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Busman's Honeymoon Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1995

217 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Busman’s Honeymoon has everything—mystery, comedy, love, and drama—all served up in Dorothy Sayers’s best style.” (New York Times)

“One of the greatest mystery story writers of this century.” (Los Angeles Times)

“The Wimsey books are literate and delightful mysteries.” (Chicago Tribune)

From the Publisher

What Lord Peter and his bride, the famous mystery writer Harriet Vane, hoped would be a quiet and romantic honeymoon turns into a baffling case of murder when the former owner of their newly acquired estate is found dead in the cellar. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarTorch (February 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061043516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061043512
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a playwright, scholar, and acclaimed author of mysteries, best known for her books starring the gentleman sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

Born in Oxford, England, Sayers, whose father was a reverend, grew up in the Bluntisham rectory and won a scholarship to Oxford University where she studied modern languages and worked at the publishing house Blackwell's, which published her first book of poetry in 1916.

Years later, working as an advertising copywriter, Sayers began work on Whose Body?, a mystery novel featuring dapper detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Over the next two decades, Sayers published ten more Wimsey novels and several short stories, crafting a character whose complexity was unusual for the mystery novels of the time.

In 1936, Sayers brought Lord Peter Wimsey to the stage in a production of Busman's Honeymoon, a story which she would publish as a novel the following year. The play was so successful that she gave up mystery writing to focus on the stage, producing a series of religious works culminating in The Man Born to Be King (1941) a radio drama about the life of Jesus.

She also wrote theological essays and criticism during and after World War II, and in 1949 published the first volume of a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (which she considered to be her best work).

Dorothy Sayers died of a heart attack in 1957.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on a stage play co-written by Sayers, Busman's Holiday is Sayers last significant statement in the mystery genre--and a completely satisfying one at that. Like several other novels that involve both Sayers' sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and mystery novelist Harriet Vane, the novel is as much a portrait of their relationship as it is a murder mystery, and while these two elements occasionally seem at odds in other works (most notably the unworthy Have His Carcass), Busman's Holiday strikes a perfect balance between the two as we follow the couple through the first few days of their honeymoon as they deal with the shock of marriage, domestic disasters, and an unexpected body in their honeymoon home's basement. As in other novels, Sayers draws a great deal from her setting--in this case rural England on the eve of World War II--and presents us with a memorable cast of supporting characters, and the result is as fine a novel as she ever produced, particularly notable for its wittiness and sly humor. A greatly satisfying finish to a highly enjoyable series.

There is, incidently, an extremely well-made 1930s film version of this particular work starring Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings. Although Montgomery is not quite the image of Lord Peter Wimsey, he plays quite well, and Cummings is Harriet Vane brought to life on the screen. Sayers fans should enjoy the film almost as much as they enjoy the book!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By "airi2" on April 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
. . .although whether the genre should properly be romance or mystery is a point up for debate. Either way, this final book in the 4-novel Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey series is wonderful and utterly satisfying. Not only is the murder mystery extremely tight and well-done (as per normal for Sayers), but this is one of the few books of any genre I've read that really gets love right. The problems and beauties of newlywed life for two people who've been trying to come to terms with their relationship for five years are very well done, and Sayers maintains her commitment as an author to be as utterly honest and realistic about love and its complications as possible.
Oh, and the roughly 6,000 tons of unresolved romantic tension built up through the first three Wimsey/Vane books are finally resolved here, to the great relief of the reader. Just reading accounts of the wedding (which was described through a series of letters between various friends and acquaintances of the couple), I felt as if I'd finally been allowed to breathe after having my head held underwater for an interminable period of time.
I plan to keep my copy of this book for the rest of my life--if you like mysteries and enjoy a good love story, this is a safe pick.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am glad to find so many favorable reviews of this, Dorothy L Sayers' final detective fiction novel, on the internet. It failed to find much favor with the public or the critics when it was written in the late 1930s. In actual need of the income that her earlier works in this genre had generated (she had to support not only herself but also a non-productive husband and an illegitimate son), she negotiated with her publisher to "once again try my hand at detective fiction" after he had pointed out that the market seemed to have become saturated.
Just as a busman's holiday is a vacation where the busman is likely to be as involved with driving as he is throughout the rest of the year, a busman's honeymoon (a phrase which she coined) is one where the busman (in this case Lord Peter Wimsey) is likely to spend his honeymoon checking alibis, interviewing murder suspects, observing rigor mortis, and all the other tiresome activities of an amateur detective.
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane are the honeymooners. After their wedding (reported in a series of letters that begin the novel), they travel to "Talboys", a country house chosen by Harriet. Their reception is not as predicted. Eventually Lord Peter's butler, Bunter, discovers a corpse in the cellar.
The novel began life as a play, as you may infer from the many static scenes involving a large ensemble of characters entering and exiting. The prose is as rich in wit, classical illusions and sophistication as you will ever encounter in detective fiction. Dorothy L. Sayers was an honours graduate and capable of writing as well as George Eliot.
Don't expect the kind of fast food satisfaction that Agatha Christie provided so successfully. You will find instead the full silver service dining and wining experience here.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on April 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 13th Lord Peter novel, and the fourth in the Lord Peter/Harriet Vane story. This is definitely NOT a good place to begin the series.
BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON begins shortly after GAUDY NIGHT. The opening chapter consists of letters and diary enteries from their family and friends concerning the wedding. For fans of the series these are hilarious portraits of the various characters, the delightful Dowager Duchess, the obnoxious Duchess of Denver, the unflappable Bunter and others.
The newly wed Wimseys take up the action after their escape from the reception as they drive to their honeymoon destination, their newly purchased weekend cottage, 'Talboys'. The carefully arranged plans for a peaceful honemoon begin to come apart at their arrival. The house is cold, dark and locked, the former owner nowhere to be found, and no one apears to be aware of their pending arrival. These obstacles are overcome, the family takes up residence but the next day the missing former owner turns up - dead in the basement.
Naturally the Wimseys solve the crime as they sort out the details of their new life.
The only flaw I see with this novel is that the mystery aspect is a bit labored. Sayers was quite fond of the 'time-table' sort of mystery but tended to belabor the point. This, coupled with the array of characters/suspects that appear and are all given quite a lot of action, cause the story to drag a bit. Still, the solution is clever, the characters are charming and the scenes between Peter and Harriet are gems, finally resolving their 5 year (and 4 book) romance.
The biggest problem with this novel is that it is the last full-length book in the series. Even though we were given farewell glimpses of many old friends from earlier books it is still sad to say goodbye.
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