Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries: Harriet Vane Collection (Strong Poison / Have His Carcase / Gaudy Night)
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Three elegant murder mysteries adapted from the crime novels of Dorothy L. Sayers which chronicle the relationship of amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane unfolds in a realm of romance and intrigue. Includes the mysteries: "Strong Poison," "Have His Carcass" and "Gaudy Night."]]>
Harriet, fresh from the trial, tries to get away from it all and ends up stumbling over a recently killed body in Have His Carcass. Unable to resist a crime (or, for that matter, Harriet), Lord Peter is soon on the case. In Gaudy Night, Lord Peter is still proposing at frequent intervals, and Harriet, though unable to say yes, is also unable to send Lord Peter entirely away. But enough with the romance. As Wimsey heads off for some foreign service work, Harriet visits her Oxford alma mater and lands smack in the middle of a poison-pen scandal. Harriet's status as a mystery writer, naturally, means she's the one who should investigate. Sayers clearly had fun writing this one, using Harriet to gently tweak her own profession, at the same time both parodying and defending the cloistered life at a women's college. --Ali Davis
Top Customer Reviews
The first two stories are reasonably faithful to the books, and although the "Gaudy Night" episodes are sort of a Dorothy Sayers Lite, they do make a good introduction for someone who is not familiar with the books. These episodes introduced me to Dorothy L. Sayers (my favorite author along with Jane Austen) and in that way, have greatly influenced my life.
The casting and the acting of these is perfection (thank you Edward Petherbridge, Harriet Walter, and Richard Morant!)- there is no cheekiness that bothers me about the Ian Carmichael versions of some of the other novels.
My only complaint is that they couldn't do "Busman's Honeymoon" for this series (someone in Hollywood wouldn't release the copyright - but have they done anything with it??? NO.)
I have already written reviews of the individual performances separately, and will focus here on matters that affect the entire set. For reference, these performances cover the period from Wimsey's successful efforts to free Harriet from suspicions of murdering her lover to Peter's proposal to her at Oxford several years later.
Both of the stars of this series do remarkable work. Petherbridge is almost too perfect for the role, and has managed completely to supplant my own imagined version of Lord Peter completely. My only quibble is that he seems more a man in his fifties rather than the forties I thought was Wimsey's age. Since I am in my fifties myself, I found this quite easy to forgive. As for Walter's depiction of Harriet Vane, she really is exactly as she should be. Richard Morant's approach to Bunter, Lord Peter's man, is more problematic, being well acted, but not quite in character. As far as the lesser characters, the casting is, for the most part, impeccable. The few exceptions to this rule are still more than acceptable.
What makes the novels unique for their time is that Sayers wrote them are not simply as mystery stories with a romantic aspect.Read more ›
But physical quibbles aside, these films do get the developing relationship between Harriet and Peter -- the cautious probing of emotions hampered by nervous reserve on his part and defensiveness on hers.
Another strong plus is the casting of the supporting characters in each story. Each is wonderfully realized by the BBC "stable" of fine actors. The settings and period details are also dead on.
My only real disappointment in the set is the truncating of "Gaudy Night". Admittedly, this is the most complex of all Sayers' books. The numerous subplots, while perhaps seeming irrelevant to the casual reader, are actually an intricate counterpoint of encounters and relationships, each of which provides a vital piece to one of the two puzzles to be solved in this novel: how Harriet and Peter will resolve their personal dilemma or (much less important) who is sending obscene poison pen letters to the Shrewsbury College community. Unfortunately, the screenplay for this film version of "Gaudy Night" leaves out many of the subplots not relating to the mystery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm glad this series is available in video and in DVD. Wish they had continued the series into the marriage of the main characters.Published 1 month ago by Peggy L. Drake
Love the mysteries she wrote. And the movies were not disappointing.Published 2 months ago by norma j lewis
Greatly enjoyed them!! Of course they couldn't put everything from the books into a few hours on the DVDs. But pretty good.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
arrived promptly, good condition--didn't like the actor who played Lord Peter, but Harriet was perfect!Published 6 months ago by Lorraine
Best series by Dorothy Sayers. Wonderful characters with intrigue and romance and very clean deadly fun. I would go so far as to say Classic in every sense of the word.Published 6 months ago by Ann
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