Strong Poison

Strong PoisonThis review originally appeared on my blog, Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.Dorothy Sayers has been a popular mystery writer for at least eighty years She was writing books in the twenties and thirties and they, despite the competition of Agatha Christie and everyone else writing similarly mannered mystery puzzles and polite comedies of manners which category her books also fall into , have lasted until now, which means they ve come through at least three generations of fans And it isn t hard to see why.Her most famous character and deservedly is Lord Peter Wimsey He is the younger son and brother of a Duke in the interwar era who takes up sleuthing as his hobby It s like if Bertie Wooster decided to be Sherlock Holmes one day, plus about 100 IQ points and deeper heart and ironic self awareness, but also retaining his faithful Jeeves called Bunter in this series His other hobby is reading, and his speech is a patchwork of classical, biblical and artistic references, often stopping and starting in the middle of thoughts, or making comments ten steps ahead of the conversation in the appealing manner of the incredibly smart and verbally gifted His charm is undeniable you smile because you ve met him before, and then laugh because you haven t, not really He constantly surprises with his intelligence and insight, which leap all unexpected out of the apparently harmless buffoonery others identify him with and is all the searing because of it.In Strong Poison, this appealing charm is only added to by the fact that Peter is, at seemingly long last, showing his vulnerability and humanity beneath the clownish exterior, and he does it by falling deeply in love with an accused murderer, Harriet Vane She is accused of murdering her former lover with arsenic, and as the story opens seems to be about a hairsbreadth from being convicted with pretty convincing evidence But Peter Wimsey doesn t believe it for a second A hung jury allows for a second trial and a second chance for Peter to save her if he works fast and that he most certainly does Surrounded by a cast of amusing and fully drawn supporting characters like the delightful clearly recognizable to a 1930s reading public sweet old Miss Climpson, the Watson, of sorts, of the piece, the requisite actual near Bertie Wooster type, Freddy Arbuthnot there clearly to highlight the difference, and the broadly drawn stereotype of a former lock picker Rumm, just to name a few, its hard not to get pulled along with and fall for this literarily inclined sitcom of a piece, packed with stand alone comedy routines of episodes Indeed, I think Dorothy Sayers would have had a very good career as a staff writer on Fraiser or Gil Girls, had she been born a few decades later Wimsey s orchestration of the madness has an appropriately light touch and, rarely for a detective main character, he doesn t hog the spotlight at all Lots of characters get a chance to shine in this truly ensemble piece Note It was also a plus that the bothersomely insistent anti Semitism I noticed in Whose Body and I m still unclear about whether it was editorial commentary or just on the part of characters who were unfortunately realistic for the time isn t present here except for a stray remark or two, and not from characters I think we re meant to admire, so that was also a big step up But I actually, for all my trying, could not jump into the waters and be swept along The first major weakness is the mystery itself I guessed all the twists chapters before the main characters did, to the point where I wanted to smack my forehead when they finally figured it out I guessed the murderer a few chapters after they were first mentioned The villain is unsatisfyingly stupid, to the point where even Sayers questions him, Sooo why didn t he just do this to cover himself and essentially gives an answer of, IDK, don t question it good luck for our dashing main character Which I get, Peter is what we re here for for sure But it made some of the machinations to figure out what happened feel longer than they would have without at least a little suspense Partly I think this is not Sayers fault I am conditioned to figure out the murderer by who they are mentioned by, when they are mentioned, how much information gets repeated and by whom because I have read many of Sayers descendants and I know the rules Perhaps at the time it was written people hadn t been trained enough to figure that out.Secondly, I found Harriet Vane underwhelming I was promised someone awesome, and I think she just didn t get enough screen time to show it Oh, she was cool when we saw her, but it was in two to five page spurts every fifty pages or so I gathered from the testimony of others definitely a strong, independent woman with an unconventional life and a lot of integrity, which was amazing, especially in an older book, but again, no chance to show it she only appeared in spurts of two to five pages every four or five chapters I also thought that Peter s relationship with her during this time was much less charming than I think he meant it to be a lot of it was an uncomfortable example of a man exerting power over a woman who has no choice but to play to him, whether she honestly likes him or not And even if she does, it ll maybe never be totally clear It all ended up all right and I approve of where Sayers took it and I d be interested to see what a Harriet Vane not currently under arrest for murder would be like as a character, but she didn t show to her best advantage here.Thirdly, I really wish the book had spent time on letting us glimpse beneath Peter s lighthearted nature the few scenes where he playfully but not playfully took people to task for getting upset with him for showing his humanity, rather than just being a