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Clouds of Witness Paperback – May 18, 2011

236 customer reviews
Book 2 of 15 in the Lord Peter Wimsey Series

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the best mysteries obtainable in the world today." -- The New York Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dorothy L Sayers was born in Oxford in 1893, and was both a classical scholar and a graduate in modern languages. As well as her popular Lord Peter Wimsey series, she wrote several religious plays, but considered her translations of Dante's Divina Commedia to be her best work. She died in 1957.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461190479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461190479
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,767 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

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By voracious reader on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I purchased this Kindle verion of "Clouds of Witness" because the others on offer seemed to be poorly formatted. And, I own this edition of the book so I thought it would be OK. WRONG!!! Sentences are paraphrased or rewritten at random, and words and phrases that did not scan are marked [Blurred]. I have been making corrections using the notes feature bc I am familiar with the books and want a more portable edition of this particular title. For those of you considering buying this title, I would strongly urge you to wait until a better version comes along. Not recommended.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dorothy Sayers' second Lord Peter Wimsey novel comes in on a more serious note. Wimsey, just returned from a long rest in Corsica, finds himself embroiled in a murder far closer to home. While staying at a hunting lodge with friends Peter's brother Gerald has gotten tangled up in a murder, and has become the chief suspect. To make matters more complicated, the victim is their sister Mary's ex-fiancée. Very recently ex, as a matter of fact. The murder was done shortly after Gerald has thrown him out of the house as a card cheat.
When an alibi is demanded, Gerald refuses to give one, and so is charged with the crime. As he is the Duke of Denver, Gerald's case will not be heard in court, but before the House of Lords. Lord Peter is confronted with a case in which the accused seems bound and determined to get himself hung. Gerald offers no help to his brother, the police, or even Impey Biggs, his barrister. Peter and his long time friend Inspector Parker, are left with only faint clues and surmises as the basis for building a defense.
It quickly becomes apparent that there is guilt everywhere. Denis Cathcart, the victim, had lived a suspicious life in Paris, Lady Mary has complicated ties to the British socialist movement, and Gerald, if he wasn't killing Cathcart, had to be doing something he didn't want to reveal. Wimsey and Parker find a surplus of suspicious behavior, in England and abroad, but the puzzle refuses to be unlocked. Worse, those mysteries they can solve do nothing to help Gerald. Time marches inexorably on, and Lord Peter must make a last minute race against time in an effort to solve the mystery.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael Rawdon on December 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my three favorite Lord Peter Wimsey novels (the other two are The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club and Murder Must Advertise), and unless you plan to read the entire series (in which case you should start with Unnatural Death), it's the best introduction to Wimsey and his world, as it revolves around his brother Gerald, the Duke of Denver, being accused of murdering their sister Mary's fiance. It also features Wimsey's friend Chief Inspector Parker, as well as introducing several recurring characters.
Unlike Unnatural Death, where Wimsey seems more devil-may-care and speaks in more slang-y sentences, this book shows a more mature Wimsey who's fully aware of his duties to his family and the responsibilities of his position in life (an occasional theme in the series), and we see that Wimsey is far from being merely a man about London.
The mystery itself is one of the more clever ones in the series, revolving around holes in Gerald's testimony which Wimsey must investigate, as well as the background of the murder victim, although the final resolution seems not to completely justify the build-up. (This is common in Sayers' mysteries; the setting and characters tend to be stronger than the puzzle driving the plot.) Overall, though, it's an entertaining book, featuring more moments of dramatic suspense than in the later novels, making it perhaps the most well-rounded Wimsey adventure.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Dawson on October 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite Wimsey stories, but the formatting in the Kindle edition is bad to the point of distracting from the plot. Paragraphs are run together and the margins meander around without uniformity. I hope this edition will be improved in the near future, I'd be glad to re-download it.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By crystal on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a review of Dorothy Sayer's writing; it is a review of the terrible edition being sold to the unwary. This is not a published paperback, it is a printout inserted between covers. There is no publisher, no copyright information, nothing to even guarantee that this is Dorothy Sayers' writing. The cover is ugly and has nothing to do with the story. The layout of the pages is ugly and hard to read - and comes with word processing typos such as fractions and question marks within words. There is no way to tell from the Amazon listing that this is a printout, not an actual published book. And the price is outrageous for such a piece of junk. Save your money and buy a used paperback elsewhere. My order of "Whose Body?" was the same. I am now afraid to order paperbacks from Amazon because they don't identify these printouts in the listings.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By allthingswinter on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Lord Peter Wimsey and found 'Cloud of Witness' to be very enjoyable, but this particular copy of the book is absolutely terrible. I'm pretty sure it was printed on someone's home computer - the cover is blurry (it doesn't look that way in the photograph), the text is so small (I honestly got headaches from trying to read it) and there are huge spaces between each paragraph. Also, there is no publisher listed/mentioned anywhere in the book - only says 'made in the USA | Lexington, KY, with a date listed - the date I ordered it. It is obvious someone found the text of this book online, copied and pasted it into a word document, and then printed it off and had it cheaply bound. There are also piles and piles of typos - all symbols in the middle of words. I just want to warn you not to buy this copy of the book! It's a total rip off. I returned mine. This is so disappointing because Sayer's books are becoming harder to find in trade paperbacks, but I would highly recommend finding it used. (I left this same review on 'Whose Body' because I had the same thing happen with that book I ordered, too.)
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