Welcome to Smugglivus 2012! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2012, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2013.
Who: Karen Mahoney, YA/UF author of The Iron Witch trilogy as well as the Moth Series. Karen is also a good friend and honorary Book Smuggler.
Recent Work: Karen was super busy in 2012 with the release of The Wood Queen, the second book in the Iron Witch trilogy; Falling to Ash, the first full length novel in the Moth Series; as well as starting a very cool webcomic following Moth’s adventures: Moth Tales.
Karen is here today doing a joint review with Ana, please give it up for Karen, folks!
Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey #6); First published 1930, this edition 2004 by New English Library; Paperback, 204 pages
Can Lord Peter Wimsey prove that Harriet Vane is not guilty of murder–or find the real poisoner in time to save her from the gallows?
Impossible, it seems. The Crown’s case is watertight. The police are adamant that the right person is on trial. The judge’s summing-up is also clear. Harriet Vane is guilty of the killing her lover. And Harriet Vane shall hang.
But the jury disagrees.
Ana: And now, for something completely different. We invited Karen Mahoney as a Smugglivus guest and when brainstorming about content, we decided to do a joint review. We picked Strong Poison for two reasons: we were both in a historical crime fiction mood and because I had been told that Strong Poison was the place to start with Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series. The reason why this is the place to start is the fact that this book features the start of a romantic relationship between its main character and a woman – a mystery writer – named Harriet Vane. In a way, it is actually really funny that we picked up a crime novel because of its romantic storyline. And after reading it, I can totally understand why so many people love this. In fact, I fell so hard for Strong Poison as well as the Wimsey-Vane relationship that I went on an obsessive binge and read Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon in quick succession. I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that these books are now some of my all time favourites.
Kaz: I must just interject here and say that ANA was actually the one in the mood for historical crime fiction. All I said to her while we were book-shopping in Foyles was: “I feel like something different. I’ve been reading tons of urban fantasy and paranormal romance and need to branch out a bit.” I’d just come off the back of a crime and thriller kick, before losing myself in UF/PR again (and am now onto contemporary YA, just as a point of interest – I know! Ana probably can’t believe that because I don’t read much contemporary YA). So the idea of some classic detective fiction appealed to me as something COMPLETELY different. I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, and am so glad that I kept an open mind. Thanks, Ana!
Ana: So. Strong Poison. The main investigation concerns mystery writer Harriet Vane who has been arrested for the poisoning of her former lover and all signs points to her being guilty. Except Lord Peter Wimsey – a gentleman detective and the main character of this series – is 100% sure she is innocent. Also, he falls in love with her at first sight and is determined to prove her innocence so that he can marry her. If she will have him.
The story progresses as Lord Peter sets out to investigate the circumstances of Harriet’s former lover’s death and although this is a nice cosy mystery storyline, I can’t really say this is the most distinctive aspect of the novel. I actually correctly guessed the murderer, the motive AND the “how did he do it” in no time at all. [Kaz: I didn’t guess it for ages. Clearly, you are far more of a sleuth than I…] No, the most distinctive aspects of the novel are everything else about it: the characters, the writing, the humour, the metatext, the subplots, etc.
All that said, I’d like to concentrate on three aspects of this novel (which are applicable to the series as a whole) that struck me the most.
1)These books are hilarious. If there was one thing I was NOT expecting was for them to be so funny. It all boils down to Lord Peter’s voice of course which is often self-deprecating and nearly always used to disguise his more serious (and deeply emotional) side. I think the quote below gives a good indication of what I am talking about (context: he had just proposed to Harriet for the first time):
What would your father think about it?”
“Oh, my mother’s the only one that counts, and she likes you very much from what she’s seen of you.”
“So you had me inspected?”
“No-dash it all, I seem to be saying all the wrong things today. I was absolutely stunned that first day in court, and I rushed off to my mater, who’s an absolute dear, and the kind of person who really understands things, and I said, ‘Look here! here’s the absolutely one and only woman, and she’s being put through a simply ghastly awful business and for God’s sake come and hold my hand!’ You simply don’t know how foul it was.”
