I still say that Strong Poison should have made the list, but the good people at The List Inc.
haven't ever listened to my suggestions and certainly aren't going to start now.
That being said, The Nine Tailors is still a delightful addition to Lord Peter Wimsey's collection of exploits.
The thing I love about Dorothy Sayers, and the reason I now like her more than Agatha Christie, is because I always learn something from her novels.
In this book, the lesson of the day is the art of bellringing.
(in fact the title doesn't refer to literal tailors at all; "nine tailors" are the nine bell strokes rung to announce a death) If you think bellringing is a simple act, you will find out exactly how wrong you are by the third chapter.
If you acknowledge that bellringing is probably more interesting than it sounds, you will still learn what an understatement that is.
It needs to be admitted here that, having finished the book, I still don't really understand all the bellringer shoptalk that goes on in the novel.
The problem is that Lord Peter is actually a practiced bellringer already (because there is nothing Lord Peter cannot do), so there's never a need for any of the characters to really explain things.
So conversations about bellringing go more like, "Okay, we're going to do this this and this, got that?" "Of course I do, and are we going to whatsit the thingamabob with the whangdoodle?" and I'm sitting there reading all of this and feeling like I missed something important.
But luckily, a deep understanding of bells isn't vital to understanding the greater mysterywhich is awesome, by the way, and involves stolen emeralds.
Also this is the first Sayers mystery I've read where the murder occurs after the book starts, which was cool.
Tolltolltoll; and a pause; tolltolltoll; and a pause; tolltolltoll; the nine tailors, or tellerstrokes, that mark the passing of a man.
The year is dead; toll him out with twelve strokes more, one for every passing month.
Then, from the faint, sweet tubular chimes of the clock overhead, the four quarters and the twelve strokes of midnight.
The ringers grasped their ropes.
The Bells! The Bells! Esmeraldaaaaaa!.
Okay, okay, wrong book.
Well, at least the Esmeralda part.
Lord Peter is such a handy bloke to have around.
Not only can he solve mysteries like it's nobody's business, he's also a seasoned change ringer.
So, when his car breaks down on New Year's Eve and he and Bunter are taken in at the vicarage in Fenchurch St.
Paul, he helps his host out by joining a ninehourlong bell ringing service.
‘Not in the least, Mrs Venables.
Nothing would please me more than to ring bells all day and all night.
I am not tired at all.
I really don’t need rest.
I would far rather ring bells.
The only thing that worries me is whether I shall be able to get through the peal without making stupid mistakes.
What the congregation does not know when they ring in the new year, is that at the same time, a man died mysteriously in their midst.
‘A corpse? Well, of course there’s a corpse.
Lady Thorpe is buried there.
You buried her yourself.
‘Yes, sir, but this here corpus ain’t Lady Thorpe’s corpus.
It’s a man’s corpus, that’s what it is, and it du seem as though it didn’t have no right to be there.
So I says to Dick—’
‘A man’s corpse! What do you mean? Is it in a coffin?’
This was a great story.
Not only did the mystery prove to be more than a straightforward whodunnit, there were also a few more insights into Lord Peter's and other characters war time experiences.
Sayers really made sure that her postwar settings did not deny the scars and damage that the First World War had left on the survivors.
It's an aspect of the series I very much admire.
And all of it is tied up with a lot of humor.
‘Superintendent,’ he said, ‘I think I have been the most unmitigated and unconscionable ass that ever brayed in a sleuthhound’s skin.
Now, however, I have solved the entire problem, with one trivial exception.
Probably you have done so too.
‘I’ll buy it,’ said Mr Blundell.
‘I’m like you, my lord, I’m doing no more guessing.
What’s the bit you haven’t solved, by the way?’
‘Well, the murder,’ said his lordship, with an embarrassed cough.
‘I can’t quite make out who did that, or how.
But that, as I say, is a trifle.
