The Five Red Herrings

Title: The Five Red Herrings
Author: Dorothy Sayers
Pub: 1931; HarperTorch
Pages: 368
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Oh dear dear Dorothy.  I had such high expectations for you.  I was the most excited about March Mystery Madness so I could indulge in some mystery legacies...namely, Christie and Sayers.

Due to Borders going out of business, I stocked up on a handful of them.  Not knowing which one to begin with [I shortly realized afterward that there is some order, I just don't know if it's meaningful in the grande scheme of the collection?] I grabbed Five Red Herrings.

And you fellow book nerds!  I was sorta meh about the whole thing.  I mean, don't get me wrong, Lord Wimsey is freakin' hysterical.  I can see why he has a devoted following.  I totally dig some of his quips and his nonchalant attitude.  But the language really bogged me down.  Wimsey is on vacation at some small Scottish artiste town and the dialect was FRUSTRATING.  I would find myself reading some of the convos out loud just so I could figure out what was being said.  Yeah, I had no patience for that whatsoever.

Also, there were a lot of time tables...NOT like multiplication.  I could have handled that.  But the process of figuring out the mystery centered around train fares.  What time did this train come and where'd it stop and who got off and would that be enough time to get to point A and then back again to point B.  *facepalm*  I wanted to scream ENOUGH ENOUGH.  I mean, CHARTS people!  I can't keep up with these characters when I don't KNOW them.

I THINK that I might have liked this book more if I could keep up with all of the information.  Quite honestly, it made me feel a little slow trying to power through it.

I'm not going to hold this book against Ms. Sayers though.  I have a handful more of her books on my shelves that I'll eventually get through.  Does anyone have any recommendations?



    FIRST of all, this book is terrible. Hands down worst thing I've read of Sayers'. And I am a GIANT Lord Peter fan.

    Ok. The first really good one in the series is either Clouds of Witness or Unnatural Death. All of these are great (besides the latter two):

    The Unpleasantness at the Ballona Club
    Murder Must Advertise
    Strong Poison
    Have His Carcase
    Gaudy Night

    Harriet Vane first shows up in Strong Poison, and I'd advise reading the books without her first, because otherwise you'll be sad she isn't there. She's in SP, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night. Gaudy Night is mostly her, and I think it's just her in the first half or so of HHC.

    Omg Lord Peter Wimsey.

  2. I think this is the only Wimsey novel that I haven't read, and I hear it's terrible, so I'm in no hurry.

    Unlike Reading Rambo, I suggest reading the Harriet Vane books first and in order. I found that seeing Harriet and Peter together helped me like Peter more when I read the earlier books. But I think it depends on whether you're a reader who likes to know you have the best book left to look forward to or whether you like to start with the best book.

  3. * Reading Rambo - thanks SO much for the recs! Yay.

    *Teresa - OF COURSE I end up picking up the worst first. Guess I can only go up, right?! lolz

  4. I third the above. Absolutely worst possible one to start with. Peter Wimsey is great, but the thing that makes him excessively great is the very lovely Harriet Vane. Lucky lucky you when you get to Strong Poison and there will be Harriet Vane!

    (Apparently Dorothy Sayers caught a lot of flack for introducing Harriet Vane as a love interest. People didn't like her. But, dude, people were crazy back then. Harriet Vane is sick-crazy awesome.)

  5. The only one I've read was Whose Body? and I wasn't overly impressed.


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