Kaz: I absolutely agree with Ana about the humour and Lord Peter’s voice. My very first thought about him was that he reminds me of Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel (note the vague name similarity!) – foppish and, as seen by others, rather silly on the surface… but underneath there’s a lot more going on. The image is a shield. I’m not yet quite sure what Lord Peter is covering up, or protecting (I need to read more of the books), but I don’t mean that to sound sinister. I just think he’s very guarded and afraid to fall in love; afraid to be his true self. Also, as in Sir Percy Blakeney’s case, both men are clearly using their foolishness to disguise their superior intelligence and the good deeds they’re doing quietly in the background. I could totally picture Anthony Andrews as Lord Peter Wimsey, eyeglass and all!
Another modern-day version of Lord Peter could be Bruce Wayne/Batman. Stay with me on this one: privileged, financially secure upbringing; secrets hidden behind a mask of triviality and partying; superb DETECTIVE. Need I go on? *ahem*
Ana: 2)Critical approach to gender roles and sexism. In other words: feminism for the win. There is the way the characters are so forthcoming about how they think about gender roles and how astute and critical those are. And because I didn’t know anything about Dorothy L. Sayers or these books (please don’t judge me) I was SO NOT expecting that these characters would be like that or that the meta would be so awesome and I loved the portrayal of female characters altogether. This book was written and is set in the 30s and I was like MY ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE 30S: they are all wrong. This just goes to show how what we think as “realistic historical portrayals of women” are our ignorance showing.
Kaz: I loved this facet of the novel, too! I hadn’t read a single Dorothy L. Sayers book before now, neither did I know anything about the author. (I’ve just ordered a collection of her early letters with some of my Christmas book vouchers because I suspect they’ll make very interesting reading… I would particularly like to find out if Sayers was an admirer of Wilkie Collins’ character, Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White.) Even though we don’t see enough of Harriet Vane in this book – in my humble opinion – we have so many other wonderful female characters to enjoy. I was especially fond of Miss Katharine (Kitty) Climpson, a great friend and colleague of Peter’s. She acts as a sort of secret agent for him, and has the perfect disguise as an ageing spinster who runs an employment agency for secretaries – ladies who are also called upon to help in Lord Peter’s investigations. LADY SLEUTHS, ftw! As Kitty herself points out while trailing a potential witness:
The male detective, particularly when dressed as a workman, an errand-boy, or a telegraph-messenger, is favourably placed for ‘shadowing’. He can loaf without attracting attention. The female detective must not loaf. On the other hand, she can stare into shop-windows for ever.
Ana: 3) The romance. Oh my sweet baby Jesus, this is quite possibly one of my most favouritest romances of all time. EVER. Their interactions are not only smart and witty but also respectful of each other’s boundaries. They start off on the wrong foot – with Peter proposing on a whim and being slightly pushy about it as Harriet is on death row and not exactly inclined to think about romantic entanglements – but the text and the characters acknowledge this. The best thing is how Harriet does NOT GIVE IN to his pushiness because she wants to be completely sure there is real love there, not anything that is simply about being grateful (because how could she not be grateful when he has saved her life). Suffice it to say that theirs is a difficult romantic relationship that is about negotiation above all and it takes nearly 5 years for them to sort their issues. In the meantime, our collective hearts get through the wringer BUT the way things are resolved (Gaudy Night: read it) in the end are as perfect as any fictional relationship has any right to be.
Kaz: I already invested in the next two books – Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night – but have yet to read them, so I don’t know how the romance turns out. However, we see enough in >Strong Poison to make me VERY hopeful. Very hopeful indeed. I just love the banter between Peter and Harriet:
‘If anybody ever marries you,’ said Harriet, ‘it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle.’
‘A humiliating reason, but better than no reason at all.’
4) I’d like to add a fourth item to our list. I’m already in agreement with Ana on the above points, but I got a HUGE kick out of Sayers’ sly commentary about the life of a novelist in the early 20th century. She managed to get in all kinds of things: commercial versus literary fiction; the poverty of the writer and how, very often, fame strikes after they are long dead; extreme publicity stunts in an attempt to sell more books; not to mention her sly digs at readers and reviewers. At a dinner party we have the following scene where people are discussing whether or not Harriet really did murder her lover—a fellow writer:
‘I’ve no doubt she did it, and I don’t blame her,’ said Captain Tommy Bates; ‘perfectly foul blighter. Has his photograph on the dust-cover on his books, you know – that’s the sort of squit he was.’
‘But he was a very fine writer,’ protested Mrs Featherstone.
‘Well, I wouldn’t have the muck in the house,’ said the Captain, firmly. ‘I caught Hilda with it, and I said, “Now you send that book straight back to the library.” I don’t interfere, but one must draw the line somewhere.’
‘How did you know what it was like?’ asked Wimsey, innocently.
‘Why James Douglas’s article in the Express was good enough for me,’ said Captain Bates. ‘The paragraphs he quoted were filthy – positively filthy.’
‘Well, it’s a good thing we’ve all read them,’ said Wimsey. ‘Forewarned is forearmed.’
Ha! Lord Peter Wimsey is my hero.
Ana: Finally, a couple of quotes that I loved in the book. I love this interaction between Peter and Harriet while he visits her in prison (Harriet starts it):
But, by the way, you’re bearing in mind, aren’t you, that I’ve had a lover?’
‘Oh, yes. So have I, if it comes to that. In fact, several. It’s the sort of thing that might happen to anybody. I can produce quite good testimonials. I’m told I make love rather nicely – only I’m at a disadvantage at the moment. One can’t be very convincing at the other end of a table with a bloke looking through the door.’
I absolutely adore the fact that Peter wants Harriet as his equal in every way– nothing more, nothing less.
And then this one that says a lot about Harriet – and I 100% understand her:
Philip wasn’t the sort of man to make a friend of a woman. He wanted devotion. I gave him that. I did, you know. But I couldn’t stand being made a fool of. I couldn’t stand being put on probation, like an office-boy, to see if I was good enough to be condescended to. I quite thought he was honest when he said he didn’t believe in marriage — and then it turned out that it was a test, to see whether my devotion was abject enough. Well, it wasn’t. I didn’t like having matrimony offered as a bad-conduct prize.
I love this series. It pleases me. I’d give this one a 9 out of 10.
Kaz: I agree 200%. I’d give it a 9 as well and I am already utterly hooked! Because I’m so happy to fall in love with something new, I’d like to share that love. I have a UK paperback of Strong Poison to give away – and to add a little sweetener to the pot I am also giving away my one and only ARC of THE STONE DEMON (US edition) which will be out in April 2013. This is the third and final book in The Iron Witch trilogy. Both books go to one winner, anywhere in the world.
Thanks for letting me play reviewer for the day, ladies. Happy Smugglivus, one and all!
Thank you Karen, this was super fun!
And now for the giveaway.
Leave a comment here to win a copy of both Strong Poison and The Stone Demon (ARC). Giveaway is open to ALL and will run until Saturday January 5, 11:59PM (PST). Good luck!
TamiDecember 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Oh, what a wonderful review. Commenting in the hopes of winning, but I’ll be checking out the books regardless. Lovely reviews!
Amanda LeeDecember 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Well, I clearly have something to add to my to-read list! This book sounds divine.
discoveringstudentDecember 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm
I absolutely adore Dorothy L Sayer’s books – I’ve read a lot of them, but I’m always trying to get my hands on more 🙂
JoannaDecember 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm
I was so excited when I saw you would review Strong Poison! Peter and Harriet’s romance is easily one of my all-time favourites. ?
LexiDecember 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm
I love historical crime and will have to add this to my list. I went on a Agatha Christie binge last year and read 10 of hers.
ElieDecember 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm
Peter and Harriet sound like a ton of fun. thanks for the giveaway.
Sandyg265December 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm
I’ve never read anything by Dorothy Sayers.
de PizanDecember 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm
I just read Gaudy Night this year and really enjoyed it as my first Sayers novel. Thanks for the giveaway!
MalinDecember 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Having read and absolutely adored the latter half of the Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane romance in Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon earlier this year, I clearly need to get my hands on and read the two earlier books in their epic romance in 2013. Their banter and interactions completely melt my heart.
Jesse the KDecember 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm
The secret Lord Peter is hiding is “shell shock”, the post WW I name for PTSD. In addition to Sayers’ insights into gender roles, she does a good job showing the realities of living with mental illness. There are many parallels between the writers Sayers and Vane; diving into one of her six biographies is rewarding.
scribe k.December 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm
these look fab!
