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

Dorothy L. Sayers
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

A must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries, Lord Peter Wimsey is the immortal amateur sleuth created by Dorothy L Sayers.

Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back . . .

At first she thinks her worst fears have been fulfilled, as she encounters obscene graffiti, poison pen letters and a disgusting effigy when she arrives at sedate Shrewsbury College for the 'Gaudy' celebrations.

But soon, Harriet realises that she is not the only target of this murderous malice - and asks Lord Peter Wimsey to help.

Product Description


She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit. (P. D. James)

D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers. (E. C. Bentley Daily Telegraph)

I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail. (Ruth Rendell)

A truly great storyteller. (Minette Walters)

Book Description

The classic British detective series featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1252 KB
  • Print Length: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; New Ed edition (15 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450021548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450021541
  • ASIN: B004JHY6IC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,856 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime has consequences 26 Dec. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read `Gaudy Night' about 40 years ago and I have re-read it many times since. It's a book which can be read on many levels. First for the mystery of who is writing the poison pen letters; second for the growing relationship between Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey; thirdly for the position of women in 1930s society; and fourth for the consequences of a crime on those connected with both criminal and victim.

Set in a fictitious Oxford College - Shrewsbury - the story features an outbreak of graffiti and poison pen letters sent to students and staff at the college. Shrewsbury is Harriet Vane's alma mater and she is asked to try and help the dons unravel the mystery. Harriet returns to Oxford to attend the college Gaudy (reunion) and finds no one pays attention to her own chequered past (see `Strong Poison'). When she receives an unpleasant anonymous letter the thing becomes personal and she feel compelled to get involved.

There is tension around the issue of married women not putting their jobs before their families and much ill feeling between certain members of the college on this issue. Should women have careers or should they have families? Can they have both and do both well? There are examples, good and bad, of all situations in the novel. Truth and honesty are also philosophical questions which are involved in the story. Should people be punished for suppressing facts which interfere with their theories especially if the punishment adversely affects their dependents?

Relationships between men and women and the proper basis for these are also explored. Harriet values honesty in herself and others and does not see her role in society as looking after a man and bringing up his children. Should women always put their husband and children first?
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful journey back to the Oxford of 1935 26 Aug. 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
About her book "Gaudy Night," Dorothy L. Sayers had this to say:

"It would be idle to deny that the city and University of Oxford (in aeternum floreant) do actually exist...." But, "Shrewsbury College, with its dons, students and scouts, is entirely imaginary; nor are the distressing events described as taking place within its wall founded upon any events that have ever occurred anywhere. Detective-story writers are obliged by their disagreeable profession to invent startling and unpleasant incidents and people, and are (I presume) at liberty to imagine what might happen if such incidents and people were to intrude upon the life of an innocent and well-ordered community.... Certain apologies are, however, due from me: first to the University of Oxford, for having presented it ... with a college of 150 women students, in excess of the limit ordained by statute. Next, and with deep humility, to Balliol College--not only for having saddled it with so wayward an alumnus as Peter Wimsey, but also for my monstrous impertinence in having erected Shrewsbury College upon its spacious and sacred cricket-ground."

That passage will give you a feeling for Sayers' rather grand, even lofty (by detective story standards, anyway) prose style, as well as the tongue-in-cheek, in-your-eye amusement that lurks behind her formal persona.

When I first encountered Sayers and fell into a binge of reading her works, I was a teenager. With the breezy assurance of that age, I confidently ranked "Gaudy Night" as her feeblest work and "The Nine Tailors"--or maybe "Murder Must Advertise" as her best. If anyone at the time had asked me why I had done so, I would have pointed out that the mystery element was only a strand among many in "Gaudy Night," and far from the most important one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my favourite of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, and has continued to be since I first came across it in my teens.

It doesn't have much in the way of a crime plot, but is very much a story of its time: one which provides a rather wonderful picture of women in academic life, written with the real understanding of someone who has been part of this environment. The book also gives Sayers' best and most sympathetic depiction of Harriet Vane, who (as in `Have His Carcass') is the focal point for much of the novel.

In this book, Harriet has returned to her former Oxford College (the fictitious Shrewsbury) in order to engage in some serious research and academic reflection. As well, perhaps, as to puzzle out what she ought to do about the attentions of a certain, persistent, aristocratic suitor. She seems to be fitting back in quite well with her quiet, intellectual surroundings. Until a series of vitriolic stunts, accompanied by venomous quotations citing female academics as unnatural and unwomanly harpies start to make themselves known.

To put the setting of this novel into perspective: women had only been permitted to obtain degree qualifications from Oxford since 1920 (Sayers herself having been one of the earliest granted a degree), just 15 years prior to the book's first publication. High-ranking and respected women academics, whose qualifications were equal to those of their male counterparts were thus a relatively recent phenomenon.

In academia, women were breaking through into serious careers - though it's clear from the rather cloistered environment of the Shrewsbury Senior Common Room that a woman's decision to pursue this path in the long term could only be at the cost of family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is perfect I have been looking for this for years thank you
Published 15 days ago by angela
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this story
I really enjoyed this story. It is written in a gentler style than a modern thriller would be and I liked the romantic background theme.
Published 24 days ago by Marilyn Gough
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Angela Warmington
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Received this morning so not read yet but looks interesting.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs S Morland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Such a great book.
Published 1 month ago by Lizzie Potts
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming Spires
having read all the Wimsey novels i have to say that this is my favourite. Not so much for the plot, but the for the absolutely exquisite descriptions of everything from the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anne Terkelsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent service and a good read
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. E. T. Currie Elizabeth. T. Currie
5.0 out of 5 stars good description of life at Oxford Univeraity in the
a enjoyable read, good description of life at Oxford Univeraity in the 1930s
Published 1 month ago by Abigail Nobbs
4.0 out of 5 stars No ordinary crime thriller
What a wonderful, jam-packed novel this is (though the Kindle version has an unforgivably high level of errors from conversion from the printed page). Read more
Published 1 month ago by insomniac
4.0 out of 5 stars This one was a bit too dry, but worth ...
This one was a bit too dry, but worth it for the final surrender of Harriet Vane to Peter Wmsey's long pursuit.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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