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0293 | The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers


Context: The local equivalent of a bell in the village where I read this is a garamut, a wooden drum as pictured.


I’m not really one for whodunnits, mysteries or thrillers. You always find out the answer in the end and no matter how complicated it looks, everything neatly resolves itself. This predictability, for me, makes the middle of such a novel a tedious pointless exercise. You might as well read until the crime/disaster/theft/[insert edge-of-your-seat-moment of your choosing here] and then leave off and pick it up where the solution is revealed as far as I’m concerned.

I thought this would be a particularly apt approach to adopt with The Nine Tailors. Basically, read the first 3 chapters and then the last two pages and save yourself 250 pages of red herrings as you follow trails all over France, the UK and Belgium.

Lord Peter Wimsey is a bit of a sop of a character if you ask me. He doesn’t have any of the presence of Holmes or Poirot at all. He’s just a voice for the author to spoonfeed bits of the novel through. We don’t even know what h looks like for goodness sake. For someone who’s so obsessed with detail in the rest of her book, I thought Sayers had missed something basic here.

So, on the whole, I found this a bit tedious, was fed up with following the trail, and by the time I came close to the end, I didn’t really care what happened. Still, there was a twist at the end that turned the novel full circle, so I’ll give her credit for that. Otherwise, the novel’s plot and workings were too complicated for itself I thought.


"That’s torn it!" said Lord Peter Wimsey.


"I’ll wish you a good morning, gentlemen," he said, and went out.



Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement Read more about how I come up with my ratings

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