The best of the golden-age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field, including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. But in this thrilling murder story, she tells her story instead through the letters of the victim and the suspects.
The bed was broken and tilted grotesquely sideways. Harrison was sprawled over in a huddle of soiled blankets. His mouth was twisted.... Harrison had been an expert on deadly mushrooms. How was it then that he had eaten a large quantity of death-dealing muscarine? Was it an accident? Suicide? Or murder?
The documents in the case seemed to be a simple collection of love notes and letters home. But they concealed a clue to the brilliant murderer who baffled the best minds in London.
"She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller." (Minette Walters)
©1927 Trustees of Anthony Fleming (deceased) (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
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"A Perfect WhoDunnit!"
If you are reading through all of the reviews, I'm presuming it's in the hope of deciding whether or not to pursue the purchase of this novel. My suggestion, is yes!
However, you have to do two things:-
1. Forget that this is a Dorothy Sayers novel. This should be easy enough to do because there is no Lord Peter Wimsey, or any of the characters One would associate with his novels.
2. Approach this as a new author's murder mystery novel that you are just embarking on. You will enjoy it immensely without the burden of thinking that this is not your usual Dorothy Sayers book.
The narrative and concept of this book is both original and extremely clever! The way that it is read is really easy to enjoy and immerse yourself in. At the beginning pay particular attention to the date, place & author of the first few letters, so that it becomes 2nd nature to do so!
You DO find out whodunit, eventually HOW it was done, but the brilliance of this novel is in the method of collating and presenting the evidence!
Many of the other reviewers absolutely adored this book, I am one of them. But there are a good few who did not enjoy it, and I sincerely believe that that is because this is not, absolutely NOT your usual Dorothy Sayers fare & they couldn't get their minds around this.
This is why I say, "Forget Dorothy Sayers and give this book a chance. You'll love it!"
Slow but exciting.
The narrator was irritating, too many inappropriate pauses which made the narrative difficult to follow. Would rather have heard it narrated by a man
Found it initially very slow to get to the point, but eventually very exciting. I couldn't put it down!
Very different from other Dorothy L Sayers writings, but nonetheless, very enjoyable apart from the reading.
. . A different speaker
The speakers voice never changed one had no idea who was who, her voice was flat monotone
No one could have done worse
Yes anger, teeth grinding.
"Only for die-hard fans!"
The first thing to say is that, contrary to the claim made on the cover, this is *not* a Lord Peter Wimsey, but a standalone epistolary novel about a case of poisoning by mushrooms. The story is clever, but is developed far too slowly, with a lot of unnecessary discussion of other topics, including the theories of Einstein - yes, seriously!
The narration is also poor. The reader has a rather monotonous voice, regularly puts the wrong stress on sentences, and completely mispronounces several words. A very amateurish performance of a rather tedious book.
"Brilliant, gripping and a great performance"
Yes, definitely. It is full of really interesting scientific information combined with a great story. The narrator is excellent.
It was very detailed and a real mystery right to the end. Dorothy Sayers at her absolute best and one I hadn't actually read in book form.
No but will certainly look for others of hers.
No, it was far too long but I listened to it on a couple of long car journeys and wanted to keep on listening.
It is quite intellectually challenging and does need some concentration to grasp all the intricacies of the plot and the documents of the case!
"A novel in letters"
I enjoyed listening to this novel. The rather unusual ploy of narrating the story through the correspondence between the main characters makes for an interesting take on the various angles on solving the crime.
I would recommend it to someone who apart from enjoying a good crime novel also likes the natural science aspects that underlie the crime and it's solution.
She manages to portrait the different characters by changing her voice and speech patterns to give each character it's very individual touch.
Possible- though I would think it might be quite difficult to allow so many different points of view to be aired.
Perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch as Munting.
"Fascinating and different"
This is one of Dorothy L Sayers least known stories, and it's one of my favourites, so I was delighted to see it on audible.
It's different from her usual fare in a number of characteristics: for a start it's co-written, and the consequences are substantial: no Peter Wolsey,, the plot unfolds through a series of statements, letters and so on presented as evidence, and the murder is revealed through a scientific denouement! A great yarn, if a bit slow moving perhaps at the beginning.
Slightly disappointed by the performance, but not particularly due to Jane mcdowells reading. As there are a series of documents , from both male and females protagonists, it just would have been easier to follow with a mixture of male and female readers. But definitely worth listening to.
This is very long winded. It lacks the pace and clarity of Dorothy L Sayers. I also think it should be more carefully edited as there were some glaring mis pronunciations .
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