emmerson
Will be reviewed January
Mystery in White, J Jefferson Farjeon
The Crime at the ‘Noah’s Ark’, Molly Thynne
All Balls and Glitter. My Life by Craig Revel Horwood
The Week Before Christmas , Freda C Bond
High Rising , Angela Thirkell
Christmas at High Rising , Angela Thirkell
The Late Scholar, Jill Paton Walsh
The Girl Before, J P Delaney
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Christmas at Nettleford, Malcolm Saville
The House on Bellevue Gardens, Rachel Hore
Murder of a Lady A Scottish Mystery, Anthony Wynne
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, Jenny Colgan
reviews and books of the year )


The Seventh Wife, T Kingfisher
Apricot Kisses, Claudia Winter, trans. Maria Poglitsch Bauer
My Shanghai 1942-46, Keiko Itoh
What Katy Did, Susan Coolidge
The Red Notebook, Antoine Laurin
Comes a Stranger, E R Punshon
Priorsford, O Douglas
The Crystal Beads Murder, Annie Haynes
Presumption of Death, Jill Paton Walsh/Dorothy L Sayers
Christmas at the Vicarage, Rebecca Boxall
thoughts )


If you really love Lord Peter Wimsey and the thought of Edward Petherbridge playing him makes you go weak at the knees, you grab a brand new Wimsey story when you see it at the library, even against your better judgement. I read Thrones, Dominations when it came out and can’t remember a thing about it. The Attenbury Emeralds is Jill Paton Walsh’s latest Wimsey sequel, ‘based on the characters of Dorothy L Sayers’. Lord Peter’s first case, the affair of the Attenbury Emeralds took place in 1921 when he was still in a shaky state after the First World War. Rather than go back in time, the author has Peter and Bunter relate the tale to Harriet in the present, which is 1951. One particular emerald has been missed, found and lost again, with probable murders along the way. The Moonstone is invoked, not surprisingly.

Just as a new emerald problem comes up for the latest Attenbury heir, other events bring great changes to the lives of Peter, Harriet and their children. It’s quite an interesting story but all so wrong. He may now be sixty but Lord Peter as created by Dorothy L Sayers just doesn’t fit a post-war world, even if times have changed and the Bunters dine with the Wimseys. This is the Lord Peter style,



not that I can see him wearing such a collar and tie. Putting in period details, like having Harriet say she has bought a new book by Elizabeth David ‘called Mediterranean Food’ is just clunky. So is having Harriet and Peter walking through a London fog and Peter saying, ‘They’ll have to do something about this.’ (The ‘Clean Air’ Act was passed in1956). The first person narration at the start of the book, Lord Peter Looks Back as it were, doesn’t work for me; nor does telling so much of the story from Harriet’s point of view. More detection and less domestic life would have pleased me better.

I do like the younger generation in this book. Bredon, the eldest son, is a real chip off the old block as is Peter Bunter, known as ‘PB’, who is at Eton with him. The Dowager Duchess is as nice and Helen as nasty as ever. Parker, Lady Mary, and old chum Freddy Arbuthnot have walk-on parts to please the fans. It’s still just fanfic which has found a publisher.

Wimsey with Harriet

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