Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #2)

Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #2)

by Dorothy L. Sayers


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The great Dorothy L. Sayers is considered by many to be the premier detective novelist of the Golden Age, and her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, is one of mystery fiction’s most enduring and endearing protagonists. In Clouds of Witness, the fiancé of Lord Peter's sister, Mary, is found dead outside the conservatory of the Wimsey family's shooting lodge in Yorkshire. The evidence points to their older brother, Gerald, the Duke of Denver, who is charged with the murder and put on trial in the House of Lords.

To clear the family name, Lord Peter and his close friend Inspector Charles Parker scour the lodge's grounds, finding several tantalizing clues, including mysterious footprints, a piece of jewelry, and a cat charm. What do these leads mean, and why are Mary and Gerald suddenly acting so mysterious? Unraveling a string of coincidences, Lord Peter is determined to solve this intriguing case. But will the answer save his brother . . . or condemn him?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062315540
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Series , #2
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 118,533
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers was born in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, and later she became a copywriter at an ad agency. In 1923 she published her first novel featuring the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who became one of the world's most popular fictional heroes. She died in 1957.

Date of Birth:

June 13, 1893

Date of Death:

December 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Oxford University, 1915; M.A., B.C.L., 1920

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Clouds of Witness 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
hereford More than 1 year ago
As a long time Dorothy L. Sayers fan, I was delighted to find Lord Peter Wimsey available on my Nook. I just wish the later ones were there, as well. Clouds of Witness is the second Lord Peter book, which introduces the reader to Peter's family, as he is put in the unenviable position of seeing either his brother or his sister convicted of murder. This book also opens the door for other important people to Peter being charged with the heinous crimes which he and his "sidekick" butler are so adept at unraveling. Sayers is first a notable academic and translator, so her diction and syntax are complex at times; thus, she teaches as well as entertains. Additionally, I've often wished I had taken French rather than Spanish when reading her books, but the Latin roots and cognates usually get me past when mere context clues fail. I cannot recommend strongly enough for the mystery lover to indulge him/herself in all of Dorothy L. Sayers' books. Please, please Nook people--work on getting Gaudy Night and the other later books out in electronic form--my paperbacks are wearing out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sayers' 2nd of the Lord Peter Whimsy stories is a great read. This Nook edition is also easy to read (formatted well), which is an issue I've had with other classics of similar price. If you are a fan of mystery, this book will not disappoint!
JJDTX More than 1 year ago
This was my first introduction to Dorothy Sayers and the world of Lord Peter. I found myself looking for more by this author, and have been hooked ever since.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
I love Lord Peter Wimsey, he has an incredible sense of wrong and right, of honor and love of family. He finds that his brother has been accused of murder and jailed. Lord Peter drops everything and rushes to investigate. His brother refuses to talk,so he does it his way. This is a true British mystery which I love. ***I received this book in exchange for an honest review***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great mystery
Teacher-and-Reader More than 1 year ago
I have pruchased and read the Lord Peter Whimsey books since 1970 and still love to reread them on my nook, keeping them for revisiting! We lost a great writer when she turned to religious writing, but her biographer is also tlented and has fleshed out her WW IIabd after outlines richly and well.
marileec More than 1 year ago
I first read this 35 years ago and immediately read the rest of the series. Set in England just after WWI with well-drawn characters from all levels of society. Lord Peter and his valet Bunter are classic Amateur Sleuths. If you like Agatha Christie's early work give Sayers a try.
Joanne Eldred More than 1 year ago
