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Book Note: Jill Paton Walsh, The Late Scholar

I read this book about 2-Mar-2017. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2013. This note was last modified Wednesday, 06-Sep-2017 21:11:29 PDT.

This is book 19 of the "Lord Peter Wimsey" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Denver, as Peter now is, turns out to be the Visitor for St. Severin's College (at Oxford). He has to go settle a dispute about selling a possibly valuable and possibly important manuscript, to invest in some land, in an attempt to repair the college's admittedly nearly disastrous finances. (Quite a bit of bad management in the past, and this is in the 1950s when things weren't all that easy in England. One bad bit of luck the college had was having some property they owned in London 'Blitzed', so it's not producing any rents at the moment and can't really be sold.)

The Fellows of St. Severin's aren't as well-imagined as for example those of Shrewsbury (in Gaudy Night), but we do get to visit the Shrewsbury dons and observe that the failure at St. Severin's may be more one of imagination than of writing.

There are a lot of loose ends waved around before our eyes. The Master is missing, for four months. One man has died, perhaps by accident, and two others have experienced things that could have been attempts at murder that were blocked.

Once Peter and Harriet get to stirring around, the plot thickens and more people die—and they notice that, for a while, they all die in ways Harriet described in novels (often derived from Peter's cases). Then one dies a different way. Which of those is a clue?


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David Dyer-Bennet