A new murder mystery featuring Lord Peter Wimsey - now a Duke - and his wife Harriet Vane, set in an Oxford college in the 1950s.
Peter Wimsey is pleased to discover that along with a Dukedom he has inherited the duties of 'visitor' at an Oxford college.When the fellows appeal to him to resolve a dispute, he and Harriet set off happily to spend some time in Oxford.
But the dispute turns out to be embittered. The voting is evenly balanced between two passionate parties - evenly balanced, that is, until several of the fellows unexpectedly die.The Warden has a casting vote, but the Warden has disappeared.
And the causes of death of the deceased fellows bear an uncanny resemblance to the murder methods in Peter's past cases - methods that Harriet has used in her published novels .
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.