‘She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit’ – P. D. James
A refined author with a talent for wry mysteries spiced with quotations of verse and observations about English society, Dorothy L. Sayers created aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. Sayers also wrote plays, poetry and essays on Christianity.
There were 11 novels and 21 short stories featuring Wimsey. In Strong Poison (1930), she introduced Harriet Vane, a mystery writer whose fiancé dies in a manner described in one of her stories. Harriet is in the dock because she has an extensive knowledge of poisons. Lord Peter is determined to prove her innocence, and to make her his wife.
The husband-and-wife team appear in three subsequent novels. Gaudy Night (1935), finds Harriet torn between her love for Lord Peter and her growing satisfaction with her work.
Sayers started as an advertising copywriter and began writing mysteries to break free and become a professional writer. When she grew bored with detective fiction she turned her talents to religious plays, poems, essays and a new translation of Dante.
She died in 1957.