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Strong Poison [Mass Market Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Harriet Vane series Oct. 27 2013
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Personally I have always been an Agatha the Christie fan. My first encounter with Dorothy L. Sayers was the Mobile Mystery Theater series showing on PBS.

Naturally the TV media cannot fill in all the details that you would pick up from reading the book. So I read the book. This added more depth to the story, but now I appreciate Dorothy L. Sayers more than Agatha Christie. But Dorothy not only fleshes her characters out better but her side trips into philosophy and psychology make the story that much more interesting. And just when you say, "what is the relevance to this conversation?" it is wrapped up in the final solution.

This is the first of a fourth book series. The story is complete and can be used as a stand-alone story.

The notorious Harriet Vane is on trial for poisoning her previous live in lover. Naturally Lord Peter Wimsey falling in love with her, is determined that she is innocent and will prove this. To save her repartition he must fined the real culprit (if there is one), because if Harriet gets off on a technicality, she will always be under suspicion.

have his Carcase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Sayers administers the dose. Nov. 17 2003
Format:Audio Cassette
Few would argue with the contention that no better writer has ever tried her hand at writing detective fiction than Dorothy L Sayers. I happen to like good writing, and I don't mind if it features more strongly than the puzzle component in a mystery novel.
"Strong Poison" abounds in wit, charm, characterization, and literary excellence. This is the one that begins with two whole chapters of a judge's summing up. On trial is Harriet Vane, accused of killing her lover by administering arsenic. All believe she is guilty except one jury member, Miss Murchison, who prevents the jury from bringing in a "guilty" verdict, and someone attending the trial, Lord Peter Wimsey, who determines to prove Harriet's innocence and make her his wife.
Dorothy L Sayers then makes little pretence at hiding the identity of the killer. Instead she unfolds a fascinating investigation into how the crime was committed and how Lord Peter and one or two helpers collected the evidence to convict.
Neither as long nor as long-winded as some of Miss Sayers' later detective fiction, this one offers rich and pure pleasure all the way. The additional luxury of hearing it read by Ian Carmichael in audio book form is well worth investigating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... except the girl's innocent June 5 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
A lot of women want to poison their ex-boyfriends. Only a few actually do it.

But the suspicion is enough to land a woman in the dock in "Strong Poison," the first of a string of mysteries about eccentric detective Lord Peter Wimsey and his romantic interest, crime writer/murder suspect Harriet Vane. While Peter's feelings for Harriet spring up rather suddenly, this seemingly airtight mystery is a solid race against time to discover the poisoner, with few clues about who may have done the deed -- and a lot of clues about who didn't.

Lord Peter Wimsey becomes interested in the trial of Harriet Vane, a mystery writer who lived with her boyfriend until he proposed marriage (it had all been a test). Six months later, after a brief visit, her ex dropped dead of arsenic -- and all the evidence points straight at Harriet. But Peter is sure that Harriet didn't do the crime -- and he's fallen in love -- and so becomes determined to break this watertight case against her.

And so he turns his attention to suicide, since there was plenty of motive for that. But the most promising lead turns out to be the dead man's cousin, a successful lawyer whose motives and opportunity remain unknown -- as the court tells us, the only food that the deceased ate was also eaten by the suspect. But the brilliant Wimsey knows he can find the answer, before Harriet's retrial.

"Strong Poison" probably had a special signficance for Dorothy Sayers. First, it introduced her alter-ego, Harriet. Secondly, some of the events that happened to Harriet -- living with a boyfriend, the "test" -- really happened in real life, although presumably Sayers didn't come under suspicion of having murdered her ex.

The murder itself is very intriguing, if very slow-moving and roundabout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Harriet Vane series Aug. 3 2010
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Personally I have always been an Agatha the Christie fan. My first encounter with Dorothy L. Sayers was the Mobile Mystery Theater series showing on PBS.

Naturally the TV media cannot fill in all the details that you would pick up from reading the book. So I read the book. This added more depth to the story, but now I appreciate Dorothy L. Sayers more than Agatha Christie. But Dorothy not only fleshes her characters out better but her side trips into philosophy and psychology make the story that much more interesting. And just when you say "what is the relevance to this conversation?" it is wrapped up in the final solution.

This is the first of a fourth book series. The story is complete and can be used as a stand-alone story.

The notorious Harriet Vane is on trial for poisoning her previous live in lover. Naturally Lord Peter Wimsey falling in love with her, is determined that she is innocent and will prove this. To save her repartition he must fined the real culprit (if there is one), because if Harriet gets off on a technicality, she will always be under suspicion.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well doneFirst in the Harriet Vane series
Personally I have always been an Agatha the Christie fan. My first encounter with Dorothy L. Sayers was the Mobile Mystery Theater series showing on PBS. Read more
Published on July 4 2007 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Harriet Vane series
Personally I have always been an Agatha the Christie fan. My first encounter with Dorothy L. Sayers was the Mobile Mystery Theater series showing on PBS. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2006 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars More minor errors (spoiler alert)
The arsenic-eating peasants live in Styria, not Syria, and investigating spiritualists go in for psychical, not physical, research.
Published on Feb. 19 2002 by Lucy Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Carmichael IS Lord Peter Wimsey
I should admit my prejudice up front: to me the English actor Ian Carmichael IS Lord Peter Wimsey. I was introduced to Dorothy L. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2001 by Toby Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a wonderful series of romance/mysteries
Harriet Vane, an author of mysteries, is on trial for the murder of her former lover. Amateur detective and wealthy nobleman, Lord Peter Whimsey attends the trial and becomes... Read more
Published on July 28 2001 by Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read!
I really like Sayers's writing style. She lacks the intensity and tension found in some mystery writers, but she makes up for it with her classic style. Read more
Published on July 31 2000 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Harriet Vane's Debut Enchants
Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books are diverting detective fiction, set in a 20s and 30s England in which an aristocrat who is much less silly than he sometimes pretends to... Read more
Published on July 14 2000 by Robert H. Nunnally Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT POISON
My initial impression was that Sayers gave far too much information on the trial of Harriet Vane. However, the witty characters of Lord Peter Wimsey and Miss Climpson caused me to... Read more
Published on June 23 2000 by Amanda Houston
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and beautifully recorded Dorthy Sayers mystery.
Ably narrated by veteran British actor Ian Carmichael, Dorothy Sayer's dashing detective Lord Peter Wimsey is once again caught up in the murder and mystery in this superbly... Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2000 by Midwest Book Review
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