For the next month, I will be reading British mysteries published during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction which is defined as works published roughly between the two World Wars of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The hallmarks of these books included the style of writing, order being restored, clever detection methods and an honorable detective. Graphic violence and social commentary were kept to a minimum.*
First up is Strong Poison: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery featuring Harriet Vane (1930). This mystery was written by Dorothy L. Sayers (1893 to 1957) who was an renowned English novelist best known for her detective stories. She was also a scholar and a playwright. Strong Poison is Lord Peter Wimsey’s sixth outing since he was introduced in Whose Body? in 1923. The story is set during the late 1920’s. The Peter Wimsey mysteries are still popular today with most if not all of her books still in print and digitized.
She is lovely, smart, and talented—and only Lord Peter can save her from the gallows
One of the first things to share about this book is the humor, which came from the story’s quirky characters. Also the murder mystery is quite clever even though the result wasn’t all that surprising. Lord Peter Wimsey is a charming fellow. He’s described as a gentleman amateur sleuth and is the archetype of the British detective. In Strong Poison, he falls in love with a woman accused of murder.