The Best Mystery Books of all time – Dorothy L Sayers


The mystery is a classic genre that’s been popularly interpreted in many different ways. So when looking for the next great one, you never know what you might find in a bookstore or library, from intense whodunits to chilling psychological thrillers. Not only are they mysteriously exciting, but they can also wonderfully build character arcs and make for some delicious plot twists.

What makes a mystery book so enjoyable is that you’re never sure what lies on the next page, unlike other novels genres. The author does their best to maintain your focus by throwing in red herrings throughout the story. Thus, successfully taunting you into drawing incorrect conclusions up until the very end.

To help you pick up a genuinely enthralling read this year (and the many years that follow), we collected together some of the best mystery books ever written by Dorothy L Sayers. These intelligent mysteries have kept readers guessing for nearly a century. Read on to find out which mystery novels cut.

An Introduction about Dorothy L Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers was a famous poet and a crime writer. She was a student of both modern and classical languages. Dorothy has become famous for her series of short stories and novels. Each of her writings highlights a few aspects of World War I and World War II. Particularly, the stories and novels feature an amateur sleuth and English aristocrat named Lord Peter Wimsey. Dorothy Sayers is also famous for her essays, plays, and many literary criticisms.

Dorothy L. Sayers was an author of great works by day and a detective of crime fiction by night. Even more impressive was her great success at Oxford University– she was the first female student to be awarded a degree. This makes her one of the most influential women in history!

Dorothy L. Sayers is a famous 20th Century British crime writer who specialized in detective fiction. Her most famous character is Lord Peter Wolves, and the book “Whose Body?” is her first novel featuring him. It was published in 1923, and she continued to write more novels and short stories about him until she died in 1957.

Novels by Dorothy L Sayers:

Whose Body?

The corpse, clad in a bathing costume, was discovered in the tub of the main bathroom. A pair of pince-nez was resting on the corpse’s face. Also on the body’s face was evidence of shaving after death had already occurred. In this first mystery-detective novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey proves that he can match wits with the most sinister criminals. The corpse on the bed was blue and bloated, his head twisted at an odd angle. The police had suspected that this unfortunate victim was a prominent financier. However, Lord Peter Wimsey knew better. He dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, and he assured them that the victim was not who they believed him to be.

Clouds of Witness

They invite Lord Peter Wimsey to a weekend party for the hunt at Riddlesdale Lodge. Here he discovers a body wearing slippers and a dinner jacket. Anyone who could provide answers had fled the scene. What starts as a weekend hunting trip turns into a weekend of mystery and murder. They find their Lord Peter’s brother-in-law-to-be dead in the chrysanthemum garden.

Clouds of Witness

In this captivating mystery by Dorothy L Sayers, a mysterious midnight letter from Egypt, a grieving fiancee with a suitcase in hand, and a bullet destined for Lord Wimsey himself – all come together to keep you guessing until the end.

Unnatural Death

The Agatha Dawson Crime Mysteries, by Dorothy L. Sayers, are mini-mysteries set in the English countryside. They feature an amateur sleuth who happens to be one of the very best detectives in the literary world. A classic whodunit, this detective novel follows Wimsey as he looks into the death of wealthy Agatha Dawson. His personality helps bring the story to life. Peter Wimsey doesn’t buy the idea that there are no clues. Something isn’t right here, and Wimsey will take it upon himself to solve the case. After an evening’s deliberations, the super-sleuth Wimsey brings his point right to the grinning killer. He uses their smittenness against them and solves the case before losing himself in a passionate embrace.

This classic mystery novel has been a favorite of mystery lovers for many years, and it’s easy to see why. The characters are witty and engaging, and the plot is exactly as confusing as any real-life murder investigation.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club tells the story of Lord Peter Wimsey, a wealthy aristocrat and impeccable sleuth created by Dorothy L. Sayers. Ian Carmichael (1920–2001) personifies the superb amateur in this dramatization set in England between the Wars. At the esteemed Bellona Club, Lord Peter Wimsey finds his former acquaintance dead in his favorite chair. Who could have done this? This is a mystery that Wimsey must solve, but could it lead him to his downfall? The mystery thickens as Wimsey travels between London and Paris to solve the case.

Strong Poison

A classic mystery from the Golden Age of Mystery Novels, Strong Poison tells the story of Lady Harriet Vane. She is a powerful and independent character who holds her own alongside the most famous detective Lord Peter Wimsey. For those who love Dorothy L. Sayers’ mysteries and want to refresh their memory, it’s a great introduction to her stories.

Strong Poison

Harriet Vane finds herself accused of murdering her fiancé. The only hope for Harriet is to pair up with her nemesis, detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Together they will investigate the suspicious death to prove her innocence. Strong Poison is a gripping, noir blend of romance and murder, violence and justice, as well as a brilliant depiction of England between the wars.

The Five Red Herrings

The Five Red Herrings is a great mystery novel. The story starts with an ancient skeleton being discovered in the crumbling foundations of St. Michael’s Church in the small English village of Long Middleton. The book features a fascinating, complex plot, memorable characters, and evocative writing.

