Actually, I want crossovers between all the quirky detective stories.

Father Brown and Scooby Doo: Four teenagers and their talking dog start to believe a ghost is haunting the castle, until a short Roman Catholic priest reveals the misguided criminal under the mask and unveils a profound moral truth.

Peter Wimsey and Superman: Bespectacled ad man Death Bredon and bespectacled crime reporter Clark Kent work together to solve a mystery while trying to conceal their secret identities from each other.

Peter Wimsey and Batman: Clash of the Crime-Fighting Millionaires and their Battle Butlers.

Peter Wimsey and Psych: Sham American spiritualist Shawn Spencer makes himself at home in Wimsey’s flat and proves surprisingly adept at crime-solving.

Father Brown and White Collar: FLAMBEAU MEETS NEIL! I have no idea what else happens, but I just thought of it now and I NEED IT LIKE AIR!!

paigeroo5  asked:

If I was going to start reading the Lord Peter Wimsey novels (with intense interest in Harriet) which book should I start with? Should I start at the beginning of the series? Or later?

OK so if your interest really is Wimsey only with respect to Harriet, and not necessarily detectin’ things all on his own, then one should begin with Strong Poison (1931): it’s HV’s first appearance. Going on from there there’s a definite order, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Strong Poison is not the official beginning of the Wimsey stories by a long shot, but finding the definitive ‘starting point’ varies depending on who you ask - reason being it’s tricky describing it as ‘a series’ as she didn’t have One Big Hit first book and then write a bunch of sequels chronologically towards an end goal in that sense: she wrote in a bunch of formats and lengths, and they can jump around a bit. In theory Whose Body? (1923) is the first published Wimsey, but some of the short story collections she did tend to jump around in time and fill in the blanks before, after, or during Wimsey’s life in the long format novels, and some novels don’t really rely on his life context, so can be read individually.

Generally if you want to be properly consistent with time, narrative and character development, and just want to focus on HV and skip unrelated cases, my advice is start with SP, and then this selection:

  1. Strong Poison (character intro, and she’s the ‘case’. Classic golden age murder mystery. A ripping yarn.)
  2. Have His Carcase (she’s basically the protagonist, and invites Wimsey into his own novel when crime happens)
  3. Murder Must Advertise (ok ok it’s optional from a HV point of view, as it’s Wimsey solving crime alone, but Sayers had started to work up some nice juicy character emotional consistency at this point, and W behaves like someone who has Met Harriet Vane, if that makes sense. She’s referred to, but not strictly seen. Similarly The Nine Tailors. You could skip both if you’re in a rush, but.. love yourself: read them.)
  4. Gaudy Night (do not read Gaudy Night unless you have AT LEAST read Strong Poison - again HV takes on the main crime-observing role, and W uhhhhh turns up shall we say, and things …develop. It’s got crime, but most people in the novel are so busy Being People sometimes they forget there’s even crime. Sayers was neck deep in integrity and emotional agency with respect to her characters at this point, and there’s essentially a crime side salad to go with it.)
  5. Busman’s Honeymoon (do not even pick up a copy of BH unless you have read GN - it’s as close as she gets to a direct chronological sequel, basically picks up within days/weeks of GN’s last page. Plot indescribable without spoilers but it’s ..emotionally consistent. Of the lot, the least about any actual crime.)

OK so I may have overused the bold and italic, there’s nothing *strictly speaking* preventing you from just reading Gaudy Night or whatever, but it’s sort of like just watching Return of the Jedi as your first Star Wars ever - words coming out of people’s faces will technically make sense, but you won’t really know why it’s a Big Deal. 

Start with Strong Poison.

He slipped away along the gallery and was gone. Harriet was left to survey the kingdom of the mind, glittering from Merton to Bodley, from Carfax to Magdalen Tower. But her eyes were on one slight figure that crossed the cobbled square, walking lightly under the shadow of St. Mary’s into the High. All the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them.

–Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night, Chapter XXIII, 1936.

…Harriet; I have nothing much in the way of religion, or even morality, but I do recognize a code of behavior of sorts. I do know that the worst sin–perhaps the only sin–passion can commit, is to be joyless. It must lie down with laughter or make its bed in hell–there is no middle way.
—  Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers, “Gaudy Night”

List of emotionally unacceptable things this week:

1. Edward Petherbridge briefly kissing Harriet Walter’s wrist, because both their characters are wearing outdoor gloves and coats.

