“Walsh's writing meets the standards of excellence set by Sayers, using the mystery novel as a means to demonstrate that traits of endurance, honestly, and loyalty are always appealing. Wit matched with intelligence marks the soul not only of a good sleuth, but also of the very best mysteries. Watched over by the ghost of Dorothy L. Sayers, The Attenbury Emeralds has soul.” The Huffington Post
“Author Walsh does a seamless job of carrying on original author Dorothy L. Sayers' sparkling mix of prose and people (and this from a critic who usually hates this sort of thing).” The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“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.” Publishers Weekly
“Walsh (A Presumption of Death,2003, etc.) delicately balances the mainstays of Sayers’ fictiondrawing rooms, servants, a coolly elegant sleuthwith more contemporary touches. Readers will find a nod to cerebral charm, with a touch of modern egalitarianism.” Kirkus Reviews
“We must admit -- heretical as it may be -- that we quite prefer the continuations to the originals.” Denver Post
“Hundreds of Sherlock Holmes stories have been written by authors other than Conan Doyle. Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler are others whose deaths did not prevent their fictional creations from continuing to live. Occasionally, such pastiches and homages succeed, but not too often. It's not simply a question of imitating a style of writing. Just as important are a sense of time and place, the language (and slang) of the period, and its social backdrop. And, of course, a hero acceptable to lovers of the original. Jill Paton Walsh, assuming the mantle of Dorothy L. Sayers, convinces on all counts....Sayers would not have recognised that [THE ATTENBURY EMERALDS] wasn't her own work.” The London Times
“Luckily, Wimsey has Jill Paton Walsh to continue his life, cunningly framing his first case as a remembrance that serves as an origin and an encapsulation….A pitch-perfect Golden Age mystery; not a pastiche but a gem of a period puzzle that belongs on the shelf beside the Wimsey originals.” The Financial Times (UK)
“If you're a Dorothy L Sayers fan who has been obliged to feed your habit by reading and re-reading the books featuring her aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey help is at hand....Fans will be pleased that it is an absolute treat: civilised, intelligent and spellbinding…. Channelling the authority Sayers employed right up to her final book, Walsh shows that she has the full measure of the imperishable Lord Peter and the hyper-intelligent Harriet Vane.” The Express (UK)
This is Walsh's third venture into writing in the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane universe created by Dorothy L. Sayers. Her first, Thrones, Dominations, completed an unfinished Sayers's novel, based on notes. Her second, A Presumption of Death, was based on a series of Sayers's articles known as "The Wimsey Papers." This new title is the first to bear only Walsh's name as author, although the eponymous case was referred to many times throughout Sayers's novels as Peter's first case. This novel will satisfy fans of Wimsey, in its flashback to his beginnings as an amateur sleuth and with its "flashforward" glimpses into the happily married lives of an older Peter and Harriet, their children, and the family of Mervyn Bunter, the Jeeves to Peter's Wooster. Some of the self-referential jokes may be off-putting to some readers. As capably as Walsh writes, it still misses the spark that Sayers brought to the originals.Verdict Recommended for longtime devotees of Sayers and the witty detective genre but not the way to introduce a new reader to the series. [Library marketing.]—Amy Watts, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Walsh returns with a mystery based on characters created by British crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957).
The former Harriet Vane, reading the obituary of Lord Attenbury, asks her husband, Lord Peter Wimsey, about his first case, finding the lost Attenbury emeralds. With help from his man Bunter, Wimsey recounts the tale of the missing gems, part of a set once owned by the Maharaja of Sinorabad, which disappeared back in the '20s at the engagement party of Attenbury's daughter. Oddly enough, during the dark days of World War II, the treasure goes missing again, and it is up to Lord Peter, relying on Bunter as his sounding board, to find it once more. His task will endanger several others, including a Persian scholar, and stymie an insurance payout until the emeralds can be rightly identified. The final disposition of the emeralds occurs while the Wimseys grapple with a fire and a death that force them to reconsider longstanding family roles.
Walsh (A Presumption of Death,2003, etc.) delicately balances the mainstays of Sayers' fiction—drawing rooms, servants, a coolly elegant sleuth—with more contemporary touches. Readers will find a nod to cerebral charm, with a touch of modern egalitarianism.