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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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2,730682,158 (4.09)2 / 277
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 (66)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Synopsis: This is a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery that takes place in the fens and involves bell changing (ringing) and has nothing to do with tailors.

I’ve read three Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries now and this is my favorite. I give in 4 stars for enjoyment but this is not a favorite for many and some feel the story is too slow. The details of the bells is a little complicated and probably results in people losing interest.

What I likes: I liked learning about the bells. I liked that the author seemed very knowledgeable about the subject of bell ringing. The story is set in the time period between the wars and mentions the influenza outbreak that did kill a lot of people. It touches on an environmental topic of what happens when man decides to change the course of nature. (draining the fen). The bells were used to announce a death. In these small communities people would no by the telling; thus the name “teller Paul” Paul being the largest (tenor) dedicated to St. Paul, and tailor being the dialect for teller.

The mystery and death is original. I am sure that is the reason that this was included in the 1001 books. It did win the Rusty Dagger award for best crime novel of the 1930s, British Crime Writers Association, 1999.

I also sometimes like a book because I like details about the author. Dorothy Sayer was the daughter of a Rector and grew up on the Fens at Blutisham. She was famous for being a playwright, writing Christian essay and she is mostly known for her status as one of the women mystery writers of the Golden Age. She started to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy and she considered it her best work but died before completion. ( )
1 vote Kristelh | May 22, 2014 |
Enjoyable Lord Peter Wimsey mystery with a bell-ringing theme. Recommended to any fans of Dorothy L. Sayers's works. ( )
  cazfrancis | Mar 11, 2014 |
A good old-fashioned murder mystery in a small parish in East Anglia in the early nineteen hundreds. The language of the book was a big plus for me, certainly very well-written, witty, and often comical. (uhm, that, on the other hand, was not very well-written...) The only reason I cannot give this mystery of bells a good 5 stars is indeed the bells themselves. I used to have this problem with many books when I was younger, too, for example reading Agatha Cristie or Hemingway, I would always have to skip the "descriptive" parts of the narrative, parts describing a house, church, village, or a complicated action done by one person or several people. In the case of this book, it is the bells and how one rings them alone and more importantly in unison with others. I got to learn terms like change-ringing and belfry and peal and Treble Bob and Grandshire Triples, but I still have no image in my head of how this all would work from the lengthy descriptions in the book. I skipped most of the lengthy ones, because they got my head a-turnin'! There is, of course, a part of the mystery that centers around the change-ringing of bells, so that "clue" I had to just let go of, instead of trying to understand it. So if you are like me, get lost easily when someone says "Just make the first left and then a right and it's on the south side of the street." then you may want to ease up on the change-ringing parts. Other than that, really, the book was a pleasure to read. ( )
  bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
I am not much of a mystery book fan, although I've grown to appreciate them more as I age.

Recently I reread "The Nine Tailors", a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery written by Dorothy Sayers. I first read this book in the mid 1970s, after seeing Ian Carmichael portray Wimsey in several BBC productions. It has held up well in the 40 years since.

LPW finds himself stranded on New Year's Eve in a small community located in "the fens" of eastern England. After his car is repaired he drives off, not knowing that a man has been killed during the night. It's only when the body is discovered in the wrong grave that Wimsey is sent for, to assist in finding out who the victim was, who killed him, and, believe it or not...HOW he was killed. Interwoven with a good "whodunit" is information about change ringing, a form of bell ringing that is based upon mathematics!

Never boring, there are lots of interesting turns and twists in this mystery, and humor as well. Recommended. ( )
  fuzzi | Nov 18, 2013 |
Six-word review:

Lord Peter plumbs rustic deep waters. ( )
  Meredy | Nov 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (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.
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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

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:36 -0400)

(see all 4 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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