Mystery Book Reviews

Book Review: The Attenbury Emeralds

By Sandy Amazeen Jan 9, 2011, 6:33 GMT

Book Review: The Attenbury Emeralds

In 1936, Dorothy L. Sayers abandoned the last Lord Peter Wimsey detective story. Sixty years later, a brown paper parcel containing a copy of the manuscript was discovered in her agent\'s safe in London, and award-winning novelist Jill Paton Walsh was commissioned to complete it. The result of the pairing of Dorothy L. Sayers with Walsh was the international bestseller Thrones, Dominations. Now, following A Presumption of Death, set during ...more

Walsh does an excellent job recreating the original Dorothy Sayers characters in this follow-up to A Presumption of Death that dumps Lord Peter Wimsey back into the middle of the same Attenbury emeralds that launched his detective career in 1921. While recovering from the aftereffects of trench warfare during WWI, Wimsey and his manservant Mervyn Bunter worked to solve the disappearance of the Attenbury emeralds owned by Lord Attenbury Arthur Abcock. Thirty years later, Lord Attenbury’s grandson Edward appeals to Wimsey to solve another mystery surrounding the stones. Edward wishes to sell the “king stone” of the collection but before he can, the question of rightful ownership must be resolved. In no time Wimsey aided by his novelist wife Harriet Vane and trusty manservant are hot on the trail of a string of murders all tied into the precious emeralds.

This slow building mystery touches lightly on a different era when Britain was coming to terms with the aftermath of WWI and WWII yet fails to really immerse readers in the atmosphere of the time. While there isn’t a whole lot of tension built to engage the reader, fans of Sayers’ original work will enjoy this revisit but those looking for an action packed mystery read should look elsewhere.

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