Wednesday the 13th of November–time again for Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it–what’s it’s about, why you want to read it, where you got it from, and such. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!

This week’s pick is a mystery again (since I love those and have plenty on my TBR at any given time), and it is Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. First published in 1935, this is the twelfth in the Lord Peter Wimsey series (according to the listing on Goodreads), and the the third to feature mystery-writer Harriet Vane who Lord Peter goes on to marry later.

In this one Harriet Vane returns to her alma mater, Shrewsbury College at Oxford to attend the Gaudy celebrations, but all is not well there as a series of malicious acts including vandalism and a poison pen begin. Harriet, who herself has been the recipient of a letter, is asked by the Dean to investigate and she goes ‘undercover’ in a sense, ostensibly to assist the Dean with research. Lord Peter is away–travelling to Europe. And so, this one’s different from the other books in the series being narrated from Harriet’s point of view, as well as on account of not being a murder mystery. Gaudy Night is seen to be one of Sayers’ best works, and brings up questions among others, of the balance between work and family for women, women’s role in general, class, and education.

I have read some (though not all, and not in order) books in the Lord Peter series before and enjoyed them. As mysteries, while they were fun, I didn’t find they were as complicated or surprising as say Agatha Christie’s books (I still think she has the best puzzles), but the other aspects of the plots have been very enjoyable, like the advertisement agency setting in Murder Must Advertise, or the ‘Cattery’ in Strong Poison. Gaudy Night too sounds intriguing from this point of view.

Have you read Gaudy Night? How did you find it? Better than the other Lord Peter books, or about the same? Which is/are your favourites in the series? Looking forward to your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Shelf Control #64: Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers #GoldenAge #Mystery #TBR

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