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Clouds of Witness Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, January 28, 2020||
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 796 KB
- Publication date : January 28, 2020
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 268 pages
- ASIN : B0849VSTSQ
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1518672752
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,485,720 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"'My lords, it is your happy privilege [missing] his grace the Duke of Denver these [mission] of his exalted rank. When the clerk [missing] address to you severally the solemn [missing] find Gerald, Duke of Denver, [missing] guilty or not guilty of the dreadful [missing] every one of you may, with a confidence [missing] any shadow of doubt, lay his hand....'"
I like guessing games, but this one greatly hampers progress through the book and completely eliminates any enjoyment.
Still, it must be said, the mystery here is a bit of a treat. There are so many witnesses to what has happened, the apparent murder of Wimsey’s sister’s fiancé, that the truth takes time to unravel. And everyone is so blinded by what they think they know and, sometime, what they have to hide, that Wimsey is misled at every turn. In the end, however, he resolves it to, if not everyone’s satisfaction, then certainly to the reader’s.
The largest part of Lord Peter's investigation in Clouds of Witness seemed to be crawling around on the floor staring at the carpet, and I was about ready to admit defeat when Wimsey's sister finally decided to tell the truth. Then the mystery really began to get somewhere.
I am glad that I soldiered on to the end because I do see glimmers of what this series will be in snippets of conversation between characters, and that "lost in the fog in the bog" scene is marvelous. I do enjoy historical mysteries, but I am most definitely a 21st-century reader, so I do sometimes doubt the wisdom behind my dabbling into these fabled waters... but it is for the very reason that these mysteries are fabled that I can't leave them alone!
Top reviews from other countries
I’m not a fan of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, but this is one of the books in my personal challenge to read the novels listed in Martin Edwards’ The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books. Happily for me, it’s one of the earliest books in the series, the second, before the arrival on the scene of Ms Sayer’s tedious alter-ego, Harriet Vane, and Peter’s interminable courtship of her. Unhappily, the snobbery which infests her books is already present – cultural, intellectual, economic, geographic: you name it, she’s snobbish about it.
Still, at least at this early stage Sayers does concentrate more on the detection than on Lord Peter’s tiresome character, though there’s more than enough of that too. He’s the type of amateur detective to whom the dull police are delighted to hand over their cases, especially this one, since the main desire of the policeman in charge of the case is to languish after the lovely Lady Mary, whose exalted birth means she is far above the reach even of this cultured, well-educated gentlemanly plod.
I’m by no means alone in often mentioning the sexism that pervades early detective fiction, but it always stands out particularly for me when the author is female (which, ironically, is quite sexist of me, I suppose). I can’t help feeling that Dorothy L didn’t think much of her fellow women. Here we have a wife so dull she apparently deserves to be cheated on, a couple of mistresses, one out for sex, the other out for money, and a dippy aristocratic type dabbling with those outrageous socialists who threaten the moral fabric of Good Old England, with their uncouthness and revolutionary ideas (like preventing the rich from exploiting the poor). Fortunately, all socialists are, as we know, snivelling cowards, plus their table manners and dress sense are terrible, so she’ll surely be saved from her girly silliness and be “persuaded” to marry a pillar of the establishment and breed up new generations of true blue-blooded Englishmen, just as she should!
Oh dear, my reverse snobbery is showing again – I do apologise! What I meant to say is that the book is quite entertaining in some respects, and some parts of it are well written and quite atmospheric, such as when Wimsey and Bunter find themselves lost on the moor in a fog. But the plotting is fundamentally silly and the solution is a major cop-out, and, in case you haven’t spotted it, I do find Lord Peter’s insufferable superiority... well... insufferable. Thankfully this is the only Wimsey novel on Martin Edwards’ list, so I shall be spared reading any more of them.
PS If you’ve never read a Lord Peter Wimsey novel, in fairness I feel I should say my reaction is purely allergic. Many, many people love these books, and you really shouldn’t rely on my opinion of them.
All in all, I think they are still an enjoyable read, but you have to set aside 21st Century preconceptions and enjoy them for the period pieces they are.
The investigation will lead Wimsey into personal danger before he finally ferrets out the truth of what really happened on the fateful night which looks like destroying his family. I enjoyed this book and thought the plot was very well done. I didn't work out what really happened until all was revealed by the combined efforts of Wimsey and Chief Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard, an old friend of Wimsey's.
I like the way the family interact - Gerald, the Duke, not very bright but trying to do what is expected from him in his role in society; Lady Mary - hiding something from a mistaken idea that to reveal it will put everyone in danger; the Dowager Duchess - shrewd and observant in spite of her flighty persona and Helen - wife to Gerald and bent on keeping up appearances in all the wrong ways.
I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Golden Age crime stories and even though it is part of a series it can be read a standalone novel.