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Clouds of Witness Paperback – May 18, 2011
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More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazon should be ashamed to offer this version of Clouds of Witness as a Kindle product. I am now reading the Kindle version with a hard copy of the book at my side so I can check... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Extremely poor quality, with [illegible], [missing], and other omissions on many pages. Since the author's name was misspelled on the cover, this should have been a warning. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jessarakitty
Dorothy Sayers is a consummate stylist; her social commentary and dialogue are delicious. Don't buy this edition, though; as other readers have mentioned, it's so poorly done. Read morePublished 18 days ago by M. Maier
How can I read the book when it's not there? When in between short bits of text there are brackets with [missing] or [garbled] and you just have to take a guess at what it might... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Daftwullie
The style is a tongue-in-cheek take on a '30s British upper class, featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and his avocation as a criminal investigator. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Sharon H. Wertz
BE SURE YOU BUY THE OPEN ROAD MEDIA VERSION OF THIS TITLE! Sorry, for the all caps, but there is more than one Kindle version of this book. The Open Road version is $2. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Karen W. Newton
I read the kindle edition. You can tell that quite a few pages of the hardcopy book they scanned to produce this were not proofread in the scan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by traveler11
Great book, terrible edition. The scanning is very poorly done and omits paragraphs of text, as well as mixing around sentences. Don't waste your 99 cents.Published 1 month ago by MFK