dangermousie: (Default)
My love for Lord Peter books by Dorothy Sayers began completely incidentally. [livejournal.com profile] fire_snake mentioned reading ‘Clouds of Witness’ which sounded interesting. I picked up ‘Strong Poison’ in the library and was gone.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Sayers was a British novelist who wrote a series of novels, set (and written) during the 1920s and 1930s in England, about Lord Peter Wimsey, a blond, monocled, seemingly scatterbrained member of nobility (brother of a Duke) who is a brilliant detective.

If you think this sounds facile, silly, or cliché, think again. Lord Peter, with his gift for intellectualism and quotations, his nervous chatter concealing a sharp mind, his hidden but shattering vulnerabilities, ingrained compassion warring with sense of justice and pure intellectual curiosity, and oh yeah, his persevering, total love of one independent, damaged woman (Harriet Vane, one of my favorite fictional characters) is not only a wonderful character, but a precursor to such characters as Lymond (who is, without a doubt, a more messed up ‘ancestor/descendant’ of Lord Peter) and Miles Vorkosigan (Civil Campaign is dedicated in part to Sayers).

I am not a huge mystery fan. I don’t really care whodunnit and whydunnit and anyotherdunnit, because hey, I can just peek at the end of the book, not much of a mystery. Lord Peter books are the exception: they have very good mysteries (at least I am told so by fans of the genre, I am not much of a judge) but they work for me because they are such brilliant novels, such character studies. I am a bit in love with Lord Peter myself. I especially like how Sayers develops him more and more fully from novel to novel, thus even earlier hints come into fruition later. I don’t know if she always planned it out that way, or was just good at picking up the threads, but it’s awesome either way. Even in the very first book, ‘Whose Body,’ Lord Peter comes across as not a 1930s dapper detective but someone frighteningly human (I keep remembering his episode of shell-shock. He is a WWI veteran who was invalided out because of it) but slowly, book by book, he becomes even more so and by the end, he is just unforgettable.

Ramblings )
dangermousie: (Default)
My love for Lord Peter books by Dorothy Sayers began completely incidentally. [livejournal.com profile] fire_snake mentioned reading ‘Clouds of Witness’ which sounded interesting. I picked up ‘Strong Poison’ in the library and was gone.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Sayers was a British novelist who wrote a series of novels, set (and written) during the 1920s and 1930s in England, about Lord Peter Wimsey, a blond, monocled, seemingly scatterbrained member of nobility (brother of a Duke) who is a brilliant detective.

If you think this sounds facile, silly, or cliché, think again. Lord Peter, with his gift for intellectualism and quotations, his nervous chatter concealing a sharp mind, his hidden but shattering vulnerabilities, ingrained compassion warring with sense of justice and pure intellectual curiosity, and oh yeah, his persevering, total love of one independent, damaged woman (Harriet Vane, one of my favorite fictional characters) is not only a wonderful character, but a precursor to such characters as Lymond (who is, without a doubt, a more messed up ‘ancestor/descendant’ of Lord Peter) and Miles Vorkosigan (Civil Campaign is dedicated in part to Sayers).

I am not a huge mystery fan. I don’t really care whodunnit and whydunnit and anyotherdunnit, because hey, I can just peek at the end of the book, not much of a mystery. Lord Peter books are the exception: they have very good mysteries (at least I am told so by fans of the genre, I am not much of a judge) but they work for me because they are such brilliant novels, such character studies. I am a bit in love with Lord Peter myself. I especially like how Sayers develops him more and more fully from novel to novel, thus even earlier hints come into fruition later. I don’t know if she always planned it out that way, or was just good at picking up the threads, but it’s awesome either way. Even in the very first book, ‘Whose Body,’ Lord Peter comes across as not a 1930s dapper detective but someone frighteningly human (I keep remembering his episode of shell-shock. He is a WWI veteran who was invalided out because of it) but slowly, book by book, he becomes even more so and by the end, he is just unforgettable.

Ramblings )
dangermousie: (Default)
My love for Lord Peter books by Dorothy Sayers began completely incidentally. [livejournal.com profile] fire_snake mentioned reading ‘Clouds of Witness’ which sounded interesting. I picked up ‘Strong Poison’ in the library and was gone.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Sayers was a British novelist who wrote a series of novels, set (and written) during the 1920s and 1930s in England, about Lord Peter Wimsey, a blond, monocled, seemingly scatterbrained member of nobility (brother of a Duke) who is a brilliant detective.

If you think this sounds facile, silly, or cliché, think again. Lord Peter, with his gift for intellectualism and quotations, his nervous chatter concealing a sharp mind, his hidden but shattering vulnerabilities, ingrained compassion warring with sense of justice and pure intellectual curiosity, and oh yeah, his persevering, total love of one independent, damaged woman (Harriet Vane, one of my favorite fictional characters) is not only a wonderful character, but a precursor to such characters as Lymond (who is, without a doubt, a more messed up ‘ancestor/descendant’ of Lord Peter) and Miles Vorkosigan (Civil Campaign is dedicated in part to Sayers).

I am not a huge mystery fan. I don’t really care whodunnit and whydunnit and anyotherdunnit, because hey, I can just peek at the end of the book, not much of a mystery. Lord Peter books are the exception: they have very good mysteries (at least I am told so by fans of the genre, I am not much of a judge) but they work for me because they are such brilliant novels, such character studies. I am a bit in love with Lord Peter myself. I especially like how Sayers develops him more and more fully from novel to novel, thus even earlier hints come into fruition later. I don’t know if she always planned it out that way, or was just good at picking up the threads, but it’s awesome either way. Even in the very first book, ‘Whose Body,’ Lord Peter comes across as not a 1930s dapper detective but someone frighteningly human (I keep remembering his episode of shell-shock. He is a WWI veteran who was invalided out because of it) but slowly, book by book, he becomes even more so and by the end, he is just unforgettable.

Ramblings )

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