Tag Archives: Dorothy L. Sayers

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

4 Feb

Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers

This wonderfully complicated (yet, at its heart, quite straightforward) mystery is the first of the incomparable Lord Peter Wimsey’s novels¹ by Dorothy L. Sayers. Since this novel was first published back in the early 1920s² there have been a number of editions released, with back cover blurbs ranging from awful to adequate. This one, from amazon.com, is much better than most: Continue reading

Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers

8 Dec

Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers

The last of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels, Busman’s Honeymoon is as much a detective story as a romance. It is also the fourth and last story in the Harriet Vane story arc***. What with one thing and another, it also happens to be Lord Peter’s readers’ last opportunity for years to see these beloved characters.

Here is the brief blurb from the back cover of my copy: Continue reading

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers

15 Aug

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers

The tenth in Ms Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey novels, Gaudy Night is the third and most crucial book in the Harriet Vane story arc; it is also the first to be told entirely from Harriet’s point of view. Both this and the almost claustrophobic setting allow the reader insights into both her character and Peter’s that have only been glimpsed in previous books.

I feel that it must be noted that, while there is a quote on the cover from The Los Angeles Times touting Ms Sayers as “One of the greatest mystery story writers of this century”, it is not the mystery side of her writing that makes her novels—and Gaudy Night in particular—so incredibly appealing and so wonderful to re-read.

No, it’s not the mystery; it’s her incredibly deft use of the English language—her dialogue, her descriptions, her literary references—and how she makes these people come vividly alive on the page.

While it is not essential, I would strongly suggest reading all the Lord Peter Wimsey books in the order of publication* to enjoy both these two character’s growth, as well as the development of their relationship.

From my paperback edition, one of the most hideously misleading back cover blurbs that has been my misfortune to read: Continue reading

Unnatural Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers

23 Jun

You guys probably cannot tell, reading the bulk of my reviews, but I do read stuff other than romances.

Case in point:

Unnatural Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Oh man, my love for Ms Sayers’ characters is probably unhealthy, it is so vast, so deep, so strong! Unnatural Death is the third of Ms Sayers’ novels starring Lord Peter Wimsey, and the one in which the inimitable Miss Climpson is introduced.

The back cover blurb in my copy does the story absolutely no justice:

The wealthy old woman was dead-a trifle sooner than expected. The intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful Hampshire village to a fashionable London flat and a deliberate test of amour-staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

Okay, now forget that awful paragraph; it has nothing to do with the novel. Continue reading

Have His Carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers

5 Aug

Have His Carcase, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Have His Carcase is only the second novel by Ms Sayers that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, thanks to the nagg… erm, recommendations of my significant other (thank you, love). While usually I would read all the Lord Peter Wimsey books in order of publication *coughabitanalretentivecough* I am first reading the four novels that focus more on his relationship with Harriet Vane. I can always (read: will) go back and read the rest of the series.

Oh, and for anyone who thought that poorly written, excessively dramatic blurbs afflicted only the romance genre, here’s proof of just how naïve that belief is: Continue reading

Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers

22 Jul

Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Even though I’ve had a number of Ms Sayers’ books in my TBR mountain for a while now, this novel is the first of her books that I’ve read. And now that I have, I’ll be sure to remedy the lack in my reading post haste! Strong Poison is actually the sixth Lord Peter Wimsey book published.

Lord Peter is the youngest sibling of the current Duke Denver, and he has developed a few unusual habits as he grows older. He collects first editions and books printed before 1501, and spends the rest of his spare time investigating (and solving) crimes. Most often, Lord Peter works with the police, in the person of his close friend Chief-Inspector Charles Parker, but in this case he has to prove the police made a terrible mistake.

The (very short) back cover blurb gives us the bare bones of the story: Continue reading