'Miraculously right: catching precisely the tone of the relationship . . . thrilling' - The Times
'A must for all Wimsey lovers . . . an entertaining read' - Northern Echo
It's 1940, and while the Second World War rages on, Harriet Vane - now Lady Peter Wimsey - has taken her children to safety in the country.
But the war has followed them: glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalise the villagers, and the blackout makes the night-time lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London.
Then the village's first air raid practice ends with a very real body on the ground - and it's not a war casualty, but a case of plain, old-fashioned murder. And it's not long before a second body is found . . .
In her second Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane whodunit, Booker Prize finalist Walsh (Knowledge of Angels) does a far better job of honoring Sayers than she did in their first posthumous collaboration, Thrones, Dominations (1998). Walsh's starting point here is "The Wimsey Papers," a series of letters on home front conditions, ostensibly written by various members of the Wimsey family, which ran in the Spectator at the outset of WWII. Lord Peter himself is offstage for most of the novel, involved in some covert mission in Europe, leaving his wife to take care of their household. When a young Land Girl is found murdered during an air raid, the local superintendent enlists Harriet's aid. Harriet's traditional line of inquiry into possible spurned suitors is diverted when an eccentric and seemingly paranoid dentist discloses that the quiet, ordinary village of Paggleham is actually a nest of German spies. Despite Peter's diminished role, he remains a vital presence throughout, thanks to his place at the center of Harriet's thoughts. Should Walsh have no further original Sayers material to draw on, she seems perfectly suited to continue the series entirely on her own.