readers who enjoy well written british mysteries will enjoy dorothy sayre.the books are set in england after world warone, so readers getsome history also. A very enjoyable read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Acclaimed for his portrayals of Lord Peter Wimsey on BBC, Ian Carmichael is the ideal voice for this story. As the London Daily Express put it he plays Wimsey so perfectly that 'Sayers might have created Wimsey just so Carmichael could portray him.' Dorothy Sayers (1893 - 1957) is surely one of the most popular mystery writers of all time. Today, some years after her death, her stories continue to be widely read. With 'Clouds of Witness' her protagonist Lord Peter Wimsey is called upon to investigate the death of his sister's fiancé. At least it may have been a fragrant departure as the recently murdered was found dead among the chrysanthemums, sartorially perfect in dinner jacket and slippers. Most shocking is the fact that Sir Peter's brother, the Duke of Denver, stands accused. Surely that cannot be so. Sir Peter begins his own investigation in order to save his brother. As is often the case, Sayers creates a surprising courtroom scene and Carmichael reads it with gusto.
Mahuenga 17 days ago
I have read most of Sayers’ Peter Wimsey series. This was my favorite. It is very heavy on dialogue, but I don’t mind. There are lots of surprises in this one, and of course Wimsey and Bunter are has lovable as always.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JaneSteen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where I got the book: purchased on Kindle. A re-read. [I find LibraryThing's method of handling editions confusing - I would never buy the CreateSpace version listed here. The Wimsey series just cries out for a really good boxed-set edition, but failing that, the one to collect, if you can, is the Gollancz hardcover.]One thing I always appreciate about the Wimsey stories is that each book has a distinct character. In Clouds of Witness the pace is fast and frenetic, with a wildly confusing murder mystery at the center, and yet Sayers does more to develop her characters here than in some of the other books. The mystery itself almost takes second place to the doings of Wimsey's family, placing Wimsey himself very firmly in a distinct social setting, his home turf where he seems more real than in many of the other books. He doesn't show off nearly as much when he's in the countryside, either; I can't help feeling that, titles aside, this is a depiction of the sort of society Sayers was raised in before she went off to London.I also enjoy the sketch of Wimsey's sister Lady Mary Wimsey, who turns up in later novels but only as a cardboard cutout (his brother Gerald never gets his character developed, which is a great shame). Watching Parker go all chivalrous and defensive of her is always amusing, albeit out of character. Mary is real in this book: later on, the Wimsey family becomes more and more a caricature of a noble English household, and Mary becomes a boring housewife, alas. Plenty happens to Wimsey in this book: he gets chased by dogs, shot, falls into a bog, and flies across the Atlantic (in the 1920s that was a noteworthy adventure). I have never seen a bullet wound heal with such great speed and thoroughness.There is an absolutely priceless little cameo of two writers talking about the trends of the day, something Sayers is able to pick up in the later novels once she writes herself in as Wimsey's love interest when Harriet Vane comes along.I absolutely zipped through this novel (which was supposed to be strictly a post-workout cool down read but ended up as a Main Book) despite having read it several times before. And that really defines the enduring success of the Wimsey novels; they're downright entertaining, and despite (or because of?) being set so firmly in a lost era, never seem to age.
jopearson56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another fun British murder mystery, the second I've read with Lord Peter Wimsey. Getting to be familiar with the characters, most of whom are pretty likeable, even though they are British aristocrats. This was a good plane ride book!
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clouds of Witness is one of Dorothy Sayers¿s earlier Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. It¿s definitely not as good as Murder Must Advertise, or The Nine Tailors, but it certainly shows some promise.Having just spent time abroad in Corsica, Lord Peter Wimsey returns to find that his brother Gerald, the Duke of Denver, has been accused of the murder of one of his houseguests at Riddlesdale Lodge, a house rented for the hunting season. The murdered man was Lord Peter and the Duke¿s brother-in-law-to-be¿so Lord Peter intervenes in what promises to be a sticky mess. It turns out that a lot of people are guilty of a lot of things, and it¿s up to Wimsey to sort things out. What I love about this book is that you know who didn¿t do it¿the fun is in figuring out who did.This book (the second Sayers wrote about Lord Peter, actually) isn¿t as strong as some of her later books, but it¿s pretty good nonetheless. The identification of the murderer isn¿t as important here, though, as is a major twist that¿s revealed near the end. Lord Peter himself, with his unusual manner of speaking and varied pursuits, is an endearing character, and it¿s easy to see why Peter might have inspired many other gentleman-detectives in fiction (Inspector Linley from Elizabeth George¿s books). I thought that Lady Mary was one of the weaker characters (way too many dramatics for me). Clouds of Witness may be the second book in this series (after Whose Body?), but if you¿re new to the series, you may want to start with this one¿there¿s a lot more character development, as well as the introduction of some characters who make recurring appearances throughout the series.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This mystery with Lord Peter Wimsey and his valet, Bunter, has them working diligently to clear Lord Peter's brother (the Duke of Denver) of a murder charge. The characters include not only the Duke of Denver, but Peter's sister Lady Mary, his Mother the dowager Duchess, colorful villagers, and a few political malcontents.Again this mystery was written in the early part of the 20th century but it was still entertaining and challenging for the reader.
