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The Attenbury Emeralds

de Jill Paton Walsh

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Séries: Wimsey Sequels (3)

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5694341,865 (3.61)86
This mystery finds Lord Peter Wimsey revisiting his first case from thirty years earlier when the descendant of Lord Attenbury begs his help in proving the ownership of a priceless cache of emeralds.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 43 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The strongest praise I can give this novel is that I found it a pleasurable page-turner. Walsh gets the period details just right and does a good job capturing some of the nuance of Sayers' characters, as well as the cultural shifts taking place in post-war Britain.

AND YET THE PLOT. The Attenbury Emeralds is lively and dramatic, but plotted more like an episode of Sherlock than a Golden Age detective story, with a mystery held together by coincidence and fuzzy thinking. While Sayers was not above the odd coincidence (Peter Wimsey is, after all, a Mystery Magnet), she is known for intellectual rigor. We just don't get that complexity in these fan sequels.

Don't get me wrong, the next time I'm in need of a cozy read I will certainly consider picking up another of these books, but the weak plotting means I find them simultaneously enjoyable and frustrating.

ETA: While I'm referencing TV Tropes, I forgot to complain about Walsh's hat tip to the Celebrity Paradox - it's silly, but it really bothered me! A world where Dorothy L. Sayers existed and wrote detective novels that aren't about Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane is a world I'd rather not contemplate. ( )
  raschneid | Dec 19, 2023 |
Really more like 2.5* rounded up...

While it was nice to spend some time again with Lord Peter, Bunter & family, I didn't feel like Walsh quite got the nuances of how Peter & Harriet talked. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Lord Peter and Harriet Vane are ok in this book (written, not by Dorothy Sayers, but by another author tasked with the job of furthering the series), but they're not as sparkling as they could be, and I got a little tired of the long episode of storytelling about a mystery from Lord Peter's early days. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
What an absolute delight, with a wonderful reader this time around. I’m re-experiencing these book in the waning days of pandemic isolation and they are such a comfort to me. This one — ah, if you want to read Dorothy Sayers, it probably won’t be all you desire, but if you want to enjoy Jill Paton Walsh coming into her own, this will satisfy you absolutely. I don’t mind that Peter and Harriet should evolve as they age, and I think Walsh has done a tremendous job transitioning over the last 3 books from material that remained to original thought. I’ve no doubt this is still heavily based on Sayers work, but I also think Walsh’s voice is coming to the fore. Lovely. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
The Attenbury Emeralds was better than A Presumption of Death--I made it through the book without wanting to hurl (either the book or my breakfast). And the malefactor wasn't painfully obvious. But Paton Walsh is no Sayers, and it pains me to see her try. I wonder how much is because Paton Walsh is accustomed to writing for modern readers and thus feels the need to carefully hold the reader's hand, lay out the crumb trail without any breaks or jumps for the reader to follow, and generally has low expectations of the audience. She does an awful lot of a viewpoint character explicitly interpreting another character's actions/reactions/body language, etc. Not so many literary allusions liberally peppering Peter's dialogue either. The Dowager Duchess does not sparkle and confound herself in full-paragraph periods of malapropisms and charming stream of consciousness.

The social commentary that takes up much of the story and drips from *every* character's mouth (and all pointed in the same direction! as if they're a hive mind!) also is most unlike Sayers. Peter's PTSD symptoms from past and current events are referenced pretty casually and openly by many characters, and discussed very directly in group settings, again very uncharacteristic for Peter and Harriet and Sayers' approach to the topic. None of the key characters really sound or act like themselves. I also am not okay with the plot twists thrown in to seriously alter the nature of the characters and their place in the world. It goes beyond taking liberties into distorting the characters beyond all recognition, bombing canon to kingdom come. Did not like. Do not approve. Never reading another of her Lord Peter Wimsey attempts. Reread the originals foreva!

Notice I have yet to mention the mystery? These are mystery books, right? Kinda sorta. The mystery is pretty secondhand, lukewarm, largely off-screen. It doesn't really engage the reader, and takes a backseat to both the social commentary and the transmogrification of the characters' lives. And in the closing pages, somehow Harriet has more insight into the human heart than Lord Peter, particularly when it comes to class consciousness? I don't think so. I guess there's no pleasing fans. I'm okay with that. When the originals gems are so original, the paste copies just lack the brilliance and seem little more than glitter and glue. ( )
3 vote justchris | Apr 24, 2021 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Walsh, Jill Patonautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Mustafa, MumtazDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Petherbridge, EdwardNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rotstein, David BaldeosinghDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For Judith Vidal-Hall, with gratitude for many years of friendship.
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'Peter?' said Lady Peter Wimsey to her lord. 'What were the Attenbury emeralds?'
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This mystery finds Lord Peter Wimsey revisiting his first case from thirty years earlier when the descendant of Lord Attenbury begs his help in proving the ownership of a priceless cache of emeralds.

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