|Hodder & Stoughton
|crime, England, fiction, mystery, private investigators, female detectives
|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.
Sayers, Dorothy L.:
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was an English writer and playwright. She is best known for her crime fiction but also for her popular plays. Born in Oxford to a family involved in education, she excelled as a student herself and graduated with honours. Eschewing the academic life she moved to London in 1922 where she worked for an advertising agency as a copywriter.
She published her first book in 1923, Whose Body, which featured one of her favourite literary characters – amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Many of her books were based on this character and her carefully researched plots proved very popular with her fans. In 1935 she wrote, Gaudy Night, which culminated the career of Wimsey and proved to be one of her most popular novels. It was at this time that a friend persuaded her to co-write a play called Busman’s Honeymoon. Her success with the endeavour led her to start writing plays and she produced eight more in the next 15 years. She also developed an interest in ancient Italian literature and translated Dante’s Divine Comedy accompanied by clear and concise annotation. Unfortunately her writing career was cut short unexpectedly in 1957 when she died of a sudden heart attack. (Dorothy L. Sayers Society)