- Hardcover: 230 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult (December 30, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 052524865X
- ISBN-13: 978-0525248651
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dorothy and Agatha: A Mystery Novel Hardcover – December 30, 1990
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
From Publishers Weekly
This literary fantasy uniting crime writers Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers as sleuths has promising moments, but is, overall, disappointing. When the corpse of an unidentified man is found in Sayers's English village home, where she is preparing for the 1937 production of her religious play, The Zeal in Thy House , Christie agrees to investigate. Christie discovers a secret Sayers had been trying desperately to hide, and despite some mutual antipathy, the novelists join forces. With their only clue the unusual nature of the gun used in the killing, the duo, pursued by a crass and persistent female American journalist, uncovers a tie to a gassing incident during WW I which had also involved Sayers's husband, the now alcoholic MacDonald Fleming. Another death and two near-fatalities occur before the killer is unmasked and Sayers extricated from her difficulties. Larsen's ( Crossing the Pyrenees ) pedestrian and often infelicitous prose further hampers this generally pallid novel, which does no service to the doyennes of the British mystery.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-- When a body is discovered in the home of Dorothy Sayers, the Detective Club of famous British writers wants to solve the murder to eliminate the bad publicity that might follow. When they almost make matters worse, Agatha Christie takes over, identifies each clue, tracks it down, and solves the case. The background of the story shows the strong influence of World War I on the lives of the Britons--even as late as the time of the rise of Adolf Hitler. This entertaining novel brings Agatha and Dorothy to life and gives insight into their personalities even if in a fictional situation. The caricatures of these prim and proper ladies having tea (with pinkies curled) over a bleeding body will attract the attention of YAs.
- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Her associates in the Detection Club (a real organization) including E.C. Bentley, A.A. Milne, and Anthony Berkeley drag a somewhat reluctant Agatha Christie into investigating the case as a lark. They soon find that real life isn't the same as their books, and an infuriated Sayers sends them packing. Christie returns, however, and the two women begin looking into the case.
Gaylord Larsen tells us that while this is by no means biographical, he has attempted to stay true to the characters of the two women. Sayers is forceful, highbrow, eager to turn to more serious writing and burdened by an unhappy marriage. Christie is mild, modest and self-effacing, but haunted by the publicity of her famous disappearance. (Either Larsen has used Miss Marple in creating Christie's character, or Miss Marple was somewhat autobiographical.) Larsen notes that they knew each other, collaborated sometimes, and had some interesting parallels in their lives, but there is no evidence that they were friends, and little information about their opinions of one another.
The two women are not particularly sympathetic to one another at the beginning, but they respect one another more as they work together. There is a competent mystery at the heart of the story, but it takes second place to the vivid development of their personalities. Now I'm anxious to read biographies of both. The Detection Club and its members make for an interesting subplot and minor characters. A great fan of character-driven stories, I thoroughly enjoyed this and wish that Larsen would do more.
The cover on the hardback is wonderful: in a stylized 30s style illustration, Dorothy and Agatha daintly share cups of tea over a corpse on the floor.
So when the Detective Club next meets, her friends all decide to help the police by discovering the identity of the dead man, so the police can find who really killed the man and leave their friend alone. But it doesn't work like that. The evidence all points to a possible connection between the dead man and the writer that even her friends can't deny.
The other writers all give up after Dorothy finds out what they're up to. Only Agatha Christie hangs on, and before long, the two women are in a desperate race to save the lives of the next victims. But as the deaths mount up and the police ask more questions, the two greatest mystery writers of the age are almost outwitted by a determined killer.
I enjoyed this book. I didn't really know much about the life of Dorothy Sayers and I enjoyed finding out more about who she really was. I love Agatha Christie and I liked reading about her. Another thing I loved was reading about their fellow members of the Detection Club. It made me want to read more of their books.
My main complaint is that the identity of the murderer become obvious too early. I couldn't believe that either of the women took that long to figure it out. And the police aren't really that dumb either. It wasn't that believable. But it was fun. If you're a fan of either writer, you will probably enjoy the book, but it's certainly no substitute for the real thing.
But what makes this book really awful is that, while the writer seems to have at least a nodding acquaintance with Christie's work. I will eat my copy if the author has read any but the earliest and slightest works of Sayers. She (He?) gets the plot of Gaudy Night so wrong as to contradict the main point of the book, turns the Wimsey motto into something not only wrong but nonsensical. The author has done a decent amount of research otherwise, but the lack of understanding of the books and thus of the authors is going to grate on anyone who's familiar with them.