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Strong Poison
A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane
Dorothy L. Sayers

Bourbon Street Books
October 16, 2012/ ISBN 978-0062196200

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Strong Poison opens with a courtroom scene that introduces Harriet Vane, a mystery author on trial for murder. She’s become an expert on arsenic for her latest novel. Unfortunate, since her former lover died from arsenic poisoning.

Lord Peter Wimsey attends her trial and intuitively believes Harriet is being set up for murder. He asks Harriet’s solicitor to let him meet her, little suspecting that her smile would melt his heart. Wimsey become determined to clear Harriet of all charges. Along with the assistance of his efficient manservant, Bunter, and investigations by his female employees, Miss Climpson and Miss Murchison, Wimsey manages to prove Harriet’s innocence and save her reputation, but only time will prove if he can win her heart.

I first read Dorothy L. Sayers year ago and have been a big fan of her mysteries. I was delighted to learn that Strong Poison, the first in a series of four mysteries that feature Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, has been reissued. After reading this novel, I am again reminded of what a great author Dorothy Sayers was.

Wimsey is his usual, unflappable self, though now he’s found a female who is his equal, one with whom he could spend his life. But first, Wimsey must clear Harriet Vane of all suspicion regarding the charges of murder. Harriet is only a sketchy character in this book -- she is, after all, in prison -- but even so, the reader can tell she’s intelligent and represents the changing independence and role of women during the late 1920s and early 30s. The plot is a wonderful representation of the interests of the time, especially spiritualism, and of English society itself.

Strong Poison is a delightfully entertaining novel that will make you long for more.

Reviewer's Note: Follow-up novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane are Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2013