Review: Busman’s Honeymoon

Busman's Honeymoon is the last of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and it's an odd book. In fact, it's three books in one, each with a distinctly different tone.The first book is an extended epistolary novel concerning Lord Peter's nuptials with Harriet Vane, in which we get to hear from everyone involved (and many who are not), from Lord Peter's delightful mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, to Lord Peter's egregious sister-in-law, the current Duchess of Denver; it's all … [Read more...]

Review: The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy Sayers

The next of Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey mysteries is The Nine Tailors, which I enjoyed thoroughly this time around, and more than the first time I read it. And the most interesting thing about it is that the mystery is the least interesting thing about it.Lord Peter is traveling through the Fen Country on New Year's Eve, and has a flat tire in the snow; and once rescued by the vicar of Fenchurch St. Paul finds himself dragooned to spend the night ringing bells. It seems that one of the … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: The Great Nutrax Row

IT WAS ON THE Friday of the week in which all these stirring incidents occurred that Pym’s Publicity, Ltd. became convulsed by the Great Nutrax Row, which shook the whole office from the highest to the lowest, turned the peaceful premises into an armed camp and very nearly ruined the Staff Cricket Match against Brotherhood’s, Ltd.— Dorothy L. Sayers, Murder Must AdvertiseHorrors! Not the Staff Cricket Match! Something about this passage just makes me happy. … [Read more...]

Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy Sayers

Unlike the last couple of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, about which I had mixed feelings, I returned to Murder Must Advertise with no qualms and great anticipation of pleasure—and I was not disappointed. As the tale begins, a man named Death Bredon takes a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency called Pym's Publicity. We, of course, recognize him immediately: Lord Peter's full name is Peter Death Bredon Wimsey. An employee of the firm has died, falling down a steep spiral staircase, … [Read more...]

Have His Carcase, by Dorothy Sayers

The next of Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey mysteries is Have His Carcase; it is also the second which involves mystery novelist Harriet Vane, the first being Strong Poison.This is one of the first few Wimsey novels I read, very shortly after Strong Poison, and while there were bits I liked I'm afraid I found it long, tedious, and confusing. Consequently, I was surprised and pleased to find the book completely entertaining on this go round.Harriet Vane is out on a walking tour of the … [Read more...]

The Five Red Herrings, by Dorothy Sayers

In Galloway, according to Dorothy Sayers, everyone either fishes or paints or both. This is her introduction to The Five Red Herrings, a fiendish mystery novel involving seven painters and fishers, one of whom is dead, one of whom killed him, and five of whom didn't. All six of the living painters have alibis, one of which needs to be broken. There are a great deal of cars and trains and bicycles—oh, the bicycles—, far too many train schedules, and a great many investigators, only one of whom … [Read more...]

Clouds of Witness, by Dorothy Sayers

In Whose Body?, Lord Peter Wimsey's brother the Duke of Denver wishes that Lord Peter would give over his hobby of sleuthing; and Lord Peter promises him that he might have cause to be grateful for it. This promise pays off immediately in Lord Peter's second outing, Clouds of Witness. Lord Peter returns from an extended vacation in Corsica to discover that his brother the Duke is on trial for the murder of the fiancé of his and Lord Peter's sister Lady Mary. The Duke's family and friends were … [Read more...]

Whose Body?, by Dorothy Sayers

Sometimes you go back to a book you remember with delight, and you wonder what you ever saw in it. Other times, you go back to a book you remember with a mild fondness...and discover that it's wholly delightful. That's been my experience recently as I revisit Dorothy Sayers' tales of Lord Peter Wimsey; and the first of these is Whose Body?, which is in the public domain and can be found in any manner of places.Whose Body? was published in 1923. Lord Peter, Sayers' hero, is the younger … [Read more...]