The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. The twelfth book featuring Lord Peter (the third novel to feature Harriet Vane) is set in an Oxford women's college.
Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back....
At first she thinks her worst fears have been fulfilled, as she encounters obscene graffiti, poison pen letters, and a disgusting effigy when she arrives at sedate Shrewsbury College for the Gaudy celebrations.
But soon Harriet realises she is not the only target of this murderous malice - and asks Lord Peter Wimsey to help.
©1935 The Trustees of Anthony Fleming (deceased) (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
"I admire her novels...she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail." (P. D. James)
"Change the narrator."
I enjoy this book very much so the time wasn't wasted but the narrator let the story down.
The story line itself.
There were a couple of shocking mispronunciations that irritated me more than somewhat and made nonsense of what was being said. English lends itself to this but context usually makes it clear. In this case 'row' and 'bow' both caused confusion to the narrator but it was clear from the context which pronunciation was required. I found the word 'mischievous' being mispronounced 'mischeevious' most annoying.Sayers' use of language in Gaudy Night is quite complex and is a demanding read. Perhaps due to this the narrator lost her way at times.. For me, she simply didn't manage to capture the 'feel' of the book at all. On the other hand her French was good.
There was a TV series made some years back that was very good. Harriet Walters played Harriet Vane very well.
I see that Jane McDowell has recorded a lot of the Wimsey stories. I won't be buying any more. I have a couple narrated by Ian Carmichael and Edward Petherbridge, which were excellent.
"Miss Sayers at her best - shame the narration wasn't that great"
I have waited a long time for this book to be released I audio for at. In my humble opinion this is Miss Sayers at her very best. By why oh why didn't the get Edward Petherbridge for the narration. This is why I have marked down the performance.
"Great story ruined by awful narration"
Complex and engaging plot - one of Dorothy L. Sayer's Best. On the downside the narrator sounded like nothing so much as a satnav and seemed to have no idea what she was saying.
"A lamentable narrator and badly produced"
Stilted! She stops halfway through speeches to take a breath where nobody would. Reads like an amateur. However, I did feel that some editing, or production, might have spared us the howlers and mispronunciations. Plus not knowing how Oxford names should be spoken. 'Saint Aldgates' indeed. And 'Dives' pronounced like seedy nightspots. it should be 'DivES, with the E pronounced. I stuck with it, because I like the story, but this is the second of the new series of Lord Peter books I have been disappointed by and I shan't get any more. I and Ms Sayers deserve better than this. Thank heavens I have all the Ian Carmichael recordings.
"Awful performance nearly spoils good book"
Oxford; romance; mystery
A Continuation of the ongoing story of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, as well as a love-letter to Oxford and a detective story.
in many, many, ways. I will avoid any book she is reading - she could spoil any book! She pauses irritatingly after every few words, at inappropriate places, she stresses the wrong words to make sense of a sentence, and she frequently mispronounces words - even homophones, such as 'bow' are pronounced incorrectly (revealing that she has little understanding of what she is reading. Why on earth was she recruited as a reader????
the book delighted me, but the reading made me scream with frustration and irritation.
PLEASE restore or re-commission new readings of the Sayers books, and don't let this woman loose on any books again.
"Weird staccato narrator"
Gaudy Nights and Busman's Holiday are some of Sayers best work, and they are almost butchered by this narrator. She has a strange staccato way of speaking, and seem at many times to be cut short, which exaggerate this even more.
HOWEVER the story is sublime, so if one can overhear the narrator, one is still captivated. I think one must be a convinced Wimsey lover however, to accomplish this though.
My favourite Dorothy L Sayers book spoilt by dreadful narration. I couldn't tell the characters apart and haven't actually finished listening to the whole audio book. Have returned to the radio adaption!
"Great story! "
I love this story. Dorothy Sayers is one of my favourite detective story writers and this is the first audio book of hers I've listened to. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I had to get used to the narrator. She speaks in quite a determined way, and rather sharpish. I had to really get past that and I definitely enjoyed the second listen better, because she didn't bother me so much anymore. Her characters are not very distinctive, so sometimes you don't quite know who is talking, but Ms Sayers has provided for that by making it clear in the text, so that doesn't bother me so much. All in all a good experience and a great story!
"Sorry, didn't rate the reader!"
A better reader would have improved the listening experience. I have stopped listening to it.
Any of the Dorothy L Sayers books are excellent as is this one.
Poor grasp of what was being said, nervously read. Sounded as though she was trying to speak 'nicely' and that made the story sound uninteresting - and it's one of my favourite books.
None, it's an excellent story and I've always loved it.
"The narrator does not do a good job"
This story is absolutely wonderful.
All the way through I kept trying to figure out the exact nature of the narrator's shortcomings:
1. She has a nice voice
2. She doesn't have the ability to differentiate her voices according to character, sometimes she tries it and applies the voice too late, mostly she doesn't (Martin Jarvis is one of the best in this regard and often improves one's enjoyment of the story).
3. The way that the words are strung together sounds like my kindle when I select the voice option (what you get is a computer selecting the words from a database and stringing them together without the necessary understanding to give the correct intonation and emotion).
It is a real tragedy because it appears that this narrator is currently the only option in the audible stable for the Lord Peter Wimsey books.
However, this story is wonderful and scholarly, I am not a scholar and supplemented my understanding by researching for example Latin phrases on the Internet - it gives more depth and tenderness to the story.... Sublime, truly sublime..............shame about the narrator.
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