Gaudy Night - Lord Peter Wimsey, Bk 12 Author:Dorothy L. Sayers When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the "Gaudy," the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obsentities, burnt effigies and poison-pen letters -- including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; a... more »ll are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection, and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.« less
The English mysteries are always the best mysteries. And Dorothy Sayers myteries are the best of the best. This one has it all, bizarre pranks, scrawled obscenties, burnt effigies and poison-pen letters. Now what could be better on a cold winter's night?
Harriet Vane returns to Oxford for a reunion of the women's college. Naturally, murder and mayhem ensue. Eventually Lord Peter arrives, on his own errand, and gets caught up on the grisly events. Vane and Wimsey spend some old-fashioned quality time as well.
Obscene graffiti, poison pen letters and a disgusting effigy greeted Harriet Vane on her return to Oxford for the 'Gaudy' celebrations. A graduate of ten years before and now a successful novelist, this should have been a pleasant, nostalgic visit for her - but someone had other, depraved ideas. She asks her lover, Lord Peter Wimsey, for help.
This book is told from the point of view of Harriet Vane, not Peter Wimsey. This change allowed the author to explore the women's academic world of the time. While the book reflects the ideas that intelligent women should be allowed to join their male counterpoints in academia or the career world, the author also reflects on the sadness of forcing girls into these new fields when they don't have the interest or aptitude for them. Using the point of view of Harriet Vane also allowed Sayers to talk about the craft of writing, which I enjoyed.
The first half of the book moved a little slowly for me, although I'll confess that I probably felt that way because I missed Peter Wimsey's presence. During the second half of the book, I couldn't put it down.
Bob H. (vltava) reviewed Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, Bk 12) on
This book is 501 pages. It should be edited down to about 300 pages and it would have been much more enjoyable. In the future, I will be sure to check the number of pages for her books. I got through the book by skipping pages of just words that seemed to drag on and on.