Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Strong Poison” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Strong Poison
Dorothy L. Sayers
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey #6)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  19,251 Ratings  ·  779 Reviews
The Crown's case was watertight. The police were adamant that the right person was on trial. Harriet Vane was guilty. But the jury - and Lord Peter Wimsey - disagreed.
Published January 1st 1996 by Chivers Audio Books (first published 1930)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Strong Poison, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Strong Poison

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Jason Koivu
Apr 06, 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
Jul 02, 2015 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.

mark monday
Jun 16, 2011 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
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
Apr 29, 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
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.
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
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
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
Olga Godim
Aug 18, 2015 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
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
Oct 21, 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
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
Apr 30, 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
May 09, 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
Lynn Spencer
Oct 13, 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
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
Mar 09, 2008 Happyreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Happyreader by: Celia Pastoriza
Shelves: fiction, classics
Very 1930s British. Droll and eccentric. Loved Lord Wimsey and loved Miss Climpson and Miss Murchison. Harriet Vane only gets to be witty and uncompromising while awaiting her fate but I assume she gets promoted to a more active role in the subsequent two books. Carolyn Heilbrun talks about how unattractive Dorothy Sayers was which makes the harsh physical descriptions of the women in the "Cattery" seem cruel. Then you realize that the women may be physically unattractive but they're highly inte ...more
Feb 25, 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!
Nov 30, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If there are any contemporary writers of mysteries as talented, consistent, and stylistically astute as Dorothy Sayers, would someone please point them out to me? While the mystery is well-plotted and full of devious accessory detectives, the main draw here is the rich prose.

Sayers has a profound talent for absorbing the reader into the story. This passage, thick-packed with evocations of heat and choked with unnecessary commas, makes the reader feel she is squeezing her way into this chaotic bo
Oct 12, 2014 Yamini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Go sit over there, Hercule Poirot. Way over there, in that lonely, dark, dusty corner. That’s right, sit your butt down there and stay there!

Although not on the same level of super-intelligence as Sherlock Holmes, Peter Wimsey certainly replaces Hercule Poirot as a more charming, more witty, and a more compassionate detective. The first thing that immediately charmed me was that, unlike Poirot, who takes to helping people when he is asked and even then he always has “rules” that people should st
Genia Lukin
Apr 11, 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
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
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.
Jill Tool
At first I didn't think that I would like this book at all. The first two or three chapters dealt with a trial, and I mean THE trial. It was long and very boring. Once I got past that part, the book started to pick up. Harriet Vane is on trial for the murder of her ex boyfriend/fiancee. The Crown can't really pin the murder on her because all they have is that she was ironically writing a book where the character was poisoned to death. Which is how her ex dies and this is mentioned in the first ...more
Dec 24, 2011 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, audio
Strong Poison! I've been waiting for this one -- as I realise I did for the novel when I was reading them rather than listening to the radioplays. I was a little anxious about how well cast Harriet Vane would be, but she was perfect -- I really shouldn't have worried, the BBC always seem to do themselves proud. I've only ever quibbled with Aragorn and Denethor, in their adaptation of Lord of the Rings, and I got used to the former.

I love this book. It has so much of Parker and a little of Mary,
Kilian Metcalf
Sep 05, 2013 Kilian Metcalf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've lost count of how many times I've read and reread Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey novels, and every time I find something new. I suppose it's because I change over time, I have another layer of knowledge and experience to understand the depth of feeling that lies underneath Lord Peter's piffle. He is truly suffering because he is helpless to take action directly to save the woman he loves from the danger hanging over her head. Instead he must wait passively while others act, albeit under his dire ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wimsey is fantastic because he's the perfect combination of Bertie Wooster and the Scarlet Pimpernel. The only drawback was I was reading a library copy and therefore I couldn't highlight the many different quotable and funny lines. Oh, and as it was a book club book I read it out of order which bothered me because I missed getting to know the characters but I did appreciate that instead of a recap we're just plopped right into their lives. While the mystery wasn't that difficult of one, the jou ...more
Jeanette Grant-Thomson
An ingenious plot with enjoyable characters. The main characters, Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, may seem sketchily drawn, but over the following three novels they and their relationship develop very satisfactorily. The books give much more than the average detective novel from that era. I'd read it before but enjoyed it again.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
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)
  • Miss Pym Disposes
  • Death in the Stocks (Inspector Hannasyde, #1)
  • Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery #6)
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
More about Dorothy L. Sayers...

Other Books in the Series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #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)

Share This Book

“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.” 87 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.”
More quotes…