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Thrones, Dominations

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Thanks to British author Walsh, who reconstructed Thrones, Dominations from a 62-year-old Sayers fragment, erudite newlywed sleuths Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane have returned to solve one last murder. All the elements appear to be in place: highbrow banter, amusing family vignettes, familiar supporting characters, a challenging puzzle. But though Walsh’s heart is in the right place, her mind seems to be a few degrees off kilter. Sayers put classical and literary references into the mouths of her heroes with ease; here those allusions seem labored and self-conscious. Worse, the tenor of the prose is far too ’90s. Still, Walsh deserves credit for this indubitably sincere form of flattery. B-