Archive for 'Sayers, Dorothy L.'
I hate to admit it, but Iâ€™ve had it up to here (gesture) with Lord Peter Wimsey. Oh, he was admirable at firstâ€¦ but heâ€™s just so perfect. So intelligent. So well educated. So sensitiveâ€¦ a true metrosexual from the year 1930. Wimseyâ€™s manners are perfect, his noble background above reproach. He has the skills of a concert pianist and the soul of a poet, combined with the dogged perseverance of a bloodhound. If his facial features are a bit foolish-looking, he takes an inordinate pride in the beauty of his elegant hands. All thisâ€¦ combined with just a touch of post-traumatic stress syndrome to make us realize he agonizes over the hanging death of every murderer he convicts.
“Strong Poison” sets the stage for the development of Sayersâ€™s entire series, since it introduces the love of Peterâ€™s life, Harriet Vane. Unfortunately, Harriet is in the dock, charged with the murder of her lover, Philip Boyes. And the evidence of murder by poison is overwhelming. If somehow Peter can find the real murderer, and produce enough evidence to free Harrietâ€¦ not just from the capital charges, but from all suspicion that might blight her life.
The details of Lord Peterâ€™s stratagems, of the assistance of the indefatigable Miss Murchison, and even the courtship of Peterâ€™s sister Mary, make up the substance of the book, and itâ€™s classic Sayers. It seems silly to give away the ending intentionally, but of course Peter is successfulâ€¦ of course Harriet is freed without a stain upon her character (well, maybe a minor one).
The only real purpose in recommending Strong Poison is to encourage you to skip directly to Gaudy Night (1935)â€¦ and avoid the foolishness of the intervening books. Dorothy Sayers is an acquired taste, and requires a bit of a classical education. For most folks, though, these two books are more than enough.
Mystery Book Reviews by DW at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007