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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy Sayers 5 Red Herrings
I first read this about 70 years ago and that was more than 10 years after it was written. It will not appeal to some present day readers with its occasional casual racism and outdated social conventions (the research team would have been highly improbable even in her day).. There is also little violence in it However I like it for its intellectual challenge -you have...
Published 9 months ago by D Barber

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not as good as others
The characters were not as vivid as in Strong Poison nor was the setting as evocative as in The Nine Tailors. The plot became confusing too. Still an addiction to D L Sayers must be fed...
Published on 22 Jan 2001


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not as good as others, 22 Jan 2001
By A Customer
The characters were not as vivid as in Strong Poison nor was the setting as evocative as in The Nine Tailors. The plot became confusing too. Still an addiction to D L Sayers must be fed...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother - for completists only, 7 Feb 2014
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There is always an element of smugness and elitism about the Lord Peter Wimsey stories and they really do live up to that marvellous barbed description of the Golden Age mystery novels as being 'snobbery with violence'. For the majority of the time, these concerns can be buried because there is a rattling good plot, well-paced action and some decent dialogue. But in this book, the plot is so over-egged that it falls embarrassingly flat. The plot centres on an unpopular artist who has been murdered but the death made to look accidental (this is not giving anything away - you learn all this in the first few pages). The plot is ludicrously convoluted and the last quarter or so of the book involves the key investigators each providing a lengthy (and frankly, impenetrable) solution to the murder before Lord Peter provides the correct solution. By the time he does, nobody other than a complete Dorothy L Sayers nut will care. This will in no way spoil the plot of the book, but it will occur to any intelligent reader that there were several much much MUCH easier ways in which the killer could have disposed of the body. The solution the killer adopted seems only have been used so that preposterous counter-theories could be built up.

My firm advice is that unless you really must read all the books in the series, skip this one.

Oh yes, and be warned that if you are Scots, you are going to be more than a little annoyed at one feature of this book. All the 'lower orders' and less intelligent locals speak in a broad Scots dialect, whilst the upper classes speak in English. This might to some extent have reflected the social mores of the time, but to me it grates in the same way that casual insults about Jews and coloured people annoy me in Sayers's other Wimsey novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dorothy Sayers 5 Red Herrings, 2 Oct 2013
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I first read this about 70 years ago and that was more than 10 years after it was written. It will not appeal to some present day readers with its occasional casual racism and outdated social conventions (the research team would have been highly improbable even in her day).. There is also little violence in it However I like it for its intellectual challenge -you have to be prepared to work at it- and the beautiful quality of the writing. Dorothy Sayers was a fine English scholar - and it shows.
I found it an enjoyable rereaddespite the imperfections, which lead me to give it 4 stars.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For the completist devotee only..., 10 Feb 2011
I am rereading Dorothy Sayers' books after a period of several years, and although for the most part I am enjoying them very much, this one is a disappointment.

The story is complicated, with a large cast, most of whom will be unknown to readers of the earlier Wimsey novels. There is very little of Bunter, less of Parker, and even Peter is a rather two-dimensional version of himself. This is the problem with most of the characters; they are very flat and largely undifferentiated (other than between "artists" and "police"). The story reads more like a chess problem or similar intellectual exercise, rather than a pacy story, and there is no feeling of "psychological truth" about any of the characters. I didn't really care about any of the characters (all of whom were poorly developed). The ending, where Peter (with police in tow) re-enacts the events surrounding the murder) is perhaps the most entertaining part of the story, but nonetheless preposterous.

There are flashes of Dorothy Sayers' humour, and the story is at its best when Peter is on stage, but overall this was a slog to read through, and is not one of her books to which I will return. One for Sayers completists only.

This is a review of the Kindle ebook.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Palatable (and Palettable) Crofts, 27 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
The five red herrings of the title are five of six artists suspected of the murder of the most unpopular member of an artists’ colony in Scotland; the sixth is, of course, the murderer. (Unusually for Sayers, this is a “whodunit,” rather than a “howdunnit.”) Wimsey, holidaying in Scotland, assists the local police, foremost among them Inspector Macpherson, who, although Scottish, is really French (perhaps he went over after Culloden?). This is fitting, for this, the most Croftsian of all Sayers’ novels, is a map (unfortunately very poorly reproduced) and train puzzle, complete with boats and bicycles. Although slower-moving than other Sayers novels, it is, like all her books, immensely satisfying: she has the rare gift of grabbing the reader’s attention and never letting go. A great deal of entertainment is to be derived from the vanishing beard of Matthew Gowan, and there is an excellent scene between Wimsey and the artist Strachan on the cliffs, in the course of which Wimsey is nearly murdered. In the end, Wimsey, arguing from an object not found at the scene of the crime (although hinted at throughout), is, like the illustrious Dr. Thorndyke, able to deduce four characteristics of the murderer, whose complicated alibi borrows and improves on J.J. Connington’s The Two Tickets Puzzle (not a hard task, mind you!). The only regret the reader has with this tale is the excess of phonetically-rendered Scottish dialect, for D.L.S. lacks Gladys Mitchell’s abilities.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5-star extraordinary reading, 31 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This 10-tape publication is the size of a hefty hardback, but it has pride of place on my shelves! I hadn't appreciated just how gifted Patrick Malahide is as a voice actor until I heard this Chivers recording. He injects life & soul into the characters & brings definition to each one - together with just enough Scots accents to transport you straight to Galloway and the McClellan Arms. Most importantly, for me, Malahide clearly understands Sayers' dry humour & he has a sure touch in bringing it into the reading. It's the only recording of her work that has me laughing out loud at her wit. A pure pleasure to listen to from start to finish!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wearisome!, 18 Oct 2012
By 
Kilrymont (Somewhere in Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Number seven Wimsey. Feels like no. seventy! Comedy Scots accents (we dinny talk like that ye ken) and dialogue interspersed through this turgid story. Another mercifully short-lived character has, for some reason, a lithp and every thingle thilibant thound he utterth ith thpelt like thith. What on earth wath the thinking???

Detail enough provided to drown several herds of elephants ~ and the reader's capacity to keep upsides with what's presented as possible constructs. Till now I'd not realised quite how variable in quality was Sayers' work. I do hope there are none worse than this dross!

Its one saving grace is it's cheaper than the others, "only" 4.99 or so. "Whiskey" is either American rye or Irish, in Scotland it's "whisky" which Miss Sayers gets wrong all the way through. "9 Tailors" is excellent, but this piece of boring awfulness is best left till you feel you must read it to complete your Wimsey collection. Even then I'd not bother, shallow characterisations and ludicrous plot make this the worst read I had thus far in 2012.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 500 Red Herrings, 10 Sep 2011
By 
William D. Freeman "wdavidfreeman" (Southern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
This has got to be much the most tedious of the Wimsey novels. The title comes from the fact that there are six suspects but only one of them is the killer. Sayers was very cheeky in the way she planted the most vital clue to solving the mystery while inundating the reader with seemingly hundreds of misleading facts. Rather than plodding through all of this and trying to reason out the solution, readers are likely to think 'let's get on with it' and start skimming ahead towards the end. I certainly did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aptly named, 2 Feb 2009
By 
Retroguy (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
The red herrings are carefully laid to misdirect the reader but without compromising the coherence of the story as a whole. The characters are all interesting and effectively drawn and the story expertly plotted. The mysterious object missing from the murder scene kept me guessing all the way through, and Lord Peter is his usual charming/irritating self. Those of us who like this sort of thing will like it very much, and others will be pleasantly surprised.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fife red herrings, 17 Jun 2014
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Not my fasvourite Wimsey novel. I find it difficult to concentrate. out of her usual environment she concentrates too much on emphasising the local accents and it starts to be a bit repititious. neithe Bunter of Wimsey are drawn as well as in later books.
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Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery)
Five Red Herrings (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy L Sayers (Paperback - 1 Jun 1959)
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