The Late Scholar: Book summary and reviews of The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh

The Late Scholar

The New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery

by Jill Paton Walsh

The Late Scholar
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2014
    368 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

When a dispute among the Fellows of St. Severin's College, Oxford University, reaches a stalemate, Lord Peter Wimsey discovers that as the Duke of Denver he is "the Visitor" - charged with the task of resolving the issue. It is time for Lord Peter and his detective novelist wife, Harriet, to revisit their beloved Oxford, where their long and literate courtship finally culminated in their engagement and marriage.

At first, the dispute seems a simple difference of opinion about a valuable manuscript that some of the Fellows regard as nothing but an insurance liability, which should be sold to finance a speculative purchase of land. The voting is evenly balanced. The Warden would normally cast the deciding vote, but he has disappeared. And when several of the Fellows unexpectedly die as well, Lord Peter and Harriet set off on an investigation to uncover what is really going on at St. Severin's.

With this return in The Late Scholar to the Oxford of Gaudy Night, which many readers regard as their favorite of Sayers's original series, Jill Paton Walsh at once revives the wit and brilliant plotting of the Golden Age of detective fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Walsh's pitch-perfect re-creation of the charismatic leads is a delight. Sayers fans can only hope for more. " - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. It does not have quite the tie to Sayers as have earlier volumes in the series, nor does it possess the power of The Attenbury Emeralds (2011), but it is delicious nonetheless." - Booklist

"Though die-hard Sayers fans may find this title lacks the witty flavor of the originals, this is an entertaining and convoluted puzzle for readers who enjoy Golden Age mysteries." - Library Journal

"Walsh's respectful attempt to keep the franchise going will invite the scrutiny of Wimsey purists, and newcomers may find the Duke affected. Even so, many fans will eagerly welcome back their beloved sleuth and enjoy seeing Harriet hold her own in a thoughtfully constructed mystery." - Kirkus

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Jill Paton Walsh is the Booker Prize–nominated and Whitbread Prize–winning author of several adult novels, numerous mysteries, including her continuation of Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries Thrones, Dominations and A Presumption of Death, and many award-winning children's books. She lives in Cambridge, England.

Dorothy L. Sayers, whom The Los Angeles Times named "one of the greatest mystery writers of [the twentieth] century," died in 1957.

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