- Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries (Book 12)
- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch (March 16, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061043494
- ISBN-13: 978-0061043499
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 390 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – March 16, 1995
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“Gaudy Night stands out even among Miss Sayers’s novels. And Miss Sayers has long stood in a class by herself.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))
“Very skillfull writing. Miss Sayers has done a real tour de force, and done it with ease and grace.” (Saturday Review)
“A royal performance.” (The Spectator)
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.
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My first encounter with Dorothy L. Sayers was the Mobile Mystery Theater series showing on PBS. Unfortunately, I did not realize that my video player was also a recorder until the "Gaudy Night" was on Mystery Theater. In that sense, I was lucky to copy the complete three hour "Gaudy Night." I now own the DVD that came out in 2002.
Naturally, the TV media cannot fill in all the details that you would pick up from reading the book, so I read the book. This added more depth and characters to the story. Dorothy not only fleshes her characters out but her side trips into philosophy and psychology make the story that much more interesting. Just when you ask what is the relevance to this conversation it is wrapped up in the final solution.
It is too bad they do not make the unabridged recording of this book anymore, as the reader is Ian Carmichael the first TV Lord Peter Wimsey.
This is the third of a fourth book series. Enough background information is given however to make this a stand-alone story.
The notorious Harriet Vane is invited to a class reunion. She is looking forward to a quiet time with a better part of her history. Once there, she starts getting notes that carry negative connotations. The notes are pasted together from cut out newspaper words. Soon others are receiving the notes. The School authorities request Harriet to help get quietly to the bottom of this. Circumstances eventually force her once more to go to Lord Peter Wimsey for help. I am over simplifying the plot but it is better to discover it for your self. This is a five star book.
This is among Sayers most literary works of fiction, marred somewhat for me, one who lacks a classic education, by the frequency of references to arcane works and quotations from the past. However, one cannot say that they are out of place in a work set in an Oxford college of 80 or more years ago. This is the third of the Harriet Vane series which ends with her final full Wimsey book, Busman's Honeymoon (1940), a nice little film starring Robert Montgomery (who plays Wimsey as rather more American middle class than British Aristocracy).