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Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey #6)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  20,198 Ratings  ·  870 Reviews
Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her fiancee died in the manner prescribed in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangman's noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent—as determined as he was to make her his wife.
Paperback, Perennial Library P908; Alternate cover edition of 0-06-080908-6, 228 pages
Published 1987 by Perennial Library (first published 1930)
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(showing 1-30)
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Madeline
I'm sorry, Hercule Poirot. There's a new literary detective in my life, and while I will always cherish your silly Belgian antics, Lord Peter Wimsey just understands my needs better - he makes me laugh so much more than you do, and he has that sincerity that you lack.

Now don't cry, Hercule. It's not your fault; the fact is that Lord Peter is just...well, truth be told he's a better man than you. You take cases more out of boredom, and also because the police tend to beg for your help. Lord Pete
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Manny
Nov 14, 2014 Manny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1847, the average woman who read novels apparently wanted Mr Rochester. In 1930, she wanted Lord Peter Wimsey. And in 2015, she wants Christian Grey.

This is called progress.

Jason Koivu
Apr 01, 2016 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, crime
I was reading this, feeling a whole lotta deja vu and just wondering which came first, Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series or PG Wodehouse's Wooster/Jeeves series, when out of the blue one of Sayers' characters name-drops Jeeves!

For me and the sort of reading I enjoy, this hit the spot! It was like reading a murder mystery penned by Wodehouse. And if you're been reading my reviews, you know he's one of my favorite authors. There's something very Wooster-like about the foppish Wimsey. The st
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mark monday
Nov 24, 2010 mark monday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
introducing harriet vane! she's a loveable heroine and lord peter wimsey practically becomes a walking boner as soon as she arrives on the scene. dorothy sayers is one of the most elegant of writers and her super-detective peter wimsey is one of literature's most elegant creations. he's a semi-tragic war hero, he's brave & strong & fast & loyal, he's kind to service staff, he's a defender of the innocent...and all his heroic attributes would grow quickly obnoxious except that sayers ...more
Nikki
Apr 28, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, mystery, crime
You would think that having read Strong Poison once, listened to the Ian Carmichael audiobook, and watched the Edward Petherbridge tv adaptation twice, I wouldn't be still at the point of giggling every few pages or staying up all night to finish it. You'd definitely be wrong.

It's so good coming back to these characters and learning more about them, and having the fondness about them, and not having my mind occupied with trying to figure out the mystery. Miss Murchison! Miss Climpson! Bunter! Pa
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Susan
Published in 1930, this is the sixth book to feature Lord Peter Wimsey and the first to feature Harriet Vane. When we are introduced to Harriet, she is a prisoner in the dock; on trial for killing her lover, Philip Boyes. Lord Peter is convinced of her innocence and instantly smitten. However, the case against her looks pretty convincing at first glance. Miss Vane had left Mr Boyes, after an attempt at ‘free love’ had fallen apart. A writer of detective fiction, Harriet had been investigating de ...more
Lotte
I listened to this on audiobook and completely forgot to add it to my Goodreads challenge. Dorothy L. Sayers is now officially my no. 1 Agatha Christie substitute. If you like Agatha Christie, I can only recommend checking out one of the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries! They have a very similar feel to them and they're always very satirical and funny.
Kelly
This review originally appeared on my blog, Shoulda Coulda Woulda Books.

Dorothy Sayers has been a popular mystery writer for at least eighty years. She was writing books in the twenties and thirties and they, despite the competition of Agatha Christie and everyone else writing similarly mannered mystery puzzles and polite comedies of manners (which category her books also fall into), have lasted until now, which means they've come through at least three generations of fans. And it isn't hard to
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Oct 15, 2016 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5

So far the only Wimsey book I didn't like was Unnatural Death and that's because there was no Wimsey. He appears in a couple of scenes but the majority of the book is a woman he hired to investigate for him. Well, that was one of the main reasons.

The reason I mention Unnatural death is that here too Miss Climpson is sent to investigate something but in Strong Poison it wasn't too much and she actually does interesting things trying to find the item she came for. She isn't just talking to peo
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BrokenTune
Mar 05, 2017 BrokenTune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5*
Olga Godim
Jan 28, 2012 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, favorites
This was a very good book. In it, Peter Wimsey first meets the love of his life, Harriet Vane, a writer of mystery novels. She is accused of murdering her former lover with arsenic, and Peter sets out to prove she didn’t commit the murder. His clock is ticking too – he has only one month to collect his evidence and find the real killer before the woman he loves is convicted and hanged.
The plot is fairly simple, but the characters are what makes the story shine, especially Peter. I’ve been re-rea
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Tijana
Jednom je neko objašnjavao Edmundu Vilsonu kako je Doroti Sejers ozbiljan pisac a ne samo autorka krimića, i Vilson (koji se u slobodno vreme družio s Nabokovom dok nije krenuo da kritikuje Nabokovljeve prevode s ruskog) sedne i uzme da čita i naravno strašno se razočara i tom razočaranju da oduška preko novina.
...
Jasno je na čemu se zasnivaju argumenti i jedne i druge strane - Sejersova ima velike ambicije (pogledati kako iskusno i vešto gradi uvodnu scenu u Strong Poison) ali, s druge strane,
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I enjoy every Lord Peter Wimsey novel more than the last! With each book we learn a little more about Lord Peter and his personality blooms. He is not so much the 'buffoon' in this book, and we see another side to him - stricken with love.