AllisonDecember 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Books look great! Very interesting concepts
mary anneDecember 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm
I found used copies of the first two books and read them years ago. Did you know Dorothy Sayers is the “Dorothy” Lois McMasters Bujold dedicates (one of the four dedicees, anyway) her book “A Civil Campaign” too? So it was based on this sideways recommendation that I read the books. Didn’t have the last books available and fell away from them – now I’ll have to go back, get ’em and start the series again!
SonomaLassDecember 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm
Dorothy Sayers is one of my all-time favorite authors; few mysteries are worth re-reading, in my experience, but hers are wonderful again and again. I just wish the digital versions weren’t so pricey — I would love to own them all for my Kindle or Kobo, but not at $11 each.
The late-80s BBC adaptations of Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night are pretty good, too; Edward Petherbridge’s Lord Peter is a bit more to my taste than Ian Carmichaels’ (who played him in some of the non-Harriet book adaptations), and I love Harriet Walters as Vane.
Evie ManieriDecember 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm
Dancing with joy to see you loving these as much as I do, and so happy to see more people getting excited about reading them. I love all of the Harriet Vane books, but Gaudy Night is my favorite. I found DLS’s take on the gender politics of the ‘cloister’ fascinating, and Harriet’s arc as the investigation unfolds is simply breathtaking. One of my favorite quotes is from Gaudy Night: “But I should scrub floors very badly, and I write detective stories rather well.”
BriannaDecember 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm
Historical crime fiction is A THING? I can’t believe I’ve missed out. It sounds terrific. Definitely checking this out.
tasnim sDecember 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm
I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway! Hope you had a good Christmas! X
tasnim-sheikh at hotmail dot com
Olivia EbersoleDecember 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Great giveaway!! I’ve seen the The Stone Demon everywhere and have been dyyiinggg to read it!! I have high hope for this giveaway!!!
Sue LemastersDecember 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Books sound good. Would like to read. Will add to my to be read list.
Victoria ZumbrumDecember 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm
I would love to read both books. They sound very good. Thanks for the giveaway.
Stacy StewDecember 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm
I love crime novels.
Ileana A.December 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm
Keeping fingers crossed! I wanna win!
Kate & ZenaDecember 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm
I love crime novels too, although, I wish you were giving away the first one as I love to read things in order!
Rebecca I.December 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm
I’ve been hearing about the Wimsey books for a while now, but that joint review might just be the thing that makes me pick them up. If only my TBR pile would shrink!
JulieidDecember 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Great review. The PBS show of strong poison is also recommended
melissa baudlerDecember 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm
Merry christmas..would LOVE to win a copy of these books..especially yours Kaz..
erinf1December 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm
Thanks for the great review! These books sound fantastic! Definitely going to be adding them to my wishlist 😉
Nancy Ann GazoDecember 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm
I’m hooked. Sign me up for the contest! Making sure these are on my To-Read List!!
– Nancy G.
JenMDecember 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm
Normally I don’t read mysteries, but after reading the first book in Laurie King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series this year for my book club, I’m ready for more. I definitely need to check this series out.
donnasDecember 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Thanks for sharing. I havent heard of this one before and am now looking forward to checking it out.
KendraDecember 26, 2012 at 10:43 pm
I can’t believe I’d never heard of Sayers’ books until this year!
GabriellaDecember 27, 2012 at 1:39 am
I always love a good book review and commenting just to see if I could win a giveaway 😛
Mary PrestonDecember 27, 2012 at 2:17 am
What a fabulous post thank you. This is why I read.
Caila F.December 27, 2012 at 2:56 am
Great post and thanks for the giveaway!
EllieDecember 27, 2012 at 4:35 am
Owww, I want to read them so bad! Thanks for the giveaway =D
Giada M.December 27, 2012 at 6:01 am
Strong Poison sounds great! Thank you for making this great giveaway international! 😀
BethanyDecember 27, 2012 at 7:58 am
That is another book to add to a very long to-read list, sounds great. Thanks for the international giveaway.
MistiDecember 27, 2012 at 8:48 am
I love Lord Peter Wimsey! I’m so excited that more people will find this series because of your great review. 🙂
MarieCDecember 27, 2012 at 10:13 am
What a great review! several new books to add to the stack! Thanks!
