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Clouds of Witness (1926)

by Dorothy L. Sayers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lord Peter Wimsey (2)

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3,415963,259 (3.82)305
In a shocking scandal, the likes of which has not been seen in the English aristocracy since the 18th century, the Duke of Denver stands accused of the foul murder or his sister's fiance, shot through the heart on a cold, lonely night at Riddlesdale Hall in Yorkshire. The Duke's brother, Lord Peter Wimsey, attempts to prove Denver's innocence, but why is the Duke refusing to cooperate? And what does his sister, Lady Mary, know about the affair? Trying to reveal the truth, Wimsey uncovers a web of lies and deceit within the family and finds himself faced with the unhappy alternative of sending either his brother or his sister to the gallows - until he himself becomes a target...… (more)
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English (93)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Lord Peter Wimsey sets about to clear his brother's name, the Duke of Denver when he is accused of murdering his future brother-in-law. A bit easier to follow than Whose Body? ( )
  phoenixcomet | Sep 6, 2022 |
Dorothy Sayers is without a doubt my favorite Golden Age mystery author - after Dame Christie, of course. There is always that spark of intelligence behind Wimsey’s wit and that is sometimes missing in other authors of the era. And generally a bit of social conscience as with the battered wife issue in this book.

As I read this I couldn’t help but be reminded of the 10 commandments of the Detection Club, most notably that the murderer had to be someone introduced fairly early in the book, and that the detective must not withhold anything he or she knows. All the more fun trying to figure out “who done it” when you know it’s not hidden too deeply.

( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
(33) The second Peter Wimsey mystery. Ugh - I though Inspector Wexford was weighed down with ponderous literary quotes - but Wimsey takes the cake. Whole untranslated passages in French and tons of allusions to arcane details of the British peerage and court system. Indeed, I had to skim at times. That being said this was the best installment thus far. Wimsey's brother The Duke of Denver is indicted for murder of their sister's fiancee. This case was alluded to in 'Gaudy Night' I believe. It turns out multiple people were wandering the grounds the night that it happened; everyone has secrets. And many want to take the blame on themselves to prevent harm to others. Thankfully Lord Peter, Bunter, and Inspector Parker are on the case.

I followed this along easily and guessed some things. I did better than I usually do at figuring things out, yet there were still a few surprises. In general, the final clue that saved the day seemed to be a bit far-fetched. It seemed they should have checked out that avenue long before the few words of French that were deduced on the blotter. And the lucky coincidences abounded - enough so that the author addressed it obliquely to the reader to forestall criticism.

Overall enjoyable, but not particularly surprising or clever. And parts were a bit tiresome. I will continue this series for now in lieu of Rendell's Wexford - but so far both series share the same strengths and weaknesses. ( )
  jhowell | Jul 2, 2022 |
Wimsey is set to save his brother accused of murder. A series of coincidences - and bad behaviour - intermingle as the accused refuses to speak up. Sayers is witty and fun; she also has a real knack for accents. Her characters are lively and the plot is entertaining.
A lovely read to relax ( )
  Cecilturtle | Jun 22, 2022 |
"Excuse me, my lord," said Mr Bunter, deferentially, "but having seen The Times, I made no doubt your lordship would be wishing to go to Riddlesdale at once."

"Riddlesdale!" exclaimed Peter. "What's the matter? Anything wrong with my brother?"

For answer Mr Bunter handed him the paper, folded at the heading:

Riddlesdale Inquest. Duke of Denver Arrested on Murder Charge. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers
  taurus27 | Jun 16, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barcilon, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bayer, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergvall, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bleck, CathieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michal, MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lord Peter Wimsey stretched himself luxuriously between the sheets provided by the Hotel Meurice.
[Afterword] The year 1920 is the generally accepted dawn of the Golden Age of detective fiction.
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The inimitable stories of Tong-king never have an real ending, and this one, being in his most elevated style, has even less end than most of them. But the whole narrative permeated with the odour of joss-sticks and honourable high-mindedness, and the two characters are both of noble birth. -- The Wallet of Kai-lung
"Here's his fountain-pen. Very handsome - Onoto with complete gold casing. Dear me! Entirely empty.... I don't see any pencil about."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this mystery novel, Cloud Of Witnesses by Dorothy L. Sayers (1926), and the similarly-titled anthology of essays, Cloud Of Witnesses edited by Jim Wallis and Joyce Hollyday (1991; rev'd 2005). Thank you.
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In a shocking scandal, the likes of which has not been seen in the English aristocracy since the 18th century, the Duke of Denver stands accused of the foul murder or his sister's fiance, shot through the heart on a cold, lonely night at Riddlesdale Hall in Yorkshire. The Duke's brother, Lord Peter Wimsey, attempts to prove Denver's innocence, but why is the Duke refusing to cooperate? And what does his sister, Lady Mary, know about the affair? Trying to reveal the truth, Wimsey uncovers a web of lies and deceit within the family and finds himself faced with the unhappy alternative of sending either his brother or his sister to the gallows - until he himself becomes a target...

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When blood stains his family name, Lord Peter fights to save what he holds most dear

After three months in Corsica, Lord Peter Wimsey has begun to forget that the gray, dangerous moors of England ever existed. But traveling through Paris, he receives a shock that jolts him back to reality. He sees it in the headlines splashed across every English paper-his brother Gerald has been arrested for murder.

The trouble began at the family estate in Yorkshire, where Gerald was hunting with the man soon to be his brother-in-law, Captain Denis Cathcart. One night, Gerald confronts Cathcart with allegations about his unsavory past, leading the captain to call off the wedding. Just a few hours later, Cathcart is dead, with Gerald presumed to be the only one who could have fired the fatal shot. The clock is ticking, and only England's premier sleuth can get to the bottom of this murky mystery.
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