Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I've been reading a really awesome detective series lately. Despite the fact that during August I spent most of my free time watching movies, I've gotten back into reading this month. It must be that back to school feeling -- I don't have any reason to buy school supplies, but I can read new books!

Anyway, I've started reading Dorothy L. Sayer's Peter Wimsey series. Last fall, after getting Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason, I read Gaudy Night, the second to last book in the series, and enjoyed it...kind of. I even picked up a few of the other Wimsey novels, but I couldn't get myself into them. But after reading the Mystery Novel thread on Fametracker, I decided that I should try reading them again -- this time in order! And what a difference that made! I am looking forward to re-reading Gaudy Night. I've managed to get through the first two novels and I'm about half way through the third.

Well, enough about my reading -- onto a discussion of the books!

The Wimsey novels are set in England during the 1920-30s. The main character (obviously) is Lord Peter Wimsey, who is definitely a part of the aristocratic class in England, but works as a detective. His first adventure is Whose Body?, in which a dead body shows up in a bathtub. It's quite an interesting mystery, and an excellent introduction to Lord Peter. The second novel, and my favorite so far, is Clouds of Witness, which introduces the reader to all of Wimsey's relatives. Clouds of Witness features the murder of Lord Peter's sister's fiance and about Lord Peter's work to get his brother -- the Duke of Denver -- exonerated from the accusation of murder. It's an excellent introduction to Peter's family, and I felt like I got to know Peter -- and his butler Bunter -- much better than in the first novel.

And I'm also midway through the next book in the series -- Unnatural Death. It's pretty interesting so far. The murder is one that Lord Peter believes may have gone undetected -- and so he has to prove that it was, indeed, a murder.

There's also a collection of Wimsey short stories called Lord Peter. This collection is culled from several Sayers books, but it's interesting enough to read. I wouldn't suggest going through the short stories right in a row, but they are definitely fun to go back to.

So why go on about Sayers? Well, it seems as though destiny is saying to me that I should be reading her books. Not only have people at work recommended them (and made approving glances when they see what I'm reading at lunch), but Chicklit has written an article on the very same subject! It's fate that I read these books, I tell you!

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