Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
_Five Red Herrings_, by Dorothy L. Sayers
Bar Harbor
Kinda disappointing. As it happens, kestrell and I ended up watching the mid-70s BBC TV adaptation of this before I read it. That adaptation took a lot of liberties, but ended up telling a much, much better story. It had far more characterization and humor in it. Also, a great deal more of Lord Peter himself, and of Bunter. The book spends many, many chapters on police procedural stuff without any particularly fun characters present.

This was quite a contrast, coming right after _Strong Poison_, which is *full* of character moments, humor, and even romance. Maybe Sayers was worried that she was getting too far away from the traditional core values of her genre. FRH does have an extremely intricate Fair Mystery in it. For my taste, *too* intricate. Railway timetables and maps are not (to me) obvious subjects for drama and excitement.

There are some bright moments, mostly revolving around Peter's personality: Taking a young girl for a fast ride in his car; throwing himself into a recreation of the murder -- in the role of the murderer -- with *utter* enthusiasm. But on the whole, I doubt I'll be re-reading this one. I might well re-watch the TV version, though, and I do recommend it.
Tags: ,

  • 1
In one of the collections which she edited--_Omnibus of Crime_, perhaps?--Sayers did state the rule that romance was not suitable to detectivecrime fiction, so I've always felt that part of Harriet's ambivalence toward Peter's romantic proposals was an expression of Sayers ambivalence toward the presence of romance in detective fiction on the whole.

The Five Red Herrings is the only one of the Peter Wimsey books I've never been able to finish. It bored me to tears somewhere in the third chapter, and I didn't go back.

Good to know I didn't miss a whole lot. *G*

You know, I just read this one myself, and was wondering if I was missing something, since I didn't see anything special in it. Apparently, that is the consensus for the book and not just me not getting it.

  • 1