Day 258: Busman’s Honeymoon

Cover for Busman's HoneymoonI have always thought that, with a few exceptions, the arrival of Harriet Vane into the Lord Peter Wimsey series pretty much ruined it. Some of those mysteries are not so bad, and Have His Carcase (wherein Lord Peter meets Harriet) and Gaudy Night (wherein Harriet solves a mystery on her own) are very good, but Busman’s Honeymoon is just too sappy. It is hard to know if Peter and Harriet’s marriage is Sayers’ idea of an ideal relationship or a reflection of some relationship she actually had, but I find that Lord Peter’s galumphing happiness contrasts strangely with Harriet’s odd undertones.

Lord Peter and Harriet are married and travel for their honeymoon to a house they bought in the country. But when they arrive, they find the house is not ready for them and the previous owner, Mr. Noakes, is nowhere to be found–until next morning when Bunter finds him dead in the basement. In the meantime, the servants have been cleaning, and all the clues are gone.

One positive point for the novel is that the Dowager Duchess shows up, a favorite character. We also get a little more background on the relationship between Wimsey and Bunter.

I guess this isn’t the best selection for Valentine’s Day, since I’m criticizing it for sappiness, but if you have different tastes than mine, you might like it. I see that the reviewers on Amazon are remarking at how romantic it is. And also commenting on the subtle humor. Well, I didn’t find it so subtle.

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