S is for Sayer, Dorothy L

Dorothy L Sayer, Author

Book 19 in A to Z challenge

Dorothy L Sayers was one of the first women to receive a degree from Oxford - and then went on to write a series of detective novels which would become classics. She created a series of novels around the eccentric, and brilliant, accidental detective Lord Peter Wimsey - and later, the woman he tried to convince to marry him, Harriet Vane.

The books are a charming insight into England between and during the World Wars, an enchanting collection of who-dun-its with wit and sophistication - and towards the end surprising levels of romance.

What makes these books so fascinating - and engaging - are the levels of intelligence and culture interwoven with the characters. It is a window into the mind, and life, of deeply clever, and highly educated characters - in which the author never pretends to hide that high level of sophistication like a dirty secret. And still we are caught at every moment trying to figure out who did the dirty deed.

The series slips from pure intellectual enjoyment into something more emotionally engaging when the romance is introduced in Strong Poison. We fall in love with the detective a little here - because he falls in love with a woman whose life and existence had been unconventional at least.

Harriet Vane is an author of detective stories who is accused of killing her lover. Lord Peter Wimsey tries to save her from the gallows - and spends the next few cases, and years, trying to convince her to marry him.

The books, whilst written in the 1920s and 1930s, then were revived and developed further by a modern English writer, Jill Patton Walsh. So there are still new books, and new bodies, to be found today.

These books are not for the lowest common denominator, they are not for those scared of learning - but they are an utter joy for those who love to follow witty and intelligent characters. The emotions are believable and the characters utterly engaging. Within the books the reader can have a glimpse into a world long past, a society changed by two world wars - and fall in love a little bit.

Reviewed by:
Christine Blackthorn




Stephsco said...

Very cool. I have so many classics to catch up on. As an adult looking back, I really wish school had required more reading. I loved to read and yet my school didn't assign that much classic lit.

I'm a new follower to your blog!

Susan Kane said...

Dorothy Sayers was a good read. Interpreting the phrases typical of the times was always fun.

The BBC didn't do a fair job with Lord Peter Wimsey.

Christine Blackthorn said...

No they did not- but actually, there is an american series of it which is a lot better. Surprisingly

athousandliveslived said...

I really love classic books, and although I'm not a big fan of mystery books, there are a few that are actually my favourites, and this one sounds very intriguing, I'll have to pick it up soon!

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