delightful, dumb jokester all the time that others could use to lighten their mood using Jon Stewart s Crossfire monkey line centuries before it became famous to contemporary people It was affecting I get that part of its power was being used sparingly and too much might put off an audience who also loves him the way he is, but I guess Sayers was just too good at these parts I really loved Georgette Heyer s Cotillion, which does kind of a similiar thing and sets up a buffoon as the romantic hero, defending him and all his virtues the whole while against the popular Byronic type Sayers had to work with in her secretly actually smart hero and I wish she d done it Just my personal preference for seeing people in layers, I guess I get that this is a polite mystery from the 1930s and what I m talking about is a modern thing New fanfiction idea If I read another Sayers I think I ll try Have his Carcase or Gaudy Night, both of which are supposed to have a strong Harriet Vane appearance Sayers seems worth at least one shot I like this sort of thing and there aren t many playing at this level in the game. I was reading this, feeling a whole lotta deja vu and just wondering which came first, Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series or PG Wodehouse s Wooster Jeeves series, when out of the blue one of Sayers characters name drops Jeeves For me and the sort of reading I enjoy, this hit the spot It was like reading a murder mystery penned by Wodehouse And if you re been reading my reviews, you know he s one of my favorite authors There s something very Wooster like about the foppish Wimsey The style, language and flippancy of 20s 30s England mirror Wodehouse almost to a tee The major difference is in the slightly serious tone This is about a murder trial, after all It s not the most devilishly clever of murder mysteries, but it s good reading and I will definitely pick up another in the Wimsey series Rating Note This was a strong 3.5 stars I ll give it 4 stars for sheer enjoyment over any sense of writing quality. Best Ebook, Strong Poison By Dorothy L Sayers This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Strong Poison, Essay By Dorothy L Sayers Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You introducing harriet vane she s a loveable heroine and lord peter wimsey practically becomes a walking boner as soon as she arrives on the scene dorothy sayers is one of the most elegant of writers and her super detective peter wimsey is one of literature s most elegant creations he s a semi tragic war hero, he s brave strong fast loyal, he s kind to service staff, he s a defender of the innocentand all his heroic attributes would grow quickly obnoxious except that sayers places them in the persona of an effete, often snobby, often condescending dandy, a straight oscar wilde who can kick your ass if you get too rude this kind of character has reappeared in many places over time, but this is my favorite incarnation of the type. I think this may be the Sayers I read in my younger years didn t much care for.I can appreciate Sayers ability now.I did enjoy this title very much, but not quite a perfect read for me There was quite a bit of filler not many suspects But the murder method was ingenious this is enough to make this title a most satisfying read.Good stuff Rating 4 of fiveThe Book Report Lord Peter Wimsey, younger brother of the Duke of Denver, bibliophile, and dilettante in the arts and sciences of murder, meets his One True Love, the Other Half of His Soul where else would he do this, but in court Too bad she s the accused in a rather sensational murder trial, in which she is accused and about to be convicted of poisoning by arsenic her Illicit Lover, now ex after having the temerity to propose honorable and legal marriage to her He was, it turns out, having her on when he refused to countenance the idea of marriage he was counting on his Peculiar Charms to sway his Muse and fellow novelist into revealing her true depths of devotion to him by setting this test Having fallen and Fallen for it, Harriet felt not at all unreasonably that she d been a right prat and, in umbrage extreme, slung the rotter out on his ear, refusing thereafter to treat his suit Subsequent to their final meeting, unluckily, the rotter collapses and dies at his cousin s home, where he s been living for over a year since the end of the dream.Lord Peter, attending the trial as who would not with the Hon Freddy and the Dowager Duchess of Denver aka Mater , forms the simultaneous convictions that Harriet is innocent, and that she shall be Lady Wimsey as soon as the event can be fixed How to forestall the hangman s deft attentions is his sole focus, needless to say, and he goes about proving the identity of the real culprit with his accustomed panache, energy, and cunning.Ah, but stay the strains of the Wedding March, dear readers, because Harrietquite sensiblyis Once Bitten, Twice Shy re matrimony She offers herself as his leman, his dolly bird, his bit o stuff, but marriage To a well known aristocrat, with all the attendant hoo and pla No, indeed Wimsey is, well, not to fobbed off with mere sex when what he craves is glory and delight everlasting in matrimony golden, so he ankles off as soon as he sees her acquitted The End Only, of course, not so much But that s another book.My Review A Certain Party, who shall remain nameless herein but is frequently addressed by me as Horrible and is known on LibraryThing as karenmarie , has really, really put her foot in it this time I mention, oh so casually in passing, that long, long ago I read and disliked this book Oh, burbles The Evil One, I read that and found it both witty and amusing, don t you think it would be fun to re read it I, ever the innocent and naive victim, forgot that the aforementioned Evil