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Back at Oxford for her reunion, Harriet Vane, Lord Peter’s beloved, finds herself in mortal danger
[Description]
Since she graduated from Oxford’s Shrewsbury College, Harriet Vane has found fame by writing novels about ingenious murders. She also won infamy when she was accused of committing a murder herself. It took a timely intervention from the debonair Lord Peter Wimsey to save her from the gallows, and since then she has devoted her spare time to resisting his attempts to marry her. Putting aside her lingering shame from the trial, Harriet returns to Oxford for her college reunion with her head held high—only to find that her life is in danger once again.
 
The first poison-pen letter calls her a “dirty murderess,” and those that follow are no kinder. As the threats become more frightening, she calls on Lord Peter for help. Among the dons of Oxford lurks a killer, but it will take more than a superior education to match Lord Peter and the daring Harriet.
 
Gaudy Night is the 12th book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, but you may enjoy the series by reading the books in any order.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.

Topics: London, England, Women Detectives, Crime, Female Protagonist, Suicide, Blackmail, Scandal, Love, Marriage, Love Story, College, Suspenseful, Psychological, Witty, Contemplative, Series, 1930s, 20th Century, Female Author, and British Author

Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on Jul 31, 2012
ISBN: 9781453258958
List price: $9.99
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I finished Gaudy Night and would have thought it would be my favorite Dorothy Sayers due to the subject matter: feminism with a touch of anti-Nazism; but it sure wasn't. I found it severely in need of editing and overly full of exposition. Perhaps in the '30's there was a need to go into detail about why a woman would choose not to marry, but I would have expected anyone as talented as Sayer to be able to work her ideas into the story without having to state them so bluntly.read more
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The first Sayers novel I read, and my favourite, set at Oxford University and featuring Harriet Vane, who was a student at the university ten years earlier.Unusual for a mystery in that the crime is one of poison-pen writing – a couple of half-hearted attempted murders, but no actual bodies. The focus of the book very much on the position of women in academia, feminist issues, and the workings of an Oxford college, which I think makes it quite a remarkable book, for its time and even now it strikes quite a radical note in the overt treatment of feminist issues. Admittedly the book ends with Harriet accepting Peter’s proposal, but at this stage at least (not having read the novels in which they’re married) one feels it’s a relationship of equals and that Peter respects Harriet’s independence and intelligence. [March 2002]read more
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The best of the Wimsey canon (in my opinion, of course!).read more
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Reviews

I finished Gaudy Night and would have thought it would be my favorite Dorothy Sayers due to the subject matter: feminism with a touch of anti-Nazism; but it sure wasn't. I found it severely in need of editing and overly full of exposition. Perhaps in the '30's there was a need to go into detail about why a woman would choose not to marry, but I would have expected anyone as talented as Sayer to be able to work her ideas into the story without having to state them so bluntly.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first Sayers novel I read, and my favourite, set at Oxford University and featuring Harriet Vane, who was a student at the university ten years earlier.Unusual for a mystery in that the crime is one of poison-pen writing – a couple of half-hearted attempted murders, but no actual bodies. The focus of the book very much on the position of women in academia, feminist issues, and the workings of an Oxford college, which I think makes it quite a remarkable book, for its time and even now it strikes quite a radical note in the overt treatment of feminist issues. Admittedly the book ends with Harriet accepting Peter’s proposal, but at this stage at least (not having read the novels in which they’re married) one feels it’s a relationship of equals and that Peter respects Harriet’s independence and intelligence. [March 2002]
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The best of the Wimsey canon (in my opinion, of course!).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My favourite Dorothy Sayers, one of my favourite books of all time. Each rereading I see something new. Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane resolve their differences against a backdrop of literature and learning and with the architecture and soul of Oxford University as a third major character. A treatise on love and integrity wrapped up in a mystery novel!
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A reread. One of my favorite love stories, even if most of the romance isn't in this book, but others. One of the things I like about romantic fiction, wherever it crops up, is that it often starts out with the main character thinking that love is on one hand, and some other important value is on the other, and that in order to really commit to being in love, you have to give up this other thing. Then, of course, the main character comes to realize that no, that wasn't what was being asked (well, in the case of a book that doesn't end tragically; tragic romances are different), that love and this other thing don't conflict.Here it is Harriet's independence and self-respect. I know that some Whimsey fans dislike her or think her a Mary-Sue character, representing the author, but I think it works well here.The mystery? Well, I'm less fond of that; one of those "the lady doth protest too much" things, where the author said that it must not be so too many times, so it wasn't so much a case of solving the mystery as looking at the writerly tricks and seeing where they must lead.
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A frustrating and appallingly silly book. Gaudy Night is an interminably related love story framed by an underdone mystery- perfect if you like that sort of thing. Its one redeeming value is that it gives the kind of lift to a highball you just won't get with a coaster.
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