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A Cuppa Tea with Lord Peter Wimsey and Dorothy L. Sayers

The other day (or month) hubby came home with an amazing book: Lord Peter: A Collection of All the Lord Peter Wimsey Stories by Dorothy L. Sayers. I pounced. Literally. Snatching the book from his hands I exclaimed “Lord Peter Wimsey! Where did you find this?” It had been donated to the local book drop and he had chanced to see it. Thinking immediately of me and my disappointment with a recent more modern mystery series (I won’t name the author here, but she’s pretty popular right now), he thought this might be better, despite not being familiar with the author. I knew her name immediately, though (thus the pounce). What a treasure! And what a great time to put the kettle on to steep some tea to enjoy while reading!

A good book, a shortbread cookie, and a tasty cuppa! That’s living! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
A good book, a shortbread cookie, and a tasty cuppa! That’s living! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Sayers is one of three female British mystery authors I love. Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and P.D. James have several things in common: they write/wrote world-renowned murder mysteries, are/were British, and look like they could/did bake up a nice batch of cookies…uh, I mean “biscuits” as they’re called in the UK. Their mysteries are hardly the soft-boiled grandmotherly kind. James is especially adept at creating visual images of victims in her novels. Sayers’ are a bit more toned down. In any event, these three rule the roost for British murder mysteries. At least as far as I’m concerned. Wimsey, Poirot, and D’Algliesh have their personal eccentricities, which seem to make them more adept at solving crimes. Humdrum folks seem too placid, too accepting of the obvious, too unable to “think outside the box.” A monocle, an excessively neat moustache, and a penchant for writing poetry aid each of these sleuthers in their sleuthing.

Dorothy L. Sayers – a cookie-baker if I ever saw one! (via Yahoo! Images)
Dorothy L. Sayers – a cookie-baker if I ever saw one! (via Yahoo! Images)

Maybe Sayers, Christie, and James thought up some of their plots while baking those cookies (biscuits). Maybe while waiting for the kettle to boil and the tea to steep. Whatever the case, it was certainly time well spent. And the novels and short stories also give us a view of British life during the time each author was writing (the career of each spanned decades).

The best thing is that they are all perfect tea time reading. Wimsey is especially so (quite whimsical, which might be why Sayers gave her character that name), guaranteed to keep you enthralled but not grossed out. So, put the kettle on, prep that teapot, and get ready for a lovely sitdown with Lord Peter Wimsey. Bunter, his man servant, will cater to your every whimsy as Wimsey solves one baffling case after another, each sure to leave you saying, “How clever! Another cuppa, Bunter.”

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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10 responses to “A Cuppa Tea with Lord Peter Wimsey and Dorothy L. Sayers”

  1. acorn sells the peter wimsey series .. the newer “harriet vane” series has only three stories .. “strong poison” , “have his carcase” and “gaudy night” … edward petherbridge is just perfect in the role as lord peter wimsey ..

    1. Will keep an eye out for them. Thanks!

      1. those dorothy sayers dvds are also for sale on amazon ..

      2. Thanks!

  2. i love lord peter wimsey!! … the televised version, the movies, are so hard to find on streaming .. almost impossible … i dont know why that is … in “gaudy night” harriet vane has tea with the dean of women at oxford university, and they use a royal albert pattern bone china in the movie … not sure what pattern it is tho …harriet walter plays harriet vane

    1. Wish I’d seen that. Am enjoying the novels immensely!

      1. i have all of dorothy sayers lord peter wimsey stories on my kindle .. i just dont know why the movies are so hard to find ..there are two series … the earlier series, from the 1970’s i think, has ian carmichael playing lord peter wimsey, and the new series, with harriet walters as harriet vane, has edward petherbridge as lord peter ..

      2. I often find that good movies are hard to find. Sigh!

      3. i even have the all british ACORN channel on my roku …i keep asking ACORN if they would start streaming the lord peter wimsey series …

      4. Ooooo…..that would be neat. We have a number of ACORN DVDs (mainly Poirot episodes with David Suchet).

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