In Strong Poison Harriet Vane, a novelist, is on trial for the murder by arsenic of her lover, also a novelist. Lord Peter's man Bunter, his friend Charles Parker, and Miss Climpson who runs his typing agency (a.k.a. 'The Cattery' a front for other things revea
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Sharon Ervin
Aug 16, 2008 Sharon Ervin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All readers--men and women
Recommended to Sharon by: Michael Seidman
Sayers wrote many novels. Four feature Lord Peter Wimsey and love interest Harriet Vane. Those are my favorites: STRONG POISON, HAVE HIS CARCASE, GAUDY NIGHT and BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON.

There is something about Sayers' writing that conveys images, humor, characters, etc., from her brain to mine. GAUDY NIGHT actually is my all-time favorite book. I've recommended it to avid reader friends, many of whom could "not get into it."

Her murderers, motives and methods delight me. She simply writes marvelous
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Brenda H
Feb 26, 2017 Brenda H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers is the fifth featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, a nobleman and an amateur detective.

The story takes place in 1930 London. Mystery author Harriet Vane is on trial for the murder of her lover, Philip Boyes. The trial ends with a hung jury and is scheduled to be heard again in a month. Following the trial, Lord Peter visits Harriet in prison and declares his belief in her innocence and promises to catch the real murderer. He also announces his intention to marry her - w
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Nikki
Oct 30, 2016 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I can’t find the name of the person who voiced Harriet, and my Audible file doesn’t seem to include that intro. Blast. Still, Strong Poison is mostly not about Harriet, and she appears comparatively little — really, it’s about Lord Peter getting to be a knight in shining armour, and he really starts escalating toward sainthood in his actions here, how he comes to save her and doesn’t push and so on. If you look at it with a cynical eye, it’s all rather obvious lionising of the c ...more
Ann
Sep 12, 2008 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Peter Wimsey fans
I think I would have liked this book better if I didn't already know Lord Peter Wimsey from "Clouds of Witness"—meaning, I love Peter so much, that I was disappointed he wasn't in "Strong Poison" more. I adored all the chapters with him in "Strong Poison" but they seemed few and far between, so as interesting and all as the other characters were, I was never as wholly invested because I wanted to get back to Peter and the other beloved characters from past novels. For me, the book felt a little ...more
Nancy
sayers books are like macaroni and cheese to me: comfort food that i've had before and go back to when i'm tired and don't want to make the effort of reading something new.
this is the one where he saves Harriet Vane from a murder charge.
favorite quote:
Wimsey is getting older. Someone has asked him "not to alter himself."
"The first time the request had exalted him; this time, it terrified him. ... he felt for the first time the dull and angry helplessness which is the first warning stroke of the
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Beth Bonini
Mar 03, 2017 Beth Bonini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was natural that the conversation should turn to the subject of murder. Nothing goes so well with a hot fire and buttered crumpets as a wet day without and a good dose of comfortable horrors within. The heavier the lashing of the rain and the ghastlier the details, the better the flavour seems to be. On the present occasion, all the ingredients of an enjoyable party were present in full force."

I'm not a huge fan of detective novels - honestly, I find them a bit tiresome - but when a close fr
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Beth
May 14, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I packed this for vacation to force my friend to read this. (She did. Really liked it, too, and now is raving about Gaudy Night.) And of course I had to reread it as well!

You all know I love Sayers, especially the Harriet books. This one isn't perfect; I think it's too long, for one, and it feels like the middle section contains some extraneous details - but it's a fabulous introduction because Harriet is such a well-drawn, compelling character. Peter's fatuous, casual front bumps up against her
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Kathryn
Annie-and-Katie Book Club selection! We had been looking forward to spending more time with Lord Peter, but alas he was not ever-present, and barely sometimes-present. This was a very confused sort of book--the first several chapters were quite dry, all courtroom stuff, blah-blah about the case against Harriet Vane. Then, the midsection of Lord Peter believing her innocence and trying to prove it--yet he employs several other people to do so and we end up hearing all about one of the lady's trip ...more
Jane
May 07, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: my bookshelf.

