The Late Scholar: The New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery

Jill Paton Walsh. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-03279-9
In Walsh’s cleverly plotted fourth mystery featuring the titular husband-wife sleuthing team—her second wholly original effort authorized by the Dorothy Sayers estate—Wimsey has succeeded to the title of the Duke of Denver after the death of his elder brother, Gerald, in the previous book, The Attenbury Emeralds (2010). One of Wimsey’s new responsibilities as duke is to serve as “the Visitor” for Oxford’s St. Severin’s College, a role that requires him to referee disputes among the college’s fellows. Just such a controversy has sprung up. Some fellows want to sell a rare manuscript of Boethius’s Consolations of Philosophy that may have belonged to Alfred the Great, who translated the work from Latin into Anglo-Saxon, in order to buy some land, while others believe that such a sale would betray the institution’s values. A series of disturbing incidents—including a fatal fall down stairs suspiciously similar to a murder method that Wimsey’s detective-story writer wife, Harriet Vane, has used in her fiction—causes the couple to suspect a killer is at work. Walsh’s pitch-perfect re-creation of the charismatic leads is a delight. Sayers fans can only hope for more. Agent: Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Associates. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 06/17/2014
Genre: Fiction
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