WintersRose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While not as wonderful Gaudy Night and Hangman's Holiday, Clouds of Witnesses, which follows Lord Peter Wimsey's investigation of the murder charge against his brother, will keep you turning pages. Sayers characterization is wonderful, as usual. Wimsey's brother, the Duke of Denver refuses to account for his whereabouts during the time of the murder; Wimsey's sister is obviously lying, and Wimsey's brother-in-law to be is the victim. An interesting development is that Detective Parker, Lord Wimsey's associate, reveals for the first time his attraction to Lady Mary, Lord Wimsey's sister.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clouds of Witness, the second Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, brings the action close to home for the amateur detective. Peter¿s elder brother Gerald, the Duke of Denver, has been indicted for the murder of Denis Cathcart, who had been engaged to Peter¿s and Gerald¿s younger sister, Lady Mary. And that young woman isn¿t telling everything she knows, not by a long shot. Nor is Gerald, for that matter. Even the dead man has his secrets.Mysterious accomplices, ducal discretion, a brush with death in the peat bog, a final solution discovered by the most coincidental (providential?) means ¿ this is a Dorothy Sayers mystery and the characters all play up to their roles. Peter is, as always, the witty and disarming peer whom everyone underestimates. Parker is his faithful sidekick, willing to take on the drudge work but also quite a keen thinker himself. And don¿t forget the efficient Bunter, whose resemblance to Jeeves grows more and more pronounced every time I meet him.I¿m reading the series hopelessly out of order, and it is fun to see the early developments of later events (like in this book, the beginning of Parker¿s admiration of Lady Mary). Interesting too is Lord Peter¿s own development; his look of benign idiocy isn¿t quite perfected yet in this early story. But the Lord Peter/Parker partnership is well in hand, and the Dowager Duchess¿s brief appearances confirm her as one of the more delightful minor characters ever penned.Though this was an entertaining and well-written mystery, I didn¿t find it quite up to the best of the Lord Peter stories. But Sayers¿s average effort is another author¿s masterpiece, and there are few detectives I enjoy more than the intelligent and charming Lord Peter Wimsey. Recommended.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lord Peter Wimsey's brother Gerald, the Duke of Denver, is arrested for the murder of Mr. Cathcart whose body was found at Riddlesdale Lodge on a night when the Duke had gone out. His brother refuses to talk. His sister is not telling the truth. Wimsey's adventure takes him to England, France, and America as he tries to clear his brother of the charges. There are a few almost comical moments in the book. I was a bit distracted as I read this book, but it was enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried this second story hoping it would be better than the first. It was not. It was tiresome, and tedious. I will not be reading another.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. As usual, it has a good mix of humor and seriousness, and I particularly enjoyed Parker in this one. There's a tendency in fiction about private detectives to portray the police as idiots, and there's a certain amount of that even in the Sayers mysteries, but I've always appreciated Inspector Parker. Parker is, of necessity, more stolid than Lord Peter and of course slightly less brilliant, but he's a very good, honest cop and often keeps Lord Peter from flying off into fantastical scenarios. I also got a huge giggle out of the chapter where Lord Peter meets his sister's "radical" friends.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every now and then I have to have a visit with Lord Peter Wimsey. He is my favorite, bar none, detective. Archie Goodwin is second, for when I'm not feeling so refined.Read this book recently with a group and found it interesting how much character growth there is, and yet the characters are well established. We just get to know them better. Mostly the Wimsey family, but Parker, Bunter and Mr. Murbles, some of my favorite characters are given good play here.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very witty and fun but I got lost with all the different characters and still can't figure out some of the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago