dorothy l. sayers

Musing Mondays (Dec.12)

This week’s Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading asks…

“This week’s musing asks…

What kind of books do you like to read? Why? Provide specific examples.

I read Classics and Mysteries with some Non-fiction, Plays and Short Story collections thrown in. But, as indicated in this week’s Musing Mondays post, if you’re talking about reading just one genre obsessively then it’s mystery (as most readers of my blog already know).

Why do I read mysteries? Who knows? All I rememberer is that I received Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volumes 1 & 2 as a gift when I was 13-14 years old. I started reading Volume 1 and before you can say ‘Red-headed League’ I was hooked.

After Sherlock Holmes, my mother introduced me with the works of Agatha Christie and she became my favourite mystery author. My mother had been a Christie fan for a long time as was my grandmother before her. So, you can say a  love for Christie mysteries runs in my blood. I have read all of Christie’s Miss Marple books, all of her plays, most of her Poirot and non-series books.

But even though mystery is my favourite genre I have barely even scratched the surface of it. I have read some Mary Roberts Rinehart, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Georgette Heyer; etc, etc but I still have so much more to explore. Next year I hope to further explore some of the authors I have already read and discover more new authors.

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R. I. P. VI Challenge – Completion

Ever since I was a child I have been reading books from the supernatural, crime and mystery genres. TV shows featuring similar themes have also been a favourite of mine. So, when I found out that Carl V is hosting the R. I. P. (R. eaders I. mbibing P. eril VI) Challenge at Stainless Steel Droppings, I just had to participate.

The R.I.P. Challenge has taken place every year from September 1st through October 31st for the last 5 years.

There are several challenge levels at which participants can join in. I had chosen,

Peril the First:

Read four books, any length, that you feel fit the very broad definitions of R.I.P. literature. It could be Stephen King or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming or Edgar Allan Poe…or anyone in between.

I have taken my time with this challenge, savouring the two mysteries and two horror genre books that I had chosen. Reading (and in the last book’s case, re-reading) for this challenge was a great pleasure.

I have received some very nice feedbacks from fellow challenge participants for my reviews.  Thank you guys!

Overall, I have enjoyed The R.I.P. Challenge very much. So, thanks to Carl V for the challenge and here’s to hoping that I’ll be seeing you again next year.

Books Completed:

1. By The Pricking of My Thumbs. Agatha Christie.

2. Clouds of Witness. Dorothy L. Sayers.

3. The Shadow of the Wind. Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

4. Dracula. Bram Stoker.

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers was published in 1926. It is the second book after Whose Body? in the series of books featuring Sayers’ detective Lord Peter Wimsey.

Lord Peter Wimsey’s sister Lady Mary is engaged to Denis Cathcart. When Denis is found murdered suspicion falls on Lady Mary’s elder brother Gerald, the Duke of Denver. Lord Peter tries to sort things out but a haze of falsehood and silence makes getting at the truth difficult.

All of the plot points and the characters felt vaguely familiar. Headstrong and impulsive women, unworthy suitors, feudal Lords behaving immorally, an alluring seductress, ruination of a foolish young man, it all felt familiar.

Lord Peter is an okay detective. I just wish the way he speaks didn’t remind me so much of P.G. Wodehouse’s creation Bertie Wooster. It is hard to be serious about murder when snippets of Bertie’s misadventures are floating around inside my head! However they are from the same time period so it’s not that surprising.

Mrs. Grimethorpe is a very beautiful woman. I get it. But lines like these got on my nerves. 

…a broad white forehead under massed, dusky hair black eyes glowing under straight brows, a wide, passionate mouth–a shape so wonderful that even in that strenuous moment sixteen generations of feudal privilege stirred in Lord Peter’s blood…

feudal privilege stirred’? Ick! 

One of the major plot points I realized almost at the beginning of the book. The whole thing was staring at everyone’s face right from the start and yet they fail to see the (extremely) obvious fact. Lord Peter even admits so himself nearing the end of the book

…”I am, without exception, the biggest ass in Christendom. When a thing is close under my nose I can’t see it….

But if everyone solved everything in the very first pages we wouldn’t have a mystery novel now, would we?

The last scene where Inspector Sugg finds Lord Peter, Inspector Parker and Freddy out on the streets was funny.

Overall, Clouds of Witness was an all right mystery. I can’t say I love my first Dorothy L. Sayers mystery but I am willing to read more of her books. I shall reserve my judgement till then.

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Teaser Tuesdays (Sept.13)

Teaser Tuesdays asks us to:

Grab our current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like our teaser!

My Teaser:

“He said no pleasure ever came up to the anticipation, and so he lived like a hermit – doing nothing, but planning all the things he might have done.”

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.