08 June 2010

9 Tailors

I completed another English novel from the 1930's. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers is a mystery. Lord Peter Wimsey and his valet, Bunter, drive their car into a ditch on New Year's Eve in the tiny little village of Fenchurch St. Paul. The rector and his wife take them in for the night and Wimsey agrees to fill in for a sick bell ringer at the church. a few months later a gravedigger opening a grave finds an extra, disfigured body. Wimsey returns to give evidence, as he may have met the man on his way out of town, and stays to help solve the mystery.

The characters are funny and engaging and very real feeling. Wimsey's a little bit of Sherlock Holmes but much better with people. He notices things and makes connections without rubbing it in. And the people he meets are just as interesting. i found myself wishing he'd go back and talk more with various people so i could get to know them better (the heiress Hillary Thorpe comes to mind), a sign of great writing for me. The central mystery has a good number of twists and turns and i never figured out where it was going until it got there. As i know nothing about church bells a few parts were confusing to me but i just went with the feel of them and didn't worry about the specific details.


As a 1001 book this one will count toward the 1% Challenge. I was going to say it was a 5 but as i began writing this post i decided it's really a 6!

3 comments:

  1. I haven't read any Sayers, but many years ago I listened to a full cast recording of this novel and loved it. It was so well done and my wife and I were glued to the cassette player in the car as we drove up to Nebraska from where we were living in Tulsa, OK. Very good stuff.

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  2. I'm flying next week and looking for a few audio books to download. I'll look up to see if any others by Sayers are at my library.

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  3. If you find it, let me know. This was a loooong time ago and it was out in cassette form. I'm not sure anyone would have found it financially viable to recreate on CD, but if it does exist I would love to listen to it again.

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