marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

The return of Harriet Vane, after two novels in which she makes one cameo mention.  Indeed, the through-going return -- there are one or two scenes from Lord Peter Wimsey's point of view, but overwhelmingly this is Harriet's novel.

Like The Nine Tailors, this starts with setting the scene.  Harriet returns to the (fictitious) college Shrewsbury, at Oxford, from which she graduated.  She meets old fellow students -- sometimes happily, sometimes not -- and the teachers, and is plagued by a poison-pen writer, and talks with people about detecting and crime in fact and fiction.

Which explains, even though she tells no one of the poison pen bits, why they call on her for help when they realize that a poison-pen writer is plaguing the college, and doing graffiti, and otherwise being a nuisance.  Her information enables them to clear the new students and realize that most likely the culprit is one of the dons.

She stays to help investigate.  The novel involves the plot holes in her latest work, a set of chessmen, May morning at the Magdalen Tower, punting on the river, a passage from Virgil, a dress no one's seen, two children of a scout who stay with a family nearby, Lord Peter's nephew being recognizable by voice, many quotations from innumerable sources, and much more.
Tags: fiction reviews: mundane, fiction reviews: mystery

  • Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

    Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest, And in our hearts take up Thy rest; Come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid To fill the hearts which Thou hast made, To…

  • Alleluia! sing to Jesus!

    Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, his the throne. Alleluia! His the triumph, his the victory alone. Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion thunder…

  • Hail the day that sees him rise

    Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia! to his throne beyond the skies. Alleluia! Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia! enters now the…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded