"powerful WW II amateur sleuth"
In 1940,the siren testing the warning system goes off in a
remote English village. Except for the Methodists,
everyone including Harriet Vane, better known as Lady Peter
Wimsey, enter the cave used as the air raid shelter. After
a long time, the siren finally ends signifying all clear.
Everyone leaves the cave only to find the corpse of a Land
Girl, "Wicked" Wendy Percival, lying in the street.
Knowing he is already shorthanded due to the war effort and
her experience as a crime novelist, Superintendent Kirk
asks Harriet to investigate the murder that is clearly not
the work of a Nazi. He wants her to perform the role of
her spouse Lord Peter, overseas on government work, to make
inquiries and report back to him, but not take risks.
Reluctantly Harriet begins her investigation starting with
the other eight Land Girls, but quickly she finds reality
much more complex and stranger than fiction.
Using fictional letters that the late great Dorothy L.
Sayers wrote in support of the English World war II
efforts, Jill Paton Walsh paints a powerful amateur sleuth
tale that fans of the Wimsey tales will enjoy and will
appreciate the cleverness of the endeavor. The story line
insures that the regulars remain true to their known
personalities while WW II in a remote village is used to
provide the background of a strong who-done-it. Still,
this tale belongs to the cast especially Harriet who
provides a fine time for series fans and historical mystery
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 9, 2003