One has hooked me on ever so many mystery series with her offhand cruelty, fell for it and re read the book Reader, beware NEVER VENTURE NEAR HER You ll end up reading long lists of admittedly quite good mysteries.Wimsey is certainly not for every taste His erudition, not notably fine for that era, is huge by modern standards, and so his references to poets, writers, and cultural furniture quite ordinary in the 1930s, will come across as condescending to thos of this less well versed time and place His general attitude of privilege might cause some sensitive souls in the era of Political Correctness to flinch And Sayers lovely, steady, and quite dry prose will go down like a martini at a Salvation Army bash with the modern reader accustomed to gutter talk, explosions, gunshots, and generally seamy turpitude that passes for most modern mysteries.And thank GOD for that It s a breath of chamomile scented mountain meadow air to me to re find these books in a state and at a time when I can appreciate them No one tell The Evil One, blast her eyes, that I am thoroughly glad to have read this book at 51 that I understood and so little of at 25 Loose lips sink ships You would think that having read Strong Poison once, listened to the Ian Carmichael audiobook, and watched the Edward Petherbridge tv adaptation twice, I wouldn t be still at the point of giggling every few pages or staying up all night to finish it You d definitely be wrong.It s so good coming back to these characters and learning about them, and having the fondness about them, and not having my mind occupied with trying to figure out the mystery Miss Murchison Miss Climpson Bunter Parker The whole Victorian asking of intentions bit I think one of my favourite moments, oddly, was the moment in which Peter is thinking crossly about suicides and how they should leave a note, just to avoid all the mess And he thinks about how he should do it, not in terms of if , but in terms of when Such a chillingly telling moment, and dropped in at the end of a chapter, and never returned to how typical of Peter s character, for something so serious to be only glanced across And it s one of those moments that you see Peter very clearly as than a silly ass, instead of just having to take that on faith I don t know if I m explaining it very well and this is an extraordinary amount of my review to devote to what was really a tiny detail but the moment really caught my attention.So yes Still toe curlingly squee worthy, even on a fifth go at the plot. Published in 1930, this is the sixth book to feature Lord Peter Wimsey and the first to feature Harriet Vane When we are introduced to Harriet, she is a prisoner in the dock on trial for killing her lover, Philip Boyes Lord Peter is convinced of her innocence and instantly smitten However, the case against her looks pretty convincing at first glance Miss Vane had left Mr Boyes, after an attempt at free love had fallen apart A writer of detective fiction, Harriet had been investigating death by arsenic poisoning and had purchased arsenic under false names When Philip Boyes is poisoned, it looks as though Harriet is the obvious person to accuse.In a race against time, Lord Peter is determined to find the real murderer and so we set off on an exciting adventure, including false wills, mediums, notorious great aunts and the glorious Miss Climpson who, against her moral scruples, is sent by Lord Peter to help solve the crime.This is a delightful mystery, with wonderful characters, lots of humour, a great plot and a real sense of danger as Lord Peter has to solve the crime and rescue Harriet There is also a lot of romance in the air, with Parker still mooning over Peter s sister, Mary and Freddy Arbuthnot about to tie the knot with Rachel Levy who was mentioned in the first ever Wimsey novel, Whose Body This is one of the most enjoyable in the series which I have read so far and I recommend the entire, classic, Golden Age series highly. In 1847, the average woman who read novels apparently wanted Mr Rochester In 1930, she wanted Lord Peter Wimsey And in 2015, she wants Christian Grey.This is called progress. Lord Peter Wimsey meets the love of his life finally and decides then and there he is going to marry her Unfortunately, Harriet Vane, the source of Lord Peter s willingness to forgo the bachelor life for a house and family, is not in a position to accept.Harriet Vane is in the prisoner s dock of the court, charged with the murder of her previous lover If convicted, she will hang Instead, there is a hung jury and a second trial due to be opened in a month Lord Peter has only that short time to figure out how to save this young woman and the only way he can do that is to produce the real culprit.Fairly early on, we are given some indication of who the real culprit is But there is the question of motive nothing fits There is also the question of how the murder was done From the title, we know it was poison, but how was the poison administered and when More significantly, will the information they need come to light in time to save Harriet Vane Once again, Dorothy Sayers spins out a great mystery and some fascinating and clever sleuth work on the part of Lord Peter and his friends and associates And there is than one romance in the works during this brim full novel It took all my willpower not to jump straight into 7 of this series The Five Red Herrings to find out what happens next

Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.Dorothy L Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante s Divina Co

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  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Strong Poison
  • Dorothy L. Sayers
  • English
  • 10 April 2017
  • 9780060809089

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