Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Complete Stories-Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Complete Stories

Dorothy L. Sayers

Bourbon Street Books/HarperCollins Sep 17 2013, $19.99

ISBN: 9780062275493

This interesting anthology contains 21 Lord Peter Wimsey entries; 11 Montague Egg stories; and 12 assorted other tales. Similar in tone to his novel appearances (see Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane), the Lord Peter tales include the fabulous whimsy Wimsey humor (see “The Entertaining Episode of the Article In Question" and The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker”). Some were written with crossword puzzlers and family enablers enhancing the quirky humor (see “The Fascinating Problem With Uncle Meleager’s Will” and “The Adventurous Exploits of the Cave of Ali Baba”) and others contain unexpected Twilight Zone-like mystery spins to include "The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste. The wine-selling Montague Egg stories are more typical whodunits (see "Bitter Almonds") as the protagonist is driven by a strong ethical sense of right and wrong. The Others section run the genre gauntlet with my favorites being the satires like "Scrawns’" salute to the gothics and "Nebuchadnezzar" salute to Charades the game. All the short stories provide readers with a sense of time and place and most are quite good though a few are weak; for instance "The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey" due to overwhelming use of happenchance. Overall this is a great compilation of the short works by one of the Great Dames of mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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