Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Review: Strong Poison

I first started reading Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey novels after reading Connie Willis's novel To Say Nothing of the Dog, which makes a lot of references to Lord Peter. I was drawn in by the promise of the relationship between Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. Of course, there are four whole novels before Harriet Vane ever appears, but I've thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and at this point I'm much more interested in Lord Peter than in his romances.

When we do meet Harriet Vane in Strong Poison, she is on trial for the murder of her former love, Philip Boyes. She's a mystery novelist, and has recently done a lot of research into arsenic for a new novel. Unfortunately for her, Philip Boyes just happens to have died of arsenic poisoning. Lord Peter, clever fellow that he is, is convinced she is innocent, and sets out to prove it (simultaneously setting out to convince her to marry him).

I found the plot a bit uneven--preoccupations from the first half of the book seemed to disappear in the latter half. I confess the book may have suffered from my manner of reading it, since I read a lot of it and then put it aside for a while. Still, there weren't really enough suspects, and I think both the investigation and the book suffered from a lack of leads. On the other hand, I found myself particularly interested in Lord Peter's character in this book. His feelings about Harriet Vane were intriguing, and they made him rather more real, though also more complicated.

So on the whole, it was satisfying, as Lord Peter novels always are.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails