Dorothy Sayers
Clouds of Witness
Review by Ross Anthony

Okay, let's start with the title. I read that title several times and it still wouldn't feet right. Does it make sense to you? Finally, there's a mention of it 2/3rds through, but it's written as "Cloud of witnesses" which makes more sense - so why wasn't the title spelled that way?

Anyway, title shmitle, I'm open minded enough to take the contents over the label. I should tell you that I've never read a proper mystery. While I didn't appreciate being barraged with a plethora of characters whose names Sayers seemed to delight in varying to add to the confusion, I did very much enjoy that she wastes no time getting to the murder. There's a corpse by page three. "This happened, and that, and then there's my main character, but let's get right to the killing!" It's this kind of subtle humor that keeps the read fresh. In fact, without the musing banter, I'm sure I would not have finished it. The story seems almost an afterthought. Up until the end, I remained relatively consistently mildly amused. But, then the story becomes so ridiculous that its own deplorableness interrupts the fun banter. Let me explain, eventually the book moves toward a splendid courtroom drama replete with all the most noble people of the land. They endure some fun tongue-in-cheek from the author, but sadly, our handsome stately defense attorney stands up with an ending statement that wasn't just boring ... worse, spelled out clearly what fools we readers had been to have been dragged through this folly of concocted coincidences. And if that wasn't enough to disrespect us, then the drunken resolution surely would do us in. Now, perhaps I am completely wrong. Perhaps Sayers intended the whole book to be simply a silly folly - not just the banter. In that case, I simply missed it. As I said, this was my first proper mystery. Maybe, it should have been one to read only after I'd become bored of the rest.

That said, some of the humor was pretty sweet. Allow me to paraphrase one of my favorite lines from the book: "You can't share information with them, because they're too quick to judge. They'd have me strung up and hanged at the point where I'd only just started suspecting myself."

Ross Anthony is a Great American Independent Author. For more on Mr. Anthony and his books click: or for more book reviews click: Book Reviews.

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 27-Nov-2017 21:18:38 PST