'A delight.' - Irish Times
'A pitch-perfect Golden Age mystery . . . a gem of a period puzzle' - Financial Times
Thirty years ago, Lord Peter Wimsey encountered the Attenbury emeralds. The recovery of Lord Attenbury's magnificent gem made headlines - and launched the shell-shocked young aristocrat on his career as a detective.
Now it is 1951: a happily married Lord Peter has just shared the secrets of that mystery with his wife, the detective novelist Harriet Vane. Then the new Lord Attenbury - the grandson of Lord Peter's first client - seeks his help again, this time to prove who owns the gigantic emerald that Wimsey last saw in 1921.
It will be the most intricate and challenging mystery he has ever faced . . .
Walsh triumphantly follows 2003's A Presumption of Death, inspired by some letters Dorothy Sayers wrote depicting Peter Wimsey during WWII, with a wholly original interpretation of Sayers's golden age characters. In 1921, while Lord Peter was still convalescing from the nervous breakdown he suffered from his time in the WWI trenches, the aristocrat got involved in finding missing emeralds belonging to the Attenbury family. Thirty years later, the current Lord Attenbury, who's in dire financial straits, wishes to sell one of the jewels, "the king-stone," but a shadowy claimant challenges his ownership of it. When Wimsey and his detective novelist wife, Harriet Vane, look into the dispute, they discovery a chain of murders related to the emeralds. Walsh successfully recreates the tone and personalities of the originals and plausibly depicts the main characters later in life. Fans of literate period mysteries will clamor for more.
A very good book in the spirit of Dorothy L Sayers
It happens far too often that authors take it upon themselves to write a book about another author's characters; in my opinion, mostly these efforts fail. This book, however, does not fail on any level. It carries conviction of character and appears even to a dedicated fan of Dorothy L Sayers to be written in her spirit. I wholeheartedly recommend it!