The Nine Tailors

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1962 - Fiction - 331 pages
49 Reviews

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.


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User Review  - jennannej - LibraryThing

An excellent mystery. This is the second Dorothy Sayers I've read. I really enjoy her mysteries. Satisfyingly complicated and tricky. Except for the whole "change ringing" theme. I was completely lost any time they were talking about it. But you'll never guess "who dun it." Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

I'm not original in calling this a masterpiece of the genre. Sayers' mysteries seem to bring in so many moral questions, the value of loyalty, community etc. This is certainly a gripping murder mystery but also gives much further food for thought. Read full review


the bells in their
A Full Peal of Grandsire Triples
lord peter is called into
lord peter is taken from lead
lord peter dodges with
tailor paul is called before
monsieur rozier hunts
plain hunting
lord peter is called wrong
A Short Touch of Stedmans Triples
nobby goes in slow
the slow work
the dodging
the waters are called out
the waters are called home
the bells are rung down

lord peter follows
emily turns bunter from

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About the author (1962)

Dorothy Sayers's impressive reputation as a contemporary master of the classic detective story is eclipsed only by Agatha Christie's. Sayers was born in Oxford and attended Somerville College, where she received a B.A. in 1915 and an M.A. in 1920. During that period, Sayers worked as an instructor of modern languages at Hull High School for Girls in Yorkshire and as a reader for a publisher in Oxford. Her early literary work was in poetry; she published several volumes and served as an editor for the journal Oxford Poetry from 1917 to 1919. Sayers also worked as a copywriter for a major advertising firm in London. She was president of the Modern Language Association from 1939 to 1945 and of the Detection Club in the 1950s. Around 1920 Sayers developed the idea for her detective hero Lord Peter Wimsey, and she soon published her first mystery, Whose Body? (1923), in which Lord Peter is introduced. For the next dozen or so years, Sayers wrote prolifically about Wimsey, creating in the process what many critics of the genre consider to be the finest detective novels in the English language. Perhaps her most famous Wimsey mystery was The Nine Tailors (1934). Although Sayers essentially followed the classic form in her detective fiction---a formula in which the plot assumes a greater importance than do the characters---Sayers maintained that a detective hero's greatness depended on how effectively the character was portrayed. All but one of Sayers's mysteries feature Lord Peter Wimsey. By the late 1930s, Sayers had apparently tired of writing detective fiction. She stated in 1947 that she would write no more mysteries, that she wrote detective fiction only when she was young and in need of money. Thus saying, Sayers turned her attention to her early loves, medieval and religious literature, spending her remaining years lecturing on and translating Dante (see Vol. 2).

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