A body was found on the pointed rocks alongside a stream. Forensic evidence suggests the victim fell from the cliff, but eyewitnesses saw him alive just before his disappearance. Police determined that he had been dead for nearly half a day. How did it happen? Did he fall from the cliff while painting, or did something sinister happen elsewhere and then lead to his death? There were six suspects. Everyone was after him, but only one of them could be the murderer. Each suspect was an artist who everyone thought would kill to get to their next masterpiece.

Have His Carcase

Many mystery enthusiasts consider Dorothy L Sayersto be one of the best detective novelists of all time. Her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, has become one of the most beloved mystery heroes. Award-winning author Ruth Rendell praises Ms. Sayers’ fertility of invention, ingenuity, and remarkable eye for detail. A classic mystery, Have His Carcase is perfect for fans of the genre. The book was written in 1932 and followed the story of literary detective Harriet Vane. With the beach washed clean by the night’s rain, Harriet finds a body while taking her morning walk. As she discovers who this person is, she finds herself thrown into a mystery that only Lord Peter can solve.

Murder Must Advertise

Murder Must Advertise is a classic of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, written by Dorothy L. Sayers. The novel touches on many of the social issues of the day, with twists and turns, red herrings, and double-crosses that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Pym’s Advertising Agency is a firm on its last legs. Their leading salesman, Victor Dean, has fallen to his death from the building. There are no suspects, but something feels out of place about this case. That is until private investigator Lord Peter Wimsey joins the firm incognito as the replacement dean.

At the agency, they meet many interesting characters, including drug dealers, prostitutes, and blackmailers. They slowly realize that the agency is the center of a sinister plot as they go about their daily duties. It used its powerful media to push a new designer drug into the community. Amid an intricate web of murder and blackmail, the young detective tries to unravel the facts before another victim bites the dust.

The Nine Tailors

Lord Peter Whimsey takes on the case when someone murders a man in a small country village. The thrilling mystery will carry you through a world of peril and deception while providing a thoughtful commentary on the evils of greed and deceit. It takes place in an ancient country church and deals with an unknown man’s death. This bizarre and sly tale is full of English eccentricities, featuring a church bell-ringer and his son. It’s a classic that we highly recommend to all lovers of British mysteries.

Gaudy Night

Harriet Vane is an Oxford graduate, and the college invites her to join the annual Gaudy celebrations. Unfortunately, the celebration turns sour when someone begins a series of malicious acts, including poison-pen messages, obscene graffiti, and wanton vandalism.

Gaudy Night She asks her friend Wimsey to help her investigate. Sayers’ most famous creation, Lord Peter Wimsey, is a sophisticated aristocrat with a passion for detective work. He appeared in eleven novels and several short stories over nearly thirty years.

Views of Dorothy Sayers 

Dorothy Sayers initially refused to highlight herself as one of the feminists. The reason is that she perceived feminism as one of the old-fashioned terms and it was a term of the past. However, she continued to highlight the inequalities associated with gender discrimination and responded on many issues related to the rights of women.

Sayers wrote an essay titled Are Women Human. Here she revealed the scenario of women’s society during 1938. Her writings clarified the term feminism based on assertions that a woman can be good as a man and she can do everything, which men usually do.

Sayers did not want to discriminate between gender differences. She focussed on the recognition of shared humanity as individual human beings to create equality. Dorothy Sayers continued to elaborate the argument in other essays as well. According to this, she satirized various stereotypes associated with male and female genders.

Dorothy L Sayers as a Poet and a Teacher

Blackwell Publishing in Oxford published the first poetry book of Dorothy L Sayers in the year 1916 and named it OP. After this, Blackwell Publishing in Oxford published her other poem books named Christian Songs and Catholic Tales in the year 1918.

After the publishing of her books, Sayers worked for the publishing group for a long time. Simultaneously, she worked in different locations as a teacher, especially in Normandy of France. Sayers even published many poems in the famous Oxford Magazine. In the year 1920, Dorothy L Sayers further wrote two poems, from which is love poetry named Veronica.

Dorothy L Sayers as a Copywriter

Dorothy L Sayers had her longest employment as a copywriter between the years 1922 and 1931 at the advertising agency of S.H. Benson located at the International Buildings of Kingsway in London. During her employment, she referred to the book of her colleague and another famous writer named Albert Henry Ross. She composed the Jesus trial scene in one of her plays named The Man has Born to be the King. Albert Henry played his vital role in writing a few popularly selling Christian apologetics books. The story revealed the historicity of the crucifixion, trial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Dorothy L Sayers as an Advertiser 

Dorothy L Sayers worked as an advertiser by collaborating with a famous artist named John Gilroy. Both worked for the Guinness Zoo advertisements and Colman’s Mustard in the name The Mustard Club. An interesting aspect is that you still get the variations of the advertisement and play today.

Detective Fiction of Dorothy Sayers 

Dorothy Sayers started working on the story of her first novel named Who’s Body during the years 1920 and 1921. She mentioned this in detail in her letter, “I have started my detective story by introducing the dead body of a fat lady in her bathtub and there was nothing except her pince-nez. However, the question is why the lady wore pince-nez while taking bath. Later, the author changed the victim to a man in her last version of Who’s Body version.




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