90-year-old General Fentiman was definitely dead, but no one knew exactly when he had died — and the time of death was the determining factor in a half-million-pound inheritance.Lord Peter Wimsey would need every bit of his amazing skills to unravel the mysteries of why the General's lapel was without a red poppy on Armistice Day, how the club's telephone was fixed without a repairman, and, most puzzling of all, why the great man's knee swung freely when the rest of him was stiff with rigor mortis.
A young woman falls asleep on a deserted beach and wakes to discover the body of a man whose throat has been slashed from ear to ear…The young woman is the celebrated detective novelist Harriet Vane, once again drawn against her will into a murder investigation in which she herself could be a suspect. Lord Peter Wimsey is only too eager to help her clear her name. Murder brings Lord Peter and Harriet together again: when walking on a Dorset beach, Harriet discovers a corpse, the throat cut from ear to ear. Lord Peter comes to her assistance, and their inquiries lead from a distinctive razor blade to the salons of London's fashionable Jermyn Street, from a Russian émigré and professional dance-partner to a mysterious man with one shoulder higher than the other. As they investigate the trail of coded messages and secret agents, Harriet and Lord Peter's relationship becomes as tangled as the cat's-cradle of hints and clues that they are trying to unravel.
Nine teller strokes from the belfry of an ancient country church toll the death of an unknown man and call the famous Lord Peter Wimsey to one of his most brilliant cases, set in the atmosphere of a quiet parish in the strange, flat, fen-country of East Anglia
The only one of Sayers' twelve major crime novels not to feature Lord Peter Wimsey, her most famous detective character, written in collaboration with Robert Eustace. This is an epistolary novel, told primarily in the form of letters between some of the characters. This collection of documents — hence the novel's title — is explained as a dossier of evidence collected by the victim's son as part of his campaign to obtain justice for his father.
Lord Peter Wimsey could imagine the artist stepping back, the stagger, the fall, down to where the pointed rocks grinned like teeth. But was it an accident? Or murder? Six people did not regret Campbell's death… five were red herrings. Set in the unusual background of an artists' colony in Galloway, in the south of Scotland, the book is one of the best of Dorothy Sayers' murder-mystery novels which made her the leading writer in the detective fiction field.
Dorothy L. Sayers published "The Wimsey Papers" in The Spectator in 1939 and 1940, purporting to be between characters from the Wimsey novels. Aside from their interest to fans of Sayers, who would like to know more about her characters and about her views on the war, they're also interesting pieces of social history — these must be one of the last few pieces of writing where the word 'propaganda' is used in a neutral meaning, for example.