2014: 56. The Late Scholar


"Great Snakes alive!" said the Duke of Denver, sometime Lord Peter Wimsey, famous amateur sleuth.

The Late Scholar, Jill Paton Walsh

I think I've already been over this, but I should hate these books.  Gaudy Night is my favorite book, Harriet is one of my favorite characters, and Lord Peter is my literary crush - it is not for nuthing that there is a small Peter Flynn living in my house.  I should feel about this the way I do about those cheesy Jane Austen continuations (or even the one that P.D. James wrote) - and the way I feel about fan fiction generally - embarassed and squeamish. 

But I don't! I LOVE them.  They aren't quite Sayers, but they are so, so close.  Maybe because the first few were written off her notes - maybe because Walsh was already a novelist of some repute.  I don't know -maybe its just that it's so great to get more Peter and Harriet (and Bunter! And the Dowager Duchess!) that I'm willing to over look my principles.  But I don't know - the thought of read faux, say Anne of Green Gables, makes me want to barf, so there must be something special about the Walsh/Sayers combo.

Anyway, this one takes Peter and Harriet back to OXFORD (and yes! we do visit the ladies of Shrewsbury College!), and they are solving a mystery at a men's college, and it seems like the murderer is using Harriet's books (which are based off murders that Peter had solved, i.e. the arsenic eating from Have His Carcass, the catapult from Murder Must Advertise).  So it gets a little meta, but it's fun as always.  If I quibble, it's that the solution is a little fuzzy (or maybe I read it too fast - I read it in one afternoon, sitting on the outside couch in Maine while my mom watched the kids - so I was basically in heaven).  But if you love Lord Peter Wimsey (and if you don't,what's wrong with you?) you will like these new books, I reckon.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017