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The Attenbury Emeralds

February 20, 2011

 Fans of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries are in for a treat. Lord Peter and his wife Lady Harriet return after a long absence, in a story set in the early 1950s. England still has food rationing, death duties are steep for aristocratic families, and Peter’s mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver is getting a bit frail with age.

Peter and Bunter, his butler and assistant, tell Harriet  about the first mystery case Lord Peter was involved in, the mysterious disappearance of the Attenbury Emerald at a house party. The large emerald had a “paste” copy and  a twin stone owned by an Indian family. Mysteries related to the emeralds cropped up from time to time, as did ill fortune for the Attenbury family.

In the present, Lord Peter must take charge after a fire at the family’s estate, and the Wimsey children, along with their friend, young Peter Bunter, make brief appearances where they steal the scene.

Overall, an enjoyable visit with Lord Peter and Lady Harriet. This is Jill Paton Walsh’s first solo novel about the Wimseys, having previously written, from notes and manuscripts left by Dorothy Sayers, the books Thrones, Dominations, and A Presumption of Death.

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