KatrinaDecember 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm
I love mysteries, and this sounds fabulous!
C.D.December 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm
Welp, now I need to go read me some Dorothy Sayers, clearly! WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME SHE WAS SO AWESOME?
Oh, wait, you just did. *cough*
AgataDecember 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm
The books sound amazing! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
Kay-Kay-BayDecember 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm
I’ve loved Dorothy Sayers for years and years, but it seemed like I was the only one. No one ever talked about her. So I’m glad she’s starting to get noticed again. 🙂
“Strong Poison” is one of my favourite Sayers–this is a pretty cool giveaway.
Hannah HDecember 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm
I’ve never read Dorothy Sayers, but now I have to! I’ve heard so many good things about this series, but for some reason, I’ve never picked them up.
Clearly, this situation must be fixed.
bn100December 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm
Very nice interview.
RainaDecember 28, 2012 at 12:51 am
Sounds very interesting! Color me intrigued.
MiaDecember 28, 2012 at 9:19 am
No, seriously now I have to check out Dorothy Sayers and all of Ms. Mahoney’s books are already on my TBR list. 😀
Alexandra the GreatDecember 28, 2012 at 10:06 am
I found Have His Carcase for cheap at a used book sale a couple of months ago, and I’d heard good things about Dorothy Sayers, so I thought I’d check it out. Some of the casual sexism of the time was a bit jarring (e.g. when Harriet is determined to speak to a male about the dead body she’s just discovered), but aside from that I really enjoyed it. Also, greatest opening paragraph ever.
Soma RostamDecember 28, 2012 at 10:08 am
I absolutely adore the cover! So epic and vintage!
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
Terry TysonDecember 28, 2012 at 11:53 am
Great interview. It’s great because it has resulted in me wanting to read a book I never would’ve glanced at twice prior to this time. My ignorance of Sayers and this series will soon be rectified.
Nikki EgertonDecember 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm
The romance in this book sounds brilliant and I’m now curious to see if I can work the mystery out or not!
Lisa StafkoDecember 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm
Love the Iron Witch Series!! Can’t wait till Falling to Ash comes to the US????
Theresa HenningerDecember 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm
I read the first 2 books of the Iron Witch series and cannot wait to read the conclusion! I just love Karan Mahoney’s writing style!
Senita MahoneyDecember 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm
It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything new and I have read the first two in the Iron Witch trilogy, so having the third, plus a new book would be awesome.
Salima KorriDecember 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm
Ah, can;t wait to read The Stone Demon!!!!
IlanaDecember 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm
This trilogy is on my TBR shelf, I’d love to fall in love with it 🙂
AnonymousDecember 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm
I love Dorothy Sayers so, SO much. I’d love to win this. 😀
MaureenDecember 29, 2012 at 4:06 am
It sounds like a series I would enjoy.
AnonymousDecember 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm
I would be in absolute heaven to get a copy of the stone demon. Strong Poison sounds very interesting swell.
Meanne MoralesDecember 30, 2012 at 1:25 am
I’ve been hearing great things about Dorothy Sayer but her backlist is so huge, I didn’t know where to start. Thanks to this review I’m excited to finally try her so of course I’d love to win copy! Thanks for this opportunity…
DanaDecember 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Since reading the quotes in Popgeekery I was curious about this book- thanks for the review and giveaway…
saracDecember 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm
I love Strong Poison! Such a great book!
michael kors chain toteDecember 31, 2012 at 4:41 am
I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout
of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2
images. Maybe you could space it out better?
Smugglivus Presents: Ana & Thea’s Most Excellent Books of 2012 | The Book SmugglersDecember 31, 2012 at 9:40 am
[…] Smugglivus 2012 Joint Review (& Giveaway): Ana and Karen Mahoney read Strong Poison by Dorothy… […]
Goodbye 2012… | Karen Mahoney – Urban Fantasy WriterDecember 31, 2012 at 12:36 pm
[…] wonderful new/old discovery of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey detective series. I did a guest review of Strong Poison alongside my good friend Ana from The Book Smugglers (as part of the ongoing Smugglivus celebrations), and there’s still time to enter my giveaway […]
JenniferDecember 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm
Strong Poison seems to be an interesting book but beginning by the 6th book seems unusual… except probably for books which order doesn’t matter.
