Thrones, Dominations

Thrones, Dominations was the last Lord Peter Wimsey novel that Dorothy L. Sayers began writing, but it left unfinished at her death. Twenty years later, Jill Paton Walsh took on the task of completing it, and then went on to write several extra Wimsey novels. I've already devoured those later books, but Thrones, Dominations wasn't available from the library at the time and I've only just remembered to catch up with it.

The cover blurbs all use the word 'seamless' and they're right. It's possible that Jill Paton Walsh wrote more enjoyable Wimsey novels than Sayers herself -- I've certainly loved reading them almost as much (though I must admit their plots haven't stuck in my head like the originals). Thrones, Dominations picks up immediately after the events of Busman's Honeymoon and thankfully omits much of the elaborately literary love-talk that marred that novel for me. Thrones, Dominations is apparently one third Sayers and two thirds Walsh, but I couldn't tell you at what point Sayers gave up and Walsh took over. It's a lively, entertaining mystery, with nicely judged foreshadowing of the looming war (it's set in 1936) and abdication. Harriet also does her bit for modern feminism in completely plausible and very satisfying ways -- she certainly doesn't suffer from becoming a married woman, and it's lovely to see a true partnership of equals on the page.

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