Her WRIST, I tell you.

anonymous asked:

I read Whose Body? several years ago, and wasn't too fond of both the book overall, and Lord Peter Wimsey specifically. But I've been seeing your Sayers posts, and I've heard good things about Gaudy Night. Do you reckon I should give Sayers another try?

I do think Sayers would be worth another try for you (not just because I love the books; de gustibus and all that.) The breezy prose and sensationalist plot of Whose Body? deliberately echoes/spoofs contemporary adventure yarns… so if you don’t like that tone, Sayers does different ones! The second novel in the series, Clouds of Witness, is a riff on the “country house murder” plot. If you’re less interested in genre riffs, and more interested in just the characters, I’d recommend skipping ahead to Murder Must Advertise, or Strong Poison, which is the first book featuring Harriet Vane.

Lord Peter, too, changes and develops considerably over the course of the series. Sampling Sayers’ short stories might be a good way for you to get more of a feel for her prose, with Lord Peter being less central in most of the stories than he is in the novels. Whose Body? sees him at his most Woosterian and his most brittle. As C.S. Lewis observed, Sayers intentionally did a lot of work on the character to make him more three-dimensional as the series continued. His banter becomes more clearly defined – either as a strategy of dissimulation or deflection, or as play. And Whose Body? is set in 1923, and as it illustrates, Lord Peter’s mental state is… not good. The tendencies towards dissociation and the death wish decrease with time. I realize that’s probably the most depressing way I could frame his character development. But it’s real, and it’s great.

junomarlowe  asked:

What do you think about Jack Lowden (Collins in Dunkirk) as a potential Wimsey headcanon? His extreme blondness and sharpish nose are preying on my mind. He's still a baby, but about the right age for Major Wimsey still in uniform and I am having... emotions.

MAJOR WIMSEY. OLD WINDERPANE. The concept of a pre-war/mid-war Peter alone gives me the vapours tbh. Bright-eyed, all innocence and idealism. And then buried in a hole in the ground.

                                      **Dunkirk spoilers included**


I like your thinking, but the main mark against the esteemed Mr Lowden is that he is inescapably pretty. He’s just ..a pretty fellow, quite pretty he is.They’d have to work hard at bringing that ‘800 years of weak, chinless, toffy english genetics’ out with some very dorky hair indeed. He is, however, an appropriate cornsilk blond if needed, and there’s a sharpness to his face that could work. What he DOES have going for him is the way he reaches up out of the choppy English Channel in Dunkirk after ditching his Supermarine Spitfire (and nearly drowning): with a cheery ‘Morning!’ as he’s approached by a boat, like it’s a nice Sunday on the river. That is, if you’ll pardon the expression, Wimsey as fuck.

“…What luck! Here’s a deep, damp ditch on the other side, which I shall now proceed to fall into.”

A slithering crash proclaimed that he had carried out his intention.

- Dorothy L. Sayers, Clouds of Witness

The murder in this novel occurs on October 14th. The initial investigation, quoted above, takes place three days later. 

With that, I wish you all a very happy Lord-Peter-Fell-Into-a-Ditch Day.

oldshrewsburyian  asked:

I'm sorry about your surfeit of genealogy. Hoping that a question about one of several Wimsey generations doesn't veer too close to it... do you have a headcanon about what Bredon grows up to do? He's so charming in "Talboys," and I've never been terribly convinced by the Paton Walsh hypothesis.

This is an excellent question and after rereading ‘Talboys’ on Saturday I have been enjoying pondering it. And consulting Debrett’s, because The Kind Of Nerd I Am is the kind who wants to know if the eldest son of the younger brother of a peer is an Hono[u]rable or not (he’s not.). (I’m thinking that my parents will be amused if/when I answer the invariable ‘what would you and spouse like for Christmas?’ with ‘an inter-war edition of Debrett’s and a Dyson handvac, please.’)

I think he rebels by going to Cambridge - about the only thing that could betray BOTH his paternal and maternal heritages, though the term he spends at the Sorbonne does something to soothe his father’s ruffled feelings. Harriet sometimes points to Bredon’s early gustatory interest in Mr. Puffet’s peaches as the forerunner to a later interest in plant biology and landscape architecture.  (He has Opinions about post-war rebuilding, and also about how to balance tradition and innovation in the grounds at Duke’s Denver, though he keeps those a bit quiet once he realizes how narrowly he escaped having the full responsibility for them.) He’s also a very competent pianist, though he enjoys the challenge of accompanying singers more than the solo pieces his father enjoys playing.