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Gaudy Night

Lord Peter Wimsey, Book 12
Written by: Dorothy L Sayers
Narrated by: Jane McDowell
Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. The twelfth book featuring Lord Peter (the third novel to feature Harriet Vane) is set in an Oxford women's college.

Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back....

At first she thinks her worst fears have been fulfilled, as she encounters obscene graffiti, poison pen letters, and a disgusting effigy when she arrives at sedate Shrewsbury College for the Gaudy celebrations.

But soon Harriet realises she is not the only target of this murderous malice - and asks Lord Peter Wimsey to help.

©1935 The Trustees of Anthony Fleming (deceased) (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

What the critics say

"I admire her novels...she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail." (P. D. James)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful 12-hour listening experience

I already loved the book - so much beautiful language - and equally loved the listening experience. 16-and-some hours of pure pleasure. Even after all those hours I was sorry to get to the end. There is the odd occasion, especially as characters are exchanging quick comment without the writer telling you who is speaking, when the narrator appears to forget which one she's voicing. But given there are umpteen Oxford accents to manage, that didn't startle me unduly and I was able to make the transition mentally without much distraction. And who among us could be Harriet, Miss de Vine, Miss Lydgate, Dr. Baring, Miss Hillyard, Miss Martin, Miss Burrows, and on and on, without getting a bit lost from time to time in the individuals' vocal timbre? Plus the narrator has such a lovely voice herself, perfect for the setting. Five stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Akela
  • 2017-10-24

a murder of a lovely book by narration

This is such a beautiful text, full of humor, intelligence, period details and the loveliness of Oxford. And it was brutally murdered by a shrill, humorless, staccato narration. Nothing in the world could make me dislike the heroes and the book itself, but I have to say money was wasted on this production.

Jane McDowell did a very unpleasant narration: humorless, tactless and slap-dash.

As she already did all of the books, there is obviously no chance of another try in the nearest future with a different narrator. Such a pity.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Phyllis
  • 2017-01-31

Run to the end of the story

jane Sayers reads too quickly which detracts readers attention. Story is weakened significantly as a result

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • EC Williams
  • 2017-09-10

Gaudy Night

I've adored this novel for 20 years. This reading of it made me dislike Harriet and Peter.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful