Dorothy Sayers – Where to Start with her Mystery Novels?

May 10, 2013


Like mystery novels?  Have you read the mysteries of Dorothy Sayers?

Dorothy Sayers is a writer often associated with C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, who wrote many books for Christian audiences. She considered her best work to be her translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

We recently posed the question of where to start with her mystery novels to David Neuhouser, who is Scholar in Residence at Taylor University’s Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis and Friends (and Professor Emeritus at TU). Neuhouser has taught courses on Sayers, Lewis, Wendell Berry and perhaps his favorite, George Macdonald.


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[easyazon-link asin=”0062196537″ locale=”us”]Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane[/easyazon-link]

Read this one next, which is my favorite of Sayers’s mysteries…
The dons of Harriet Vane’s alma mater, the all-female Shrewsbury College (a thinly veiled take on Sayers’ own Somerville College), have invited her back to attend the much anticipated annual ‘Gaudy’ celebrations. However, the mood turns sour when a lunatic begins a series of malicious pranks including poison-pen messages, obscene graffiti, the destruction of a set of proofs and crafting vile effigies. Desperate to avoid a possible murder in college, Harriet asks her old friend Wimsey to investigate.  (


4 responses to Dorothy Sayers – Where to Start with her Mystery Novels?

  1. Thanks for this!!! I’ve read the first two and will definitely finish with the others!

  2. I adore these books. Good piece.

  3. Regrettably, this list omits “Nine Tailors” — the most haunting and possibly the most accomplished of the Wimsey novels.

    • I agree. If you could only read one Wimsey novel I would recommend Nine Tailors. I’d also put Murder must Advertise before most of these.