marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
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marycatelli

Strong Poison

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers.

The fifth Lord Peter Wimsey mystery.  The point at which Sayers was tired of writing it and had decided to marry him off and be done with him.  It will only take her six more novels after this one to stop writing them.

But it opens with Lord Peter's sitting in on a court case of Charles Parker's. where Miss Climpson sat on the jury, a poisoning case that had passed as a natural death until a nurse talked too much about how the symptoms matched poisoning, and they had exhumed the body to silence the rumors, only to find them right.  In light of this, Parker and the police had tracked down the woman the dead man had lived with for a time, and then quarreled with -- over his eventual proposal of matrimony.  Despite a powerful case, Miss Climpson remains unconvinced, much to Lord Peter's delight, because though he can't find a flaw in the evidence, he knows it's wrong -- and he's fallen in love.

Though he's gotten more used to the notion of detecting and has fewer qualms, the threat of failure looms larger -- and Lord Peter at one point realizes how much he has aged, because he knows that failure would not, after all, end his world.   But he detects industriously away.  This involves a family feud, a will, a woman who quarreled with a lover -- he then married someone else -- questions about where a solicitor had invested, two matrimonial subplots that reappear from earlier works, a bar where a man drank something when his stomach was upset, and Christmas at Duke's Denver.
Tags: fiction reviews: mundane, fiction reviews: mystery
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