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Strong Poison (1930)

by Dorothy L. Sayers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane (1), Lord Peter Wimsey (6)

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4,0941012,356 (4.06)367
Dashing detective Lord Peter Wimsey is caught up in the murder trial of mystery writer Harriet Vane. Her fiance has died of poisoning exactly as described in one of Harriet's novels -- so naturally she is the prime suspect. As Peter looks on, he not only falls in love with the accused but eagerly helps with Harriet's defense when the first trial ends in a hung jury. Will she be convicted and executed for the crime, or can he save her life and win her hand in marriage?… (more)
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» See also 367 mentions

English (97)  Danish (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
At last, Harriet Vane! Rereading these after a long hiatus, this time as an audio book. Really enjoy the reading, the story, and, as Harriet would say, the piffle.

It is sometimes hard to read cringey behavior that was considered perfectly reasonable in the past, and there were a couple of moments like that for me in this one -- particularly Whimsey deciding to woo a woman who is literally imprisoned and incapable of telling him to piss off. However, I appreciate that Harriet has the strength of character to do just that, and at least Peter committed to finding evidence to free her, regardless of her returned interest. Eh, I was going to say, so it all works out in the end, but honestly, "you're imprisoned for murder, but let me tell you all about myself because I fell in love with you while watching you stand trial" is totally unacceptable behavior. Bad show, Whimsey, but thanks for the entertaining rest of the book. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers shows a well written mystery story. Ms. Sayers explicitly displays the steps in catching the killer. The dialogue leaves nothing implied, every action presents itself. Sometimes, I feel that the detail boggles down the flow of the story. We learn about all types of poison and how they are used. We learn of typewriters and solicitors. Lord Peter Wimsey must have a huge purse for all the people he helps. Lord Peter reminds one of Hercule Poirot, but Lord Peter has a multitude of friends to aid in his investigations, as Poirot works alone. ( )
  delphimo | Mar 28, 2022 |
An average whodunnit read, craftily put together. I enjoyed reading conversations written in what was the “slang of the decade” from the 30's. I can see why these mysteries were so popular back then. I kept imagining this being played out in a black and white movie from the time. ( )
  swbesecker | Feb 28, 2022 |
I’ve read Sayer’s books before and am revisiting them and finding them just a enjoyable as the first read.

This is the first in the Peter Wimsey series. I confess the beginning is a bit dry. It takes place in a court room. The judge is presenting a summation for the jury. (He’s the dry part.) The charge is murder by arsenic poisoning. Harriet Vane is the accused. Peter Wimsey and his mother, the Dowager Duchess, are in the audience. Wimsey has an intense interest in the case. He is convinced Vane didn’t do it. When the jury comes back without being able to make a decision, Wimsey gets his chance to investigate to prove her innocence.

He as assisted the police in the past and been successful. For him it is a hobby, but when he takes on a case, he is completely focused. An added focus in this case is he is also determined to make Vane his wife.

Through dogged determinedness and assistance of the “Cattery,” Wimsey is able to find the who and how of the murder. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Feb 23, 2022 |
Miss Climpson is a joy, I'd read a whole book about her.

I'm liking Harriet Vane so far, but am having trouble wrapping my head around Lord Peter having a female love interest. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayer, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bleck, CathieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristiannaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehtonen, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martens, Hilda MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michal,MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"Where got ye your dinner, Lord Rendal, my son?
Where got ye your dinner, my handsome young man?"
"--O I dined with my sweetheart, Mother make my bed soon,
For I'm sick to the heart and I fain wad lie down."

"Oh, that was strong poison, Lord Rendal, my son,
O that was strong poison, my handsome young man,"
"--O yes, I am poisoned, Mother; make my bed soon,
For I'm sick to the heart, and I fain wad lie down."
-- OLD BALLAD
Dedication
First words
There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
Quotations
"I often wonder what we go to school for," said Wimsey. "We never seem to learn anything really useful...."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Dashing detective Lord Peter Wimsey is caught up in the murder trial of mystery writer Harriet Vane. Her fiance has died of poisoning exactly as described in one of Harriet's novels -- so naturally she is the prime suspect. As Peter looks on, he not only falls in love with the accused but eagerly helps with Harriet's defense when the first trial ends in a hung jury. Will she be convicted and executed for the crime, or can he save her life and win her hand in marriage?

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Third printing, 2006
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