— Love @ 11:48 Comments (1)
Filed under: B, English, Historical, Mystery
by Dorothy L Sayers
First line:There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
Back cover blurb:
Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her fiancÃ© died in the manner prescribed in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangmanâ€™s noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent—as determined as he was to make her his wife.
Thoughts: The back cover blurb lies. Harriet Vane was never engaged to the murder victim in this novel, and that’s the truth. I’m just sayin’.
This, then, is the story where Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane first meet. And it’s brilliant. Not as fantastically brilliant as Murder Must Advertise, Unnatural Death or Whose Body, but still loads better than a lot of things out there.
Here’s a few quotes from Wimsey’s first meeting with Harriet Vane, in which he’s just proposed to her:
“I wish you wouldn’t sound as if you thought it was rather funny. I know I’ve got a silly face, but I can’t help that. As a matter of fact, I’d like somebody I could talk sensibly to, who would make life interesting. And I could give you a lot of plots for your books, if that’s any inducement.”
“But you wouldn’t want a wife who wrote books, would you?”
“But I should; it would be great fun. So much more interesting than the ordinary kind that is only keen on clothes and people. Though of course, clothes and people are all right too, in moderation. I don’t mean to say I object to clothes.”
“People have been wrongly condemned before now.”
“Exactly; simply because I wasn’t there.”
“I never thought of that.”
“Think of it now. You will find it very beautiful and inspiring. It might even help to distinguish me from the other forty-six, if you should happen to mislay my features, or anything. Oh, by the way—I don’t positively repel you or anything like that, do I? Because, if I do, I’ll take my name off the waiting-list at once.”
“No,” said Harriet Vane, kindly and a little sadly. “No, you don’t repel me.”
“I don’t remind you of white slugs or make you go gooseflesh all over?”
“[…] It’s my hobby. Not proposing to people, I don’t mean, but investigating things.
Because this is not the best Wimsey-book, I don’t want to give it an A rating, but since it’s still brilliant and all, a B is a must.