There’s one thing that my fiancé and I differ on. Okay, probably more than one thing. Aside from being a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, my guy could have very little to do with anything remotely British. I, on the other hand, am an anglophile. I loved every minute of my two visits to England several years ago. And my love for the literature, history and culture continues even now that I don’t have the time to be obsessive about it as I was as a teen.
One of my favorites?
Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.
Seriously, these books are made of WIN. If you’re looking for intriguing mysteries with a dash of romance and wit, go no further. Stop by your local library and get your hands on a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. Set in England during the roaring twenties, the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries follow their namesake as he solves mysteries ‘just for fun.’ He’s charming and has the most hilariously dry sense of humor (yes, he was one of my many literary crushes as a teen) and is just generally awesome. Seriously, I like this detective better than Sherlock (pardon me while I duck from my fiance’s protests).
So. Where to begin with said series, you ask? Normally, I would recommend that you begin at, well, the beginning, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to give you two choices.
If you want the romance part right away, start with Strong Poison. This book introduces us and Lord Peter to the lovely mystery writer and accused-murderess Harriet Vane…and yes, you guessed it: Lord Peter sets out prove her innocence and romance blossoms. It’s a fantastic mystery and you can’t help but realize how perfect the pair is for each other, even if they can’t figure that out for themselves.
Follow Strong Poison up with the next rest of the Harriet Vane books: Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon. By the time you reach the last page of the last book, you will be hooked and ready to go back to the beginning and rediscover more Lord Peter (even if he isn’t quite the same without Harriet Vane).
If you don’t mind waiting for the romance, begin at the beginning: Whose Body You’ll have the background and back-story of most of the characters by the time you reach Strong Poison AND you’ll be saving the best for last. Win-win! (I think. I wouldn’t know. I’m the sort that likes to eat dessert first in the literary sense – I started with Strong Poison and got hooked then and there).
Now, if you pardon me, I’m going to fall into one of my old teenage habits. I’m going to brew myself a nice cup of tea, snuggle down on the couch by the radiator and get lost in a few chapters of Gaudy Night. I’ll be back with a little more Lord Peter fan love in a bit. 🙂