Tuesday, 15 February 2011

"As My Whimsy Takes Me" Reading Challenge

I read Dorothy L. Sayers' first Lord Peter Wimsey novel this year for the first time (review to follow soon) and I loved it!  Prior to that, I was already a great fan of the BBC's radio adaptations of her novels starring the wonderfully charismatic Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter. I also had the great pleasure of viewing the three television adaptations with the graceful Edward Petherbridge and the admirable Harriet Walter.  I therefore resolved to make my way through the whole of the Lord Peter books in chronological order. There are only 11 complete novels and 4 short story collections but I thought that it would be fun to set up an informal challenge. This will hopefully keep me focussed and will also serve as a place for a review of each book as I complete it. 

If you'd like to join me, the more the merrier! Help yourself to the button above and link your reviews and/or posts back to this page (http://rochester-reader.blogspot.com/p/as-my-whimsy-takes-me.html) as well as a comment at that page so I can add your review.  You will find updates at that link or you can click on the page above (in the menu bar) entitled "As My Whimsy Takes Me".

Update: I've added a Mister Linky to the "As My Whimsy Takes Me" Challenge page to keep track of participants.  Please pop over to add your name.

You can join me in a chronological reading/re-reading of the books or just dip in and out during the year.  It's quite informal but a review of the books you read would be appreciated.

I hope to learn a lot more about Lord Peter - and to savour the wit and intelligence of Sayers' prose - by reading these novels. I look forward to sharing thoughts and opinions with you and to enjoy a crime writer who has so far elluded me.
Dorothy L. Sayers

Books (in order of publication):

1. Whose Body? (1923)
2. Clouds of Witness (1926)
3. Unnatural Death (1927)
4. Lord Peter Views the Body (1928) [Short Story Collection]
5. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928)
6. Strong Poison (1930)
7. Five Red Herrings (1931)
8. Have His Carcase (1932)
9. Hangman's Holiday (1933) [Short Story Collection incl. non-Wimsey stories]
10. Murder Must Advertise (1933)
11. The Nine Tailors (1934)
12. Gaudy Night (1935)
13. Busman's Honeymoon (1937)
14. In the Teeth of the Evidence (1939) [Short Story Collection incl. non-Wimsey stories]
15. Striding Folly (1972)

Optional (books by Jill Paton Walsh):

16. Thrones, Dominations (1998) [unfinished manuscript completed by Jill Paton Walsh]
17. A Presumption of Death (2002)
18. The Attenbury Emeralds (2010)

Ian Carmichael as Wimsey and Glyn Houston as Bunter (circa 1972)

Duke Of Denver: Armorial Bearings

Arms: sable, three mice courant argent
Crest: A domestic cat, crouched to spring, proper
Supporters: Two Saracens armed, proper
Motto: I Hold by my Whimsy or As my Whimsy Takes Me
Badge: a noose
Source for above: http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/Duke_of_Denver::sub::Armorial_Bearings

 Edward Petherbridge as Wimsey (circa 1987)


verity said...

I might have to join in with this - they're not really my cup of tea but I have been meaning to read Gaudy Night for ages!

Rochester Reader said...

Wonderful! I'd love to have you on board. Gaudy Night is set in Oxford :-)

Darlene said...

Sayers has eluded me as well! I almost never read mystery but you make her writing sound pretty intriguing...you never know!

bookmarksandteacups said...

I'm in! Now to figure out if I want to read chronologically or not... I own a few of her books but not the earliest ones. In fact, now that I look at them, I'm not even sure I've read all the ones I own. All the more reason to join in this "whimsical" journey!

FleurFisher said...

When I first read DLS I took no notice of series order, picking up whichever titles appeared in the library when golden age mysteries called. I've been thinking for a while that I should re-read in order to see the series develop, so you have me. It's going to be a long term project though. And I might just do the same with Margery Allingham...

Rochester Reader said...

Darlene: Based on the first book I read, I'd say go for it! :-)

Kristin: Splendid! Love the "whimsical journey" :-) Some long-time fans have suggested that chronological reading isn't crucial until you get Harriet Vane introduced as a character (in 'Have His Carcase'), from then on there are developments that would be spoilers if read out of order.

Jane: Happy to have you join in! I'm aiming to read in order for the same reason as you. Margery Allingham is another golden age author that I've never read but has always beckoned.

Everyone who's participating:

Would you mind popping over to the Challenge page (http://rochester-reader.blogspot.com/p/as-my-whimsy-takes-me.html) and adding your details to the Mister Linky at the bottom of the page. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to exploring the world of Wimsey with you :-)

Nymeth said...

This is much too tempting. I read the Harriet Vane novels last year and completely fell in love with them, and I've been meaning to read the rest of the books in order (so far I've only gotten to the first).

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

Hi Nymeth and welcome to my blog! Do please join in! I'm glad to hear you loved the HV novels... something else for me to look forward to :-)

Audrey said...

Hi, Christina!
Yay! Did you recognize the endpaper for Cheerful Wedding?
As I was dusting some bookshelves I saw that I had a copy (never read)of Lord Peter Views the Body. So there's at least one new DLS waiting for me!

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

Audrey: Yes! I also call the novel 'Cheerful Wedding' heehee! And those endpapers are one of my favourites. I also have the Carlyles at Home but sadly that is on another continent at the moment. Enjoy your reads!
I'm glad you've a DLS to hand... it's a pleasant surprise when you find a book you forgot about :-)

Mrs. B. said...

What a wonderful idea! I've actually only read the three books with Harriet Vane so I'm keen to read more.

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

Mrs B: I hope you and Baby Benjamin are doing well :-) I would love you to join us. I really enjoyed 'Whose Body?' and am looking forward to the rest. You made the Lord Peter/Harriet book trio sound delightful. Thank you for adding the challenge button to your blog :-)