In time for Halloween, mystery readers are in for a great treat.
Bourbon Street Books has released "The Complete Stories" of Dorothy Leigh Sayers. (810 pages)
Much of this delightful collection is devoted to her lovable and witty aristocratic sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, who entertains the reader as he solves the most intricate puzzle with style and flair.
His beloved wife, whom he met while she was on trial for capital murder, Harriet Vane, makes an appearance with their son, Bredon, in the charming domestic story, "Talboys."
Other members of Wimsey's eccentric and lovable family, and of course, his faithful man servant, Bunter, show up from time to time, as in "The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head" wherein Lord Peter is joined by his nephew, the Viscount St. George, or Gherkins, as the two embark on a treasure hunt.
Though Lord Peter was her most popular sleuth, the prolific and imaginative Ms. Sayers created another amateur detective worthy of mention, her determined little salesman, the beloved Montague Egg, representative of the firm of Plummet and Rose, sellers of fine wines and spirits. This collection includes his casework as well as other short mysteries which she wrote over the years.
Sayers believed that the mystery was a legitimate form of literature. Her erudite and elegant use of language and "ear" for dialect attest to her Oxford education. (A peak at "The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will" gives a clue to her literary talents which extended far beyond writing mysteries.)
With clever plots and intricate puzzles, these stories continue to engage mystery readers. But it is her charming and delightful characters, so full of warmth and humor, that lift these stories from being ordinary detective fiction and have made them so cherished.
It has been a pleasure to read again, these vintage stories from the great mistress of the golden age of mystery, Dorothy Leigh Sayers.