Dan PhiDecember 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm
Well I’ve been eagerly awaiting The Stone Demon for quite a while now, and Strong Poison sounds like fun, too.
LillianJanuary 1, 2013 at 1:30 am
I’ve never head of Strong Poison, but it sounds like a book I would love to try.
FridaJanuary 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm
Strong Poison sounds good, and I can’t wait to read The Stone Demon 🙂
DinaJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm
I would love to read Strong Poison,but I don’t think there’s an italian version of this book.So reading it in english would be sooo great.And get me started on the stone demon…I can hardly wait for it to be out.April is not near enough.
Dina OrbanJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm
I would love to read Strong Poison,but I don’t think there’s an italian version of this book.So reading it in english would be sooo great.And don’t get me started on the stone demon…I can hardly wait for it to be out.April is not near enough.
Dina OrbanJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm
Sorry about the double post.But it said something happend while submiting the comment.I don’t know if it’s my computer that has problems.
SerenaJanuary 2, 2013 at 10:42 am
Strong Posion looks great, and I have been reading more detective/mystery novels as of late. However I simply cannot wait for The Stone Demon. It would be great to win.
TiaJanuary 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm
I would love to win this.
AlpaJanuary 3, 2013 at 4:47 am
I like the cover of The Stone Demon.
LozzaJanuary 3, 2013 at 9:50 am
Like an earlier commenter, I’m also eagerly awaiting news of when Falling to Ash will be available in the US (or even through Book Depository!)
You’ve convinced me: Strong Poison is going to the top of the TBR.
SerenaJanuary 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm
The stone Demons cover is so pretty!
JoelJanuary 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm
I’m not familiar with the Iron Witch, but am willing to give it a try. Lord Peter Wimsey I know from the PBS mystery adaptations, but have never read the original… must give it a try!
Joanne KershawJanuary 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm
This book sounds really intriguing and so well crafted, and the review is great too ladies! Thank you. Just finishing off The Wood Queen, though I don’t have enough time to read at the moment and so I keep getting to a really exciting bit and having to put it down! Grr!
The Hipster Owl's BookshelfJanuary 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm
Wait!! I’m a bit confused. I’m def reading this. But you said this was a series?? So how many books are there? Or for that matter, which is the first one? Gaaah…Google, you better have the answer to that! 🙂
ElizaJanuary 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Based on your strong recommendation, I picked up the audiobook. I started it in the morning and finished it last night. Thank you. Never has cleaning house and ironing passed so quickly and with so much laughter. The book was narrated by Ian Carmichael who reads it in the perfect rapid fire delivery. No wonder he was pitch perfect ’cause he has played Lord Peter Wimsey in some of the BBC productions.
One of my favorite line was Peter’s response to being castigated for offering to carry a teapot, “I will adopt the attitude of placid decoration.”
I think that some of my favorite characters were the women from the “cattery”. I hope they appear in the other novels.
Karen, your comparison of Peter to Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel is astute and so apt.
The Hipster Owl’s Bookshelf: Wikipedia lists all the Lord Peter Wimsey books. The ones that feature Harriet Vane are (1) Strong Poison, (2) Have His Carcase, (3) Gaudy Nights, (4) Busman’s Honeymoon, and (5) In the Truth of the Evidence.
I read that Jill Paton Walsh completed one of Sayer’s unfinished manuscripts and subsequently wrote two other Wimsey books. Has anyone read them? It’ll be interesting to see what a 21st century sensibility does to the stories that are very much of their era.
Five Years of Book Smuggling… | The Book SmugglersJanuary 7, 2013 at 12:02 am
[…] YA, Rated a Million, 7/29/2009) 2. The Dorothy L. Sayer’s Peter Wimsey books (starting with Strong Poison) (Crime Fiction, Rated 9, 12/26/2012) 3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E Wein (Historical Fiction, […]
My Top 12 Books of 2012 | Karen Mahoney – Urban Fantasy WriterJanuary 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm
[…] These are the ‘classic reads’ on my list. I can’t possibly sum them up in less than 140 characters (and I know I’m cheating by including all four books that make up the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane arc), so I’ll just redirect you to the joint review I did of Strong Poison with Ana at The Book Smugglers. […]