Someone asked me about mysteries. I love them. I blew a prep school interview when I was 14 by admitting that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the best book I'd read recently. I believe the desired answer was A Separate Peace. Since then I've read a lot of mysteries of every type some better and many a lot worse than Christie, whose reputation seems to have risen with time. One of my favorite mystery writers in the Christie vein is Dorothy Sayers
The first Sayers I read was a copy of The Nine Tailors pulled off a cousin's bookshelf to occupy me when I was the only "young person" in a house party of adult relatives (my mother has an alarming number of half-siblings) in the English countryside. There was probably no TV, or if there was it was likely showing live darts matches, tennis or the test pattern of the girl playing tic-tac-toe with a creepy clown doll. Long story short, I tore through Nine Tailors and went on to read all her other mysteries in whatever order I could lay my hands upon them.
The mysteries all set in 1930s England are excellent puzzles that keep you turning the page. But I also loved the relationship between her detective, the charming Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, a mystery writer he initially meets when she is on trial for poisoning her lover in Strong Poison. Wimsey exonerates her and then proposes. She turns him down and they go on together solving crimes and inching toward the altar. Hats off to Sayers for creating Harriet Vane--an Oxford grad and taker of lovers--in 1930. Harriet is a rather determined and sturdy personality makes a nice foil for the rich, charmingly self-effacing and somewhat fragile second son of a Duke. Wimsey served in the Great War as an officer, witnessed total horror and ultimately suffered complete nervous breakdown as a result.
It is in the war that Wimsey met sergeant Melvyn Bunter, who goes on to become his faithful butler. I used wish I had a Lord Peter Wimsey now I wish I had a Bunter.
Start with Strong Poison and then read them in order or not. My personal favorites are Gaudy Night and The Nine Tailors. #bookstagram #mystery #dorothysayers #agathachristie #peterwimsey #pageturner