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Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery Book 12) [Kindle Edition]

Dorothy L. Sayers
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Back at Oxford for her reunion, Harriet Vane, Lord Peter’s beloved, finds herself in mortal danger

Since she graduated from Oxford’s Shrewsbury College, Harriet Vane has found fame by writing novels about ingenious murders. She also won infamy when she was accused of committing a murder herself. It took a timely intervention from the debonair Lord Peter Wimsey to save her from the gallows, and since then she has devoted her spare time to resisting his attempts to marry her. Putting aside her lingering shame from the trial, Harriet returns to Oxford for her college reunion with her head held high—only to find that her life is in danger once again.
 
The first poison-pen letter calls her a “dirty murderess,” and the ones that follow are no kinder. As the threats become more frightening, she calls on Lord Peter for help. Among the dons of Oxford lurks a killer, but it will take more than a superior education to match Lord Peter and the daring Harriet.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“So excitingly good in its field, so brilliantly planned and so excellently written, that even the weariest able minds and the jumpiest nerves should react pleasingly to it.” —The New York Times
 
“A royal performance.” —The Spectator
 
“Very skillful writing. Miss Sayers has done herself a real tour de force, and done it with ease and grace.” —Saturday Review

From the Back Cover

When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, 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; all 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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3572 KB
  • Print Length: 515 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061043494
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (July 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008JVJDVO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,170 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaudate Discipuli February 8, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Gaudy Night,' Dorothy Sayers' penultimate novel in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, was originally intended to be the last. Unlike the rest of the series, it is Harriet Vane's tale, first and last. Lord Peter does not appear in person until the last third of the story, when he takes his place as romantic lead and solver of all things mysterious. Sayer's takes this opportunity to both reveal unexpected depths to Miss Vane's character and create a remarkable elegy of her own memories of Oxford, where she took highest honors in a world made by and meant for the male sex.
Harriet returns to Shrewsbury College to take part in the annual Gaudy night, something a bit like our own college reunions, not quite sure what to expect. While renewing her friendship with both her old classmates and instructors, she brushes against the start of a mystery when she finds some very unpleasant notes expressed a vitriolic hatred for the denizens of the college. Brushing it aside as an isolated occurrence, she returns to the festivities without realizing that she has seen is only the tip of the iceberg.
Several months later, Harriet finds herself called back to Shrewsbury by the Dean. The few isolated occurrences had become an onslaught and the school desperately needed help in resolving the problem without any adverse publicity. Miss Vane, a successful mystery writer, a survivor of a murder charge, and a friend of the esteemed Lord Peter Wimsey, seemed the ideal person to come to the aid of the Senior Common Room. The idea of a woman's college was still newfangled to Oxford and a scandal could become a major setback. What Harriet found was a steadily escalating attack on the sanity and safety of the college on apparent waged by a devious and hate filled mind.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful blend of mystery and romance January 29, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dorothy Sayers has frequently used autobiographical experiences as a starting point for her writing - as an example, "Murder Must Advertise" was set in an advertising agency and based on Sayers' own experiences in the field. Here again, Sayers goes back to her past days as an Oxford student at Somerville College and this makes "Gaudy Night" a unique entry in the Lord Peter Wimsey series. Harriet Vane, an Oxford alum, attends the Gaudy, which is a reunion of past students and is asked by her old professors to turn her talents as a detective writer to practical use. Someone is terrorizing the faculty and students of the college by sending vicious anonymous letters. The college is terrified of this leaking out to the press and giving education for women a bad name, therefore discretion is vital. Rather relectantly, Harriet accepts and comes down to Oxford to stay for a term. She discovers that the perpetrator is not now satisfied by just sending letters and is moving on to more serious offences like trying to burn the books in the college library, destroy the works of the faculty and eventually attacking certain faculty members. Harriet struggles with the realization that the perpetrator may be a professor as well as with the realization of her growing feelings for Lord Peter Wimsey. The actual unraveling of the mystery is fascinating by itself, but I was particularly intriuged by Sayers taking the opportunity to discuss issues such as society's view towards University education for women, and the need to maintain one's own identity, even in a serious relationship. Read more ›
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is great - typos appear to be fixed! January 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(Original review read: This Kindle version is not worth the money, folks. It has many, many typos, some obviously errors in scanning. Surely whoever prepares the Kindle versions could do better. I could have bought the actual book and been able to read without tripping over misspellings all the way through.) UPDATE: it appears the file has been updated. Yay for electronic media!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection January 15, 2003
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've never said this before and I don't think I'll say it about any other book: This book is perfection. The telling is beautiful, seamless and touches every emotion, the way a good book should. Lord Peter Wimsey is such a well-developed character: he has Holmes's wit, combined with charisma, charm, sensitivity, tenderness and intelligence. Earlier in the series, he hadn't figured out who he was or what he wanted to be, but now he knows: to marry Harriet.
Miss Harriet Vane is an even better character than his lordship. She's believable, independent, a writer, tender inside, witty, polite and has intelligence to match Lord Peter's. The moments of affection - I hesitate to call them 'love scenes' - were breathtaking, without either party removing any clothes. Some writers today could learn from that.
The suspense is high, the love is brewing and the plot is seamless and unlabored, as if it really did happen. I recommend this to EVERYONE. I may only be a kid, but I know perfection when I see it.
On another note: I don't like the DVDs of the Dorothy Sayers books. They are perfect in all their literary glory; why try to improve perfection? Another thing, Lord Peter Wimsey is his best on paper, not impersonated by some silly person trying to act like an English lord, who will never come close to Sayers's Peter's immortal charm, intellect and tenderness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good Sayers novel
My paperback copy says that this is a "Lord Peter Wimsey mystery with Harriet Vane." Actually, it is a Harriet Vane mystery with an appearance by Wimsey at the midpoint. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Murray J Siskind
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Wimsey
It takes terribly long for Wimsey to get into the picture. And the story drags on and on. But the solution is quite surprising.
Published 10 days ago by Dr. Max Frenkel
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I love Wimsey
Published 15 days ago by Montana CKB
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I enjoyed this book, even though it is somewhat old-fashioned (written in 1935). I couldn't relate as well to the characters - probably because of the times portrayed in the book... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Caroline Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychological novel masquerading as a mystery
The culmination of Lord Peter's transformation from a war-shattered overbred intellectual into a sensitive (maybe too sensitive) and mature adult. Read more
Published 18 days ago by avidreader
4.0 out of 5 stars Gaudy Night is a little long but will interest any ...
Gaudy Night is a little long but will interest any Dorothy Sayers fan. It is autobiographical in the sense of Ms. Sayers as Harriet Vane. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Angela Emmans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased.
Published 22 days ago by Carol Zart
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit long perhaps
A Peter Wimsey mystery when he's very rarely in the book. This features his love interest, Harriet Vane mostly, attempting to deal with a series of malicious letters and damage at... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Paul Rooney
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Dorothy Sayers book
My favorite Dorothy Sayers book. I love Harriet and this one is mostly her with enough Lord Peter to fill in all the gaps. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Beverly Fontaine
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book and "Busman's Honeymoon" are two of Dorothy Sayers best. If...
This book and "Busman's Honeymoon" are two of Dorothy Sayers best. If you love Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, these are the wonderful climax to their relationship.
Published 24 days ago by Jocelyn Anne
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More About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a playwright, scholar, and acclaimed author of mysteries, best known for her books starring the gentleman sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

Born in Oxford, England, Sayers, whose father was a reverend, grew up in the Bluntisham rectory and won a scholarship to Oxford University where she studied modern languages and worked at the publishing house Blackwell's, which published her first book of poetry in 1916.

Years later, working as an advertising copywriter, Sayers began work on Whose Body?, a mystery novel featuring dapper detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Over the next two decades, Sayers published ten more Wimsey novels and several short stories, crafting a character whose complexity was unusual for the mystery novels of the time.

In 1936, Sayers brought Lord Peter Wimsey to the stage in a production of Busman's Honeymoon, a story which she would publish as a novel the following year. The play was so successful that she gave up mystery writing to focus on the stage, producing a series of religious works culminating in The Man Born to Be King (1941) a radio drama about the life of Jesus.

She also wrote theological essays and criticism during and after World War II, and in 1949 published the first volume of a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (which she considered to be her best work).

Dorothy Sayers died of a heart attack in 1957.

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