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The Late Scholar: Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane Investigate    by Jill Paton Walsh order for
Late Scholar
by Jill Paton Walsh
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Author Jill Paton Walsh has picked up where the late Dorothy L. Sayers left off and presents The Late Scholar using Sayers' characters, Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Walsh has continued Wimsey's and Vane's lives as though there had never been a break in continuity. In fact, this is the fourth in this very satisfying series.

Lord Peter Wimsey and his detective novelist wife revisit the Oxford they love so much. And well they might as this is where they met, became engaged and finally married. A good marriage that produced two sons whom they both believe will continue in their parents' footsteps and become students at the prestigious university.

Peter, the Duke of Denver, is asked to fill the post of Visiter to help St. Severin's College Fellows decide whether or not to buy what is thought will become a valuable piece of land in the future, and to sell a valuable medieval manuscript from the 1600s that takes pride of place in the University. Tempers are short as two sides squabble over what to do. The argument flares into open tempers as no acceptable agreement can be found.

Then the Warden disappears and one of the fellows is beaten to death. Soon arsenic enters the scene and the police make an appearance. As Sayers would have done, this gets more and more delightfully complicated. Sayers' style of wit is very evident. As are the main characters' pleasure to be able to come up with appropriate quotations from famous written works. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read. A little highbrow at times. But this also offers the chance to learn something new.

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