Monday, December 27, 2010

Clouds of Witness

Ensconced in a luxurious Parisian hotel, Lord Peter Wimsey finds that his man Bunter has packed their things - Peter's brother, the Duke of Denver, has been arrested for murder of their sister Mary's fiance, Dennis Cathcart, and clearly Peter is the only person who can clear the somewhat dim Duke's name.  The Duke refuses to explain why he was wandering the moors at the time of Cathcart's murder and Lady Mary's deception has put the time of death into doubt.  Peter and his friend, Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard follow a jeweled trail to Paris, across a boggy moor, and eventually to New York, with Peter arriving at his brother's trial in the House of Lords just in time to give the vital piece of evidence.  

I've read Clouds of Witness at least twice, and recently re-watched the BBC mini-series so nothing in the book was even slightly mysterious.  Because I could just sit back and enjoy the story, I noticed a somewhat comic subplot.  I don't think I'd noticed in previous readings how clear it is that Charles is in love with Mary from the beginning of the book, and Peter doesn't see it either.  When he realizes, he's shocked - not, as Charles first thinks, because of the class distinctions but because his sister has shown such terrible taste in men that he's afraid she's going to turn down his best friend in a fit of stupidity.

No comments:

Post a Comment