Strong Poison

Monday, February 10, 2014


  Strong Poison 
  by Dorothy L. Sayers
  ★★★★☆
 
Now this is what I was hoping for when I read Whose Body? last year! That was the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, but definitely not the best. After reading it I wasn’t sure I wanted to try any others, but I’m so glad I did. Everyone who told me that the series improved the second Harriet Vane showed up was absolutely right.
 
From the first moments the book hooks you. It starts with a judge speaking to a jury as they deliberate on a case. A man was either murdered or committed suicide by arsenic poisoning and they must determine if the accused is guilty of the crime. Many of the facts point to his estranged girlfriend, Harriet Vane, who is on trial for her life. As the case heats up Wimsey decides Vane is innocent and he needs to prove it if she’s going to be acquitted.
 
One of the best elements in the book is the focus on characters outside of Wimsey and Vane. We follow a secretary as she tries to obtain evidence from her slippery boss and later Miss Climpson, who must travel to a small town in search of an elusive will. These side trips and stories kept the plot moving quickly.
 
BOTTOM LINE: I will definitely read more of the books from this series as long as they contain Harriet Vane! Wimsey needs her intelligent repartee to balance his and together their chemistry makes for a great mystery novel.

7 comments:

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

yay! And it only gets better! I can't wait for you to get to Gaudy Night :D

Ellie said...

I adore this series, particularly when Harriet Vane is present. If you love Harriet then you will love Gaudy Night and the final in the series (which I can't remember the name of).

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I have one to go before Gaudy Night. I'm trying not to get my expectations too high!

JoAnn said...

Whose Body is on my kindle but I keep putting it off because of all the lukewarm reviews. Thanks for reminding me why I purchased it in the first place... I know the series gets better and better!

Kailana said...

I was looking at this series over the weekend, but that was as far as I got. I definitely want to try this at some point.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I haven't 'read' any of these books, though I did listen to a full cast audio version of The Nine Tailors many (MANY) years ago and loved it. I really should actually give these a try sometime.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Ana - Oh good! I'm definitely going to keep reading them now.

Ellie - I'm curious if you would recommend reading the books that don't have Vane as a character?

Alex - I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

JoAnn - Honestly, I would recommend starting with this one. I'm a stickler for reading series in order, but I wish I'd skipped that one.

Kailana - Wait until you're in the mood for a cozy British mystery.

Carl - I've actually listened to that one as well. I liked it much more than Whose Body, but I didn't realize at the time that it was part of a series.