Sunday, 29 November 2020

Book: 'Clouds Of Witness' (Lord Peter Wimsey) (1926) by Dorothy L Sayers

Now this is rather awesome and a huge improvement on 'Whose Body?'. Huzzah! In the second Wimsey novel, we get a massive chunk of the Wimsey family history, a much more personal story and connection to Wimsey himself, the establishment of Parker's own backstory, and a great and totally unexpected ending moment with everyone least favourite detective, Inspector Sugg! And Sugg is partially redeemed. Huzzah!

'Clouds Of Witness' is the great second entry into the Wimsey series, in which Peter's decidedly dim elder brother ends up accused of murder (which means trial by the House Of Lords!). Is he guilty? Probably not, but he won't provide his alibi and probably has secrets of his own to protect and other people to shield. It's up to Wimsey and Parker to find the truth about who killed the amateur sleuth's sister's fiance and try to duck scandal if at all possible.

Wimsey is much more of a relatable person in this instalment in the series, and further rehabilitated from the shell shock and heartbreak inflicted on him prior to the beginning of the stories. In fact, he is pronounced cured of his heartbreak, and even reconnects to his family in the form of his slightly wacky sister Mary, fiancee of the mysterious and dubious dead man. But did anyone really like the victim, including Mary herself? There is peril in the form of bog holes and rushed transatlantic flights with pioneering aviators, covert affairs of the heart, and also all the pomp and ceremony of the trial of a peer of the realm. And lots of breakfasts too. Breakfasts are important.

Recommended. We get much close closer to all the main characters. Excellent. Add ten to whatever score you think this all means.


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