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The Nine Tailors: A Lord Peter Wimsey…

The Nine Tailors: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Lord Peter Wimsey… (edition 1959)

by Dorothy L Sayers

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2,954811,943 (4.08)2 / 310
Title:The Nine Tailors: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)
Authors:Dorothy L Sayers
Info:New English Library (1959), Edition: New Impression, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, mystery, read in 2012, given away on Bookmooch

Work details

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers (Author)



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English (79)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Sayers' best overall Lord Peter mystery. It has it all - especially some wonderfully solid personalities. She writes with a masterful craftiness. And with such charm as well. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
3.5 stars
The Nine Tailors is a mystery/detective novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsley. The plot centers on the death of a mystery man who is found buried inside a plot that belongs to another family. There are multiple parts to the mystery including identifying the deceased, a jewel theft, uncovering the murderer, and figuring out the method. The title is taken from old church tradition in small villages of announcing death by church bells (number and types of tones indicating the details – man vs. woman, child, age, etc). Tailors = bell peals, thus 9 tailors indicates death of a man.

I liked this book. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the description of the village and the villagers. There is a lot of detail and prose about bell-ringing and I felt it was much slower moving than other types of detective novels. I prefer Sherlock Holmes who seems to take a much more active role in the solving of the mystery. Lord Wimsley seemed fairly passive although ultimately he solves all parts of the mystery. Overall an entertaining read and I liked the various elements of the mystery. It was interesting to me that the location was so important in this book, almost a character in itself – this book was as much about describing the village and it’s surroundings as it was about solving a mystery.
( )
1 vote JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Very vividly done fen country setting --the power of the floods reminds me of Der Schimmelreiter --and what I understand (not being a ringer myself) is very intelligent use of the ancient English tradition of change-ringing on church bells. Spoiler warning: in a sense, this is a variant of Roger Ackroyd, since the detective turns out to have taken part in the killing (not murder)quire innocently -- though there is in a sense a guilty party --though even he tried desperately to save his victim. ( )
  antiquary | Jan 3, 2016 |
The Nine Tailors is a mystery that lodges itself somewhere between a "fair" mystery (which I tend to associate with Agatha Christie; one in which the mystery can be solved by the reader) and a Sherlock Holmesian story where the protagonist has some esoteric knowledge that the reader does not.

Here, we have a quirky English village which Lord Peter Wimsey -- my first encounter with the famous detective -- visits somewhat accidentally. The first third of the book is an exhausting introduction to bell ringing, which of course sets the stage for the rest of the book. Eventually, we finally get a body, and then the whodunnit begins. There are several twists and turns and diversions along the way, as a few of the townspeople reveal that there may be dark secrets among them. (Unfortunately, I didn't think any of the villagers, apart from the Rector, were very distinguishable from the others.)

I wasn't completely impressed with Wimsey, either. He is, at various points, a man who can converse quite intelligently about campanology and hydrology, yet he sometimes chooses t' speak in ver-nak-ler like he's one a' them common people (except for his always-present manservant a few steps behind him). I couldn't pick up any special characteristics about him, unlike, say, Hercule Poirot and his "little grey cells."

As a story, it's OK. There's one clue that is impossible to solve without some major background reading. But another clue -- perhaps the most surprising one -- seemed rather obvious to this careful reader. It does have an unusual ending, and thus has carved out a special place in the "must-read" section of the genre. (I'm not a big fan of audiobooks, but I wonder -- with all the sound effects of the bells in the book -- whether that might be a better recommendation for this story.)

LT Haiku:

The church bells have more
character than the ones
who stay to ring them. ( )
1 vote legallypuzzled | Dec 2, 2015 |
If you are interested in a book that is the epitome of the traditional English mystery this is the book for you. We have the classic characters, amateur sleuth in Lord Peter Wimsey (and his faithful butler Banter); we also have the kindly rector, his practical wife, the prophetic old guy who says impenetrable things, the faintly embarrassed aristocrat filling his pew for the sake of duty, the devout peasant couple, and so on. On New Year’s Eve, Lord Peter Wimsey and his valet Bunter have a minor car accident, stranding them in the snow-bound flats of Norfolk. Finding their way to the nearest village, Wimsey helps out at a bell ringing to call in the New Year. Months later, the same village is brought to the Lord Peter’s attention when he learns of an unidentified person who died in an unknown manner and was buried in someone else’s grave. There is also a mystery of missing jewels that Wimsey must sort out. Despite all of this—this was not the book for me—I was surprised that I actually finished the book. I found the book incredibly dull, the amount of time spent on the ins and outs of bell ringer ridiculous and the number of name changes, red herrings absolutely frustrating. By the end I couldn’t care less about the “mystery.” 1 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Nov 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayer, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergvall, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eräpuro, AnnikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Francavilla, A. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsstuvold, RuneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Næsted, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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By the Course Ends 64352
8th the Observation
Call her in the middle with a double, before, wrong and home. Repeated once.
First words
The coil of rope which is necessary to hold in the hand, before, and whilst raising a bell, always puzzles a learner; it gets into his face, and perhaps around his neck (in which case he may be hanged!). TROYTE 'On Change Ringing'

'That's torn it! said Lord Peter Wimsey.
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
When his sexton finds a corpse in the wrong grave, the rector of Fenchurch St Paul asks Lord Peter Wimsey to find out who the dead man was and how he cane to be there.
The lore of bell-ringing and a brilliantly-evoked village in the remote fens of East Anglia are the unforgettable background to a story of an old unsolved crime and its violent unravelling twenty years later.
Haiku summary
The church bells have more

character than the ones

who stay to ring them.


Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156658992, Paperback)

The Nine Tailors is Dorothy L. Sayers's finest mystery, featuring Lord Peter Whimsey, and a classic of the genre.


The nine tellerstrokes from the belfry of an ancient country church toll out the death of an unknown man and call the famous Lord Peter Whimsey to investigate the good and evil that lurks in every person. Steeped in the atmosphere of a quiet parish in the strange, flat fen-country of East Anglia, this is a tale of suspense, character, and mood by an author critics and readers rate as one of the great masters of the mystery novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When the parish church bells toll out the death of an unknown man, Lord Peter investigates the sinister affair.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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Average: (4.08)
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1.5 2
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