In A Presumption of Death, Jill Paton Walsh tells how World War II changed the lives of Peter, Harriet and their growing family. The story opens in 1940. Harriet Vane - now Lady Peter Wimsey - has taken her children to safety in the country. But the war has followed them: glamorous RAF pilots and even more glamorous land-girls scandalise the villagers; the blackout makes the night-time lanes as sinister as the back alleys of London. Then the village's first air raid practise ends with a very real body on the ground - not a war casualty but a case of plain, old-fashioned murder. And even before the second body is found, Lord Peter Wimsey and his brilliant wife are on their way to finding the killer.
Dorothy L Sayers was born in Oxford in 1893, and was both a classical scholar and a graduate in modern languages. As well as her popular Lord Peter Wimsey series, she wrote several religious plays, but considered her translations of Dante's Divina Commedia to be her best work. She died in 1957. www.sayers.org.uk Jill Paton Walsh, born in 1937, is also the author of many non-crime novels for adults: the fourth of these, Knowledge of Angels, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Before writing for adults she made a career as a writer of children's books and has won many literary prizes. www.greenbay.co.uk
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