Clouds of Witness (in the Dutch appeared under the title the head in the noose) is a detective novel by the English writer Dorothy l. Sayers from 1928. It is, after Whose Body? from 1923, the second story in her series of eleven novels around the aristocratic amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey. The story is set within Peters own family circle.
The title refers to a phrase from the book of Hebrews, in which in Chapter 12: 1 there is a ' crowd Christians ' (in English: a cloud or witnesses). The English-language title mean to indicate that the case which in this story is treated very many clues and points of kent, which equally is difficult if it is in the genre often limited number of clues.
Peters older brother Gerald is the Duke of Denver. The family owns a hunting lodge in the County of Yorkshire, where the reason for the events takes place. His younger sister Mary is also present, as well as her fiancé, Captain Cathcart and later Own wife Helen and the mater familias, the Dowager. The case revolves around the sudden and violent death of Denis Cathcart, for which the Duke is held responsible, since the shot was fired from his revolver and he by his sister if found in the corpse. Peter Wimsey bends over the case and works, as well as in the previous book, along with Inspector Charles Parker of Scotland Yard.
The evening prior to the events is in good mood, until the Duke receives a letter with an incriminating statement concerning Mary's fiance and confronts him. Almost at the same time receives Cathcart a letter that makes him very upset. That night around 3 am encountering Mary bent over the corpse on the Duke. Her reason to be there at that time is, as it becomes clear, that it plans to run away with her secret and earlier by the family ladies and unsuitable (because Socialist) friend Goyles. Gerald wants nothing else than that he couldn't sleep and had gone out for a walk. From various statements during the preliminary investigation is clear, however, that the fatal shot already for twelve hours that night must have been discharged. The riddles are piling up.
Themes in the story are (UN) faithful and loyalty. The suspects are apparently out to protect someone. This leads to, among other things, that Mary makes a confession and Gerald stays silent about his reasons for doing so. Nevertheless know Peter Wimsey and Charles Parker, also of Peters using trusted and resourceful butler Bunter through many detours and sometimes dangerous situations to uncover the truth, to the family members and the actual motive behind the death of Cathcart to figure it out.
Was made into a film in 1972 Clouds or Witness in the context of a TV series around the works of Dorothy Sayers. The role of Peter Wimsey is played by Ian Carmichael.