Lord Peter Wimsey's latest case has high stakes. He's fallen in love with the accused, novelist Harriet Vane, and has one month to save her from hanging for the death of her former lover, Philip Boyes. Boyes was poisoned with arsenic, the method Harriet used in her latest novel; and who else would want to kill a young man of dubious talent and no wealth?

As my bookfriends have reminded me, Sayers used this novel to work out some of her own relationship issues wi
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Damaskcat
Apr 03, 2016 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book which introduces Harriet Vane into Peter Wimsey's life and heart. He goes to watch her trial and is convinced she is innocent of poisoning her lover. Fortunately Miss Climpson - a strong minded spinster of a certain age and a business associate of Peter Wimsey's - is on the jury and is sure Harriet is innocent. This is in the days before a majority verdict was acceptable. The jury's inability to make a decision forces a retrial and gives Wimsey time to set to work to try and pro ...more
Lynn Spencer
Sep 24, 2015 Lynn Spencer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Somehow I'd read and reread Gaudy Night many times, but never managed to get around to the earlier Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane books. This book introduces the two to one another and while not as strong as Gaudy Night, it's still a worthy read.

In this novel, Harriet Vane stands accused of murdering her former live-in lover and Wimsey is both instantly convinced of her innocence and totally smitten with her. He insists upon working to prove her not guilty, and the caper is on.

This book has an
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Andree
Nov 21, 2016 Andree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2016
Skipping over The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club because I have reread it fairly recently (i.e. about a year ago), and it's not one of my favourites. Besides, I think after the Gaudy Night reread/Busman's Honeymoon read, what I really wanted to do is read the Harriet books. This is helped by the fact that I apparently don't own the short story compilations (worth reading?).

This one is really quite solid. And I was pleased to notice that Peter's original proposal was much less creepy than I r
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Anna
If you don't get what the fuss over Sayers' "'tec" books is, this just might be the one to illuminate you. Crackling dialogue, sweltering art parties, seances, spinsters ... Sayers really outdoes herself. I've been trying to read the Lord Peter books in more or less chronological order -- so can't speak for what came after this one -- but so far it's been far and away the best of the bunch. A rip-roaring entertainer that had me laughing aloud with such glee those in earshot would ask for explana ...more
Kim
Feb 24, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I have long loved the novels of Dorothy L Sayers, in particular those featuring Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I haven't re-read them for a while, though. So discovering them on audiobook has been very exciting. I have just finished listening to the audiobook of Strong Poison, which was wonderful, and will be starting on Have His Carcase soon. I had forgotten how much humour there is in Strong Poison, and it's not just Lord Peter's wit. Ms Climpson's and Ms Murchison's investigations are a hoot!
Valerie
I really don't want to read this book next. It's not that I don't want to read it. It's that I really want to read the books that don't include Harriet Vane (not including Murder Must Advertise, in which she's dismissed in one line, but she is mentioned) out of the way first. But having made a decision to go in order of copyright date, I've got to violate what seems to me to be logical chronology.

I first read Sayers' works in my teens, in a come-by-chance order. Literally: I'd go to the library
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Dorothea
Mar 19, 2012 Dorothea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Genia Lukin
Mar 30, 2011 Genia Lukin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fifth Peter Wimsey book, and the first one with Harriet vane in it.

Also, by happenstance, the first one I am writing a review of.

Coincidence? Not quite.

Despite the fact that this is the series' first love-tension filled book, this is not the first book where Sayers branches out of the normal mystery detective framework to occupy a somewhat broader niche. She began doing that much earlier, in Clouds of Witness, and certainly did so in the previous installment: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona
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Goodreads Librari...: Can't find the right edition? 3 149 Jan 16, 2012 01:25PM  
  • A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #2)
  • The Sirens Sang of Murder (Hilary Tamar, #3)
  • Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11)
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  • Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery #6)
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Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante's Divina Co
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More about Dorothy L. Sayers...

Other Books in the Series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey, #4)
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
  • Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7)
  • Have His Carcase  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #8)
  • Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries (Lord Peter Wimsey, #9)
  • Murder Must Advertise  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10)
  • The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey, #11)

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“Nothing goes so well with a hot fire and buttered crumpets as a wet day without and a good dose of comfortable horrors within. The heavier the lashing of the rain and the ghastlier the details, the better the flavour seems to be.” 88 likes
“Do you know how to pick a lock?"
"Not in the least, I'm afraid."
"I often wonder what we go to school for," said Wimsey.”
73 likes
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