Lord Peter and Harriet Part I

Where's this book been?
by Dorothy L. Sayers | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0739476491 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/11/2018
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, August 11, 2018
I got this hardcover at a local Savers thrift shop. It's an omnibus edition, containing the first two of Sayers' "Lord Peter" novels that featured Harriet Vane - first, as the accused in a murder case, whom Lord Peter seeks to exonerate (and then marry), and second, as the now-free-again mystery writer who goes on a walking tour in an attempt to evade Lord Peter's fascinating but problematic attentions.

Strong Poison: Sayers' Lord Peter novels and stories are among my all-time favorites. (While I'd recommend reading the Lord Peter books in chronological order, as some plot elements and relationships develop from book to book, it isn't necessary to have read all the previous books to enjoy this one. However, some of the events here follow directly on those from Clouds of Witness, so you might want to read that one first.)

One of the special qualities of this book: it's the one in which Lord Peter first meets Harriet Vane, whom he will court assiduously for several more books before - but that would be telling, wouldn't it? The story opens as a judge is giving the summation to the jury in a murder trial - Harriet's trial, as it happens; Lord Peter chanced to be in the audience and fell for the lady at once, and is in agonies over the verdict. But the jury can't reach a verdict and so Peter has a chance to try and clear the lady's name before the next trial.

Despite the suspenseful circumstances, there's humor, too; the scenes in which Lord Peter's man Bunter coaxes a cook to describe the victim's last meal is very amusing (not least when Lord Peter instructs Bunter to insinuate himself into the bosom of the household and Bunter replies "I shall attempt to insinuate myself to your Lordship's satisfaction." I adore Bunter!).

It's a lively mystery and romance and life-in-Bohemian-London tale, strongly recommended!

Have His Carcase: This one follows on the events of Strong Poison. Lord Peter is attempting to court Harriet, but she has determined to be independent - only her solitary walking tour leads her to discover a body, throat cut and blood streaming down, and under circumstances that leave her as a possible suspect. And Lord Peter is too well aware that if he comes to her rescue again, it's likely to make her even less willing to go out with him, but if he doesn't...

There are some entertaining bits here, including the decryption of a secret message, the affairs of the professional dancers at a seaside hotel, and Peter's attempts to prove to Harriet that he wants her as she is, stubborn and independent and all. The mystery is sufficiently convoluted to amuse mystery-lovers, though (after many re-reads and many years) I have to admit it's more than a little contrived. But I enjoyed the story, and if it isn't one of my favorite Wimsey novels it's still a very good read.

[There was a very good made-for-TV adaptation of both novels, starring Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter. And the TV Tropes page for the series includes some entertaining tidbits - but do beware of spoilers.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Pennichuck Square Plaza in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Released 2 yrs ago (8/15/2018 UTC) at Pennichuck Square Plaza in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on a bench outside Giorgio's restaurant in Pennichuck Square on this warm day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 Movie release challenge. ***

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