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  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

A Presumption of Death: A Gripping World War II Murder Mystery

Jill Paton Walsh, Dorothy L Sayers

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Crime & mystery, Classic crime, Thriller / suspense, Historical fiction

Return to a golden age of glamour, murder and intrigue, in a gripping novel by one of our best-loved detective story writers.

'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 . . .

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Praise for A Presumption of Death: A Gripping World War II Murder Mystery

  • Jill Paton Walsh has...given us a Lord Peter story in the true Sayers' style and tradition - Norma Major - The Week on Thrones, Dominations

  • A superb job of seamless collaboration. Thrones, Dominations is pure pleasure. - Wall Street Journal ON Thrones, Dominations

  • An engrossing, intelligent and provocative novel in the guise of a conventional mystery. - Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review

  • What we have here is a true detective story unambiguously set in the Thirties and written so much in the style of Sayers that the narrative is virtually seamless. We meet familiar friends and old enemies: the dowager duchess, loquacious as usual; the duchess of Denver with her egregious snobbery and disapproval of her new sister-in-law . . . I didn't myself believe that the job could satisfactorily be done, but she has proved me wrong. - P. D. James, Observer

  • Could this be the best book Dorothy L. Sayers never wrote? She has done a splendid job - certain to please the legions of Sayers loyalists as well as readers new to the Wimsey canon . . . Lord Peter has been made much more human and interesting by marriage. . . and the story is full of twists and connivance. - Chicago Tribune on THRONES, DOMINATIONS

  • Miraculously right: catching precisely the tone of the relationship . . . It comes out splendidly, . . . a thrilling denouement. - Libby Purves, The Times

  • Jill Paton Walsh does a fine job of taking the first third of a difficult novel of mores and manners and turning it into a readable mystery. She also answers an unasked question about Lord Peter and Harriet: Yes, dear readers, they have a lot of sex and they like it. - Globe and Mail, Toronto

  • An admirable page-turner with some fascinating detail - Publishing News

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Jill Paton Walsh

Born in 1937, Jill Paton Walsh was an award-winning British novelist and children's writer. Her adult novels include Knowledge of Angels, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize, and the Imogen Quy Mysteries. She also completed Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane series.

In 1996, she received the CBE for services to literature. She died in 2020.

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