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Strong Poison
 
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Dorothy L. Sayers
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Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey #6)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  16,699 ratings  ·  619 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.
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Published January 1st 1996 by Chivers Audio Books (first published 1930)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Manny
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
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
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
...more
Olga Godim
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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Sharon Ervin
Aug 16, 2008 Sharon Ervin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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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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
...more
Ann
Oct 21, 2008 Ann rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jane
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
...more
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
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
Happyreader
Mar 09, 2008 Happyreader rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Robin
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
...more
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
Genia Lukin
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
...more
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
...more
Dorothea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
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,
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Kilian Metcalf
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
Courtney
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
Kim
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!
Nusrah Javed
I have a long history with what I call British detective fiction, for the lack of a better word. When I was about 12 my friends and I first read Agatha Christie and ever since then each of us would go through at least two Agatha Christie's' a week, while many of my friends would attribute it to the sheer lack of collection of books in our library, I attribute it to how they kept me guessing till the end and well the obvious, the writing.
Fast forward to my first year of university, in the course
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Martha
How good is Dorothy Sayers? So good that even when you know whodunit and even more or less how (rather easy in Strong Poison) the book can still be so enjoyable. It’s a detective novel so the air of ‘mystery’ hangs about but, like previous books in the series, the pleasure comes from the characters, their snappy dialogue and what feels like an insider’s view of English society in the 1920's/1930's.

In Strong Poison, Lord Wimsey – drunk with love for the accused murderess – hands the reins to Say
...more
Emily Barnes
How have I only just discovered this? I'm an idiot, that's how. This is so good. It's hilarious and I am officially in love with Lord Peter Wimsey. I was surprised that a novel written in the 1930s could be so progressive - I've read stuff written this century that is less enlightened than this. Good plot, hilarious dialogue, wonderful hero, excellent heroine and I'm on to the next one now.
Daisy Madder
Any detective who employs a group of middle aged spinsters as his investigative corps (because who is better at insinuating themselves and getting all the local gossip) is clearly already brilliant. To then teach some of these most upright women some rather illegal tricks so they can obtain evidence for him is even better.

Also, we finally meet Harriet, who many people who've read Sayers have mentioned to me. And she's wonderful, and Wimsey's attempts to win her over walk that perfect line betwe
...more
Jill
I've heard stellar things about the Lord Peter and Harriet Vane mysteries, so I was excited to pick up Strong Poison, the novel where their romance begins as Peter seeks to clear Harriet's name in a murder trial. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, but I may continue with the Peter/Harriet stories since this book merely served as a stage-setter.

Strong Poison sort of resembles a reverse Oreo cookie of the literary variety. According to my entirely not subjective wisdom, an Oreo's white creamy mid
...more
Brandy Painter
Strong Poison is a book that is mystery, romance, philosophy and social commentary combined in a very interesting and funny story. This is the third book of Dorothy Sayers I have read and now I know why so many people claim she was a genius.

Lord Peter Wimsey is in a hurry to figure out who murdered a little known writer before the wrong person is convicted and hanged. The police are convinced he was murdered by his former lover, Harriet Vane, who is a mystery writer. When her first trial ends w
...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: Lord Peter Wimsey, younger brother of the Duke of Denver, bibliophile, and dilettante in the arts and sciences of murder, meets his One True Love, the Other Half of His Soul; where else would he do this, but in court? Too bad she's the accused in a rather sensational murder trial, in which she is accused and about to be convicted of poisoning by arsenic her Illicit Lover, now ex- after having the *temerity* to propose honorable and legal marriage to her. He was
...more
Ali

I am a big fan of what are often referred to as the “golden age of crime” novels especially those of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. Strong Poison is one I had wanted to read for some time but- though I have spotted her novels in charity shops and on book laden tables during bookcrossing meet ups – never seem to come across this particular novel. So I gave in recently and downloaded it to my kindle at a cost of 4 or 5 – I think it was worth it. Having stumped up the cash – so
...more
CailinLayne
I had to read this book in a university class, so it came as quite a surprise when I actually LIKED the book. Mystery isn't even really a huge interest of mine, however Dorothy Sayers manages to keep the reader guessing to the last page practically! Guilty? Not guilty? Guilty? Not guilty? And just when you think you've got the answer she tosses you a curve ball. At the risk of sounding naive and not very well read I will admit I had never heard of Dorothy Sayers before however I do intend on rea ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Can't find the right edition? 3 148 Jan 16, 2012 01:25PM  
  • A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #2)
  • The Shortest Way to Hades (Hilary Tamar, #2)
  • To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant, #4)
  • Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10)
  • The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3)
  • Death in the Stocks (Inspector Hannasyde, #1)
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Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) 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 herse
...more
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)
Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3) Murder Must Advertise  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10) Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12) Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)

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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.” 82 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.”
56 likes
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