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Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Gaudy NightGaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m reading these books all out of order.

Harriet Vane is my favorite Mary Sue in all of literature, largely because she’s so complicated and difficult, for herself and for everyone around her. Lord Peter Whimsey (and I don’t care what anyone says, but that’s the best/worst character name ever) is brilliant, super-rich, heroic, funny, well-educated, and completely in love with her. She loves him back but won’t marry him because he saved her from the gallows the first time they met, and she hates the imbalance between them. She can’t bear to marry someone she’s supposed to feel grateful toward.

I kept expecting this to turn into a murder mystery, but really it’s about doxing a particularly vicious pre-internet troll. That makes it the most interesting murderless mystery I’ve ever heard of.

Anyway, I suppose I should have fallen in love with Oxford–the text certainly wanted me to–but it didn’t happen. I did have to employ Fantasy Reading Protocols for the allusions the extremely well-educated characters employed, but that was part of what makes it fun. Also fun was seeing Harriet grapple with a new level of psychological depth in her novel-in-progress while Sayers herself populates the book with a whole platoon of wonderful characters.

I don’t think of this as the sort of book I enjoy. It’s not dark, it’s not violent, it’s not full of grief… Still, I stayed up all hours to finish, and whatever I read next will suffer by comparison.

Good book.



Buy your own copy.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Sep. 4th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. One of my lifetime faves. (You might also try Murder Must Advertise. Wimsey is the Mary Sue in it, but he and the other characters are so wonderful that it's a treat to read. Also a crackup seeing talk about ads from that period.)
burger_eater
Sep. 4th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
That's one of the few I've read. The long opening, that details the workings of the office was improbably interesting. Sayers is great.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )