The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Paperback – 1 Sep 1959
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She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit. (P.D. James)
Dorothy 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)
The classic British detective series featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It's a clever tale and you feel drawn in to the small community that's described. Lord Peter Wimsey is an amiable hero; you'd like to be his sidekick. Other characters e.g. the vicar are well described so you feel you know & like them.
A lovely piece of England post World War One. I recommend this book highly.
Dorothy Sayers does some very clever things in this novel which you don't notice until you re-read it.
On re-visiting 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' a couple of years ago I was struck by the fact that Conan Doyle seeded key elements of the novel's denouement within its opening chapters. However the first-time reader will not see them.
Ms Sayers does exactly the same thing in this her master-work. This is in no way a plot spoiler - I defy anyone on a first reading to spot the salient details. The reader will be too busy soaking up the wintry atmosphere of a remote fenland village community and wondering when the 'mystery' is going to begin to pay any attention to them - but they are there in plain sight. Hats off to Dorothy Sayers!
Its beautifully written with a great sense of place - the bleakness of the fenland springs from the page. The novel is populated by an array of interesting sympathetically-drawn characters who all play their part in the development of the plot.
The plot itself twists and turns like a slalom course but always in a satisfying way. Ms Sayers employs no obfuscation neither does she rely on coincidence or a deus ex machina in bringing the whole thing home. All the clues are laid out in the narrative but I think most readers will have to wait until Lord Peter explains all before they get a true understanding of the tragic events at Fenchurch St Paul.
The reader also gets, as a bonus, an introduction to the art of change-ringing - the somewhat arcane and esoteric practice of church bell-ringing prevalent in English churches. Plus a brief education in drainage systems that keep farmland lying below sea-level dry through an equally arcane system of canals, drains and sluice gates. I found all of this fascinating without understanding any of it!
For me this is the best 'whodunnit' written in the English language. Conan Doyle set the template with The Hound ( his master-work, although some of his short stories come close to it). Dorothy Sayers finessed 'The Nine Tailors' to the point of perfection.
Read it and enjoy it, read it again and enjoy it more!
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