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 I notice that a number of people on my flist, including myself, are reading/rereading/listening to a Dorothy Sayers book at present.

They are certainly books that I have come back to over the years, though the early ones don't stack up nearly as well as the later ones.  I think it took a few books for her to really settle into her writing style.

My next re-read will probably be 'Murder Must Advertise' which has always been one of my favourites - and certainly benefits from Sayers having worked in advertising herself.

So, what is the enduring appeal of Lord Peter Whimsy?  Why the appeal to Vorkosigan fans?  (because there is a definite overlap among my friends at least - and Bujold herself is a Sayers fan)

I think for me, it is largely the cast of characters.  Peter, Bunter, Charles and the Dowager Duchess - and Harriet, of course, once she comes into her own.  That's why the first couple of books are fine as detective novels, but fail on the readability score - the characters don't have that depth that develops as the author gets to know them better.

The Dowager Duchess can be recognised instantly, in any story or fan story by her dialogue.

It may also be the period. Sayers was writing about a period she was living in, but to us, the period between the First and Second World Wars is as far away as fantasy.

So, are you reading/rereading/intending to read a Sayers novel?
If you were recommending the books, where would you advise someone to start?

They're very cheap second-hand, and if you happen to be Canadian, then several of them are out of copyright in Canada and are available on Project Gutenberg Canada.

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Judith Proctor

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