“I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking.”
Welcome to one fan’s attempt to understand the references — literary, historical and otherwise — in the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery stories by Dorothy L. Sayers.
This is a work-in-progress, so it is incomplete. Questions, suggestions and corrections are always welcome. Shoot me an e-mail about it.
Readers desiring more information should hunt up "The Lord Peter Wimsey Companion." The second edition of this long out-of-print rare book was published in January 2003 by the Dorothy L. Sayers Society and is out of print, so it may be difficult to find. UPDATE: The group that published the book, the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, has put the companion online. It is restricted to members only, however. For more information, visit the society’s web page.
NOW OUT ON DVD: I’m happy to report that the Ian Carmichael versions of the “Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries” are now available on DVD! If you wish to support this site, please click on the links to Amazon and I’ll get a cut: The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set 1 and The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set 2.
A NEW LORD PETER MYSTERY: Jill Paton Walsh, who wrote the two sequels to the series, “Thrones, Dominations” and “A Presumption of Death,” is returning to the well. “The Attenbury Emeralds” will cover Lord Peter’s first case, the one that got him into the sleuthing business. With the peculiar logic of the publishing industry, it will appear in England in September 2010, and in the U.S. in 2011.
THE WIMSEY LETTERS: Some good person has put up the test of the “Wimsey Letters,” written by Sayers for The Spectator newspaper in 1940. These letters from members of the Wimsey family became the basis for the Walsh novel “A Presumption of Death.”
Whose Body? (1923)
Clouds of Witness (1926)
Unnatural Death (aka The Dawson Pedigree) (1927) (part one only)
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928)
Strong Poison (1930)
The Documents in the Case * (1930)
The Five Red Herrings (aka Suspicious Characters) (1931)
Have His Carcase (1932)
Murder Must Advertise (1933)
The Nine Tailors (1934)
Gaudy Night (1935)
Busman’s Honeymoon (1937)
Thrones, Dominations (by Dorothy L. Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh) (1998)
A Presumption of Death (by Jill Paton Walsh and Dorothy L. Sayers) (2002)
Links marked with a (*) will take you to Dan Drake’s Wimsey Web site.
The Short Stories
The Abominable History of the Man With the Copper Fingers *
The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question
The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager’s Will
The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag
The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker
The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention
The Vindictive Story of the Footsteps That Ran *
The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste
The Learned Adventure of the Dragon’s Head
The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach
The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with No Face
The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba
The Image in the Mirror
The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey
The Queen’s Square
The Necklace of Pearls
In the Teeth of the Evidence
The Haunted Policeman