Monday, October 02, 2006

Busman's Honeymoon

Busman's Honeymoon

Dorothy L. Sayers

Date: 1937   —   $6.99   —   DVD / VHS

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Fiction, Mystery

Lord Peter has finally won his Harriet, and after a semi-secret wedding (two weeks earlier than Peter's officious sister-in-law had planned), they whisk off to a newly-purchased house in the country, a hall that Harriet longed to own as a child. The honeymoon gets off to a bumpy start, however, when they find that nothing has been prepared for them, no one had heard of the sale, and, in fact, the remains of the previous owner's dinner remain in the sitting room.

As for the owner himself, his remains are in the basement.

Naturally, the state of wedded bliss must make allowances for a murder - a murder, furthermore, done in the classic locked-house fashion, where no one can figure out how the murderer struck. When the creditors start arriving (and demanding the furniture), the motive becomes clear - but one of the charming local folk must have done it.

This is actually a rather funny book at many points - the housekeeper woman is one of those officious types designed to get directly on the nerves of the inimitable butler Bunter, and the absurdity of the situation is not lost on any of the participants. However, Sayers never loses sight of the human side, and Lord Peter never quite forgets that, whatever his deductions, someone is going to end up hung for his pains. But at least this time, he has Harriet to turn to.

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