' The Nine Tailors TV Mini SeriesIMDb With Ian Carmichael, Glyn Houston, Elizabeth Proud, Patrick Jordan The Title Refers To The Nine Strokes Of A Church Bell To Announce The Death Of A Man In This Adaptation Of Dorothy L Sayers S Intricate, Nostalgic, And Atmospheric Novel Of The Same Name, Lord Peter Wimsey, Stranded In A New Year S Eve Snowstorm Cain The Fens Of Eastern England, Becomes The Guest Of A LocalThe Nine Tailors Dorothy L Sayers Livres NotRetrouvez The Nine Tailors Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionThe Nine Tailors Livres NotRetrouvez The Nine Tailors Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion The Nine Tailors WikipediaThe Nine Tailors Lord Peter Wimsey,by The Nine Tailors Is Amystery Novel By The British Writer Dorothy L Sayers, Her Ninth Featuring Lord Peter Wimsey It Has Been Described As Her Finest Literary Achievement I Wonder If It Really Was Her Finest Literary Achievement, I Ve read Many Of Her books And Stories And Have No Idea Which One Is My Favorite, This One Is Close Though It Just About Has To Be My Favorite Since There Are Many Things In It That Would The Nine Tailors This Tolling Is Commonly Known As The Nine Tailors, A Name Almost Certainly Corrupted From Nine Tellers, Or Maybe Tollers It Would Comprise The Tenor Bell Being Tolled Nine Times, In Three Groups Of Three Ie A Longer Pause After Each Three Tolls , For A Man Or Six Times, In Two Groups Of Three, For A The Nine Tailors Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries In The Nine Tailors, He Crashes His Car Into A Snowdrift And A Few Hours Later He S Been Rescued By The Local Vicar, And Is Embarking On Ahour Bellringing Marathon With Him And It S Entirely Believable And I Completely Understand Why Other Reviews Love Him So Much He S Great There Are Lots Of Videos On YouTube Where You Can Listen To The Different Bellringing Patterns Mentioned In The Story Though There The Nine Tailors Gripping Murder Mystery For Fans In The Nine Tailors, He Crashes His Car Into A Snowdrift And A Few Hours Later He S Been Rescued By The Local Vicar, And Is Embarking On Ahour Bellringing Marathon With Him And It S Entirely Believable And I Completely Understand Why Other Reviews Love Him So Much He S Great There Are Lots Of Videos On YouTube Where You Can Listen To The Different Bellringing Patterns Mentioned In The [borrowed from the kate]
I started to eyeball Kate's review and I can't, because I'll probably just say what she says! But here are some thoughts unfiltered.
First, okay, there was a lot about bells.
Let's say, if you're not interested in learning a lot of important information about the incredibly archane field of changeringing, put the book down and back away slowly.
Then again, if you're not interested in learning something new when you read, you should probably just got watch COPS.
Secondly, one of my favorite things about Nine Tailors was that there were really two crimes woven together expertly, which is like Mystery Novels 202, for sophomores, because the two incidents, 30 years apart, are both really critical to each other and inform each other.
Thirdly, Peter Wimsey is on fine form in this bookhis, well, BertieWoosterness is kept JUST in check before it gets a little too over the top, unlike Clouds of Witness where his WHATHO! of it all was a bit much for me.
And fourthly, it's just a spectacularly written novel.
Set in the Fen country, Sayers paints the bleakest and greyest of landscapes and touches that up every few pages with some tiny detail of a roadside or the sharp bite of inclement weather or the hardened lives of the villagers.
Really, she's writing beyond mystery to an England she knows very well.
But, well, there's a lot about bells.
I'm taking a star away on account of how confused I got about the damn bells.
What's a SALLIE! I still don't know.
The eleventh Lord Peter Wimsey novel sees him and Bunter on their way to spend New Years with friends, when their car funs off the road, into a ditch, in a snowstorm.
They find themselves stranded in the village of Fenchurch St Pauls, where they are taking in by the kindly Reverend Venables and his wife.
However, far from being a relaxing evening, the Reverend discovers that Lord Peter has some experience bell ringing – his personal passion.
With the village decimated by influenza, and a man short, he asks Wimsey to take part in a planned bell ringing marathon.
While staying with the Reverend, Lord Peter hears of the death of Lady Thorpe and of the theft of an emerald necklace some years before, when Mrs Wilbraham was a guest at the wedding of Lady Thorpe and Sir Henry.
This theft left Sir Henry in financial difficulties, as he insisted on paying her back for the stolen gems and, although his butler, Deacon, was arrested, along with another man, the necklace was never discovered.
A few months later, a body is found in the graveyard of the Reverend’s Church, which should not be there and he contacts Lord Peter,, who gleefully goes to investigate.
On hearing the corpse has had his hands removed and face beaten to disfigure him, he observes, “Splendid!” However, this is not an easy case to solve.
It revolves around the missing necklace, an unsolved crime, a mysterious man that Lord Peter met while leaving the village, a corpse found in French underwear and a cryptic clue in the belfry…
This is a excellent novel and a good addition to the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.
It has a fantastic setting, a good cast of characters, lots of clues and a good sense of atmosphere.
I think this is one of the most enjoyable Lord Peter Wimsey novels that I have read so far and I really enjoyed the Fenland setting and the bell ringing, which I knew virtually nothing about.
I am looking forward to reading on and finally finishing all of the Wimsey series.
Nearly everyone gives this one more star than I did.
But for me the reading was longer, more difficult, and at times much too gossip and village "talk" bound for me to feel tension for the story "moving along".
The entire middle is very slow and has oodles of poems, rhyme, asides that use the names of The Nine Tailors (the nine huge bells in our fens' church's tower).
The embedding within fen country of marsh and river and rather random isolation is a departure from the usual Lord Peter city and estate or country house party haunts.
Bunter is integral.
No Harriet at all.
This is during the period after they meet but when they are hither and yon upon their very singular and achieving lives.
It starts with the Daimler going off the rode into a ditch just before New Year's.
And the entire piece of work (all of the novel) becomes cored within the town and the church of their "rescue".
Lord Peter has talents we were not exposed to previously (musical ones of skill).
And they are used.
The number of operatives are numerous.
All the townies know parts of the "dirt".
Hardly any of the townies know the majority of the dirt.
And none of the townies know ALL of the dirt.
Lord Peter, Bunter and the police components coming in and out have a long road to filling in the picture.
A body but how did he die?
Once long ago I know I saw a movie with this exact method of demise set within it.
It might have been this very plot / character piece.
But it was so long ago that I only remember the bells.
Bells, bells, bells.
This one is a favorite because of the visuals and the natural world event that occurs after the reveal.
Both are dramatic and that's why I think it WAS a film at one time.
And that I saw it.
But I did not at all remember anything from the plot, if I did see the film, other than the method of the "foreigner's" demise.
It may have been a 4 star read experience for me if I had read it in print hardcover copy.
Instead, I read it in kindle and this charting and graphics tendency within this book doesn't lend itself well in that mode, IMHO.
You need to flip and compare easier to the rather lengthy and extreme coding and logistics during varying chapters.
I will continue and happily anticipate reading the others past #11 that I have missed.
I believe I am past 1/2 way on the Lord Peter Wimsey list regardless as I've read Gaudy Night and a parcel of the latter ones.
His (Peter's) wit and his natural emotional spirit of optimism and grabbing moments of joy serendipity for the taking nearly each and every day that comes full blown to the fore in this tale.
As does the depth of his classic and modern education.
And his enthusiasm and spirit as a singular man just plain having a great life are truly felt here.
He does not want or "need" to be any where else or be any one else.
How absolutely refreshing!
Sayers did get a little silly with the wordplay rhyming and children's type of doggerel.
For me, anyway.
But considering that it was all fen country tiny town where everyone knows everybody and in which the majority seldom leave the dialect was not overwhelming, as in a few others I have read.
I'm having a terrible time writing this review.
OKyes, there's a mystery and it's an interesting mystery.
Yes, it's just as improbable as most of Sayers' other mysteries.
Yes, the writing is gorgeous.
Yes, it's literary and elliptical.
And all of that is really good.
I think, though, that The Nine Tailors was something moreI think it was DS's meditation on the divine, or if it wasn't intentionally, I think that's what she did without knowing it.
The whole cast of characters is there, right out of a traditional English country house mystery: the kindly rector, his practical wife, the prophetic old guy who says impenetrable things, the faintly embarrassed aristocrat filling his pew for the sake of duty, the devout peasant couple, and so on.
And then what elevates the stereotypes and makes them more profound are the bellsaweinspiring and deadly and benevolent and timeless and gentle and melodic and cacophonous, sensible and insensible and kind and rational and incoherent.
And in one way or another, everyone ends up serving the bells or indebted to them or punished by themalthough not worshiping them, I don't think Sayers was being idolatrous.
And then there's this terrible, glorious apocalyptic ending, all with the painted angels singing over head.
And there's a body and stolen jewels and a comic bit with a cowardly thief and Bunter goes around being Bunter.
There's not a lot of action and there's lots of incomprehensible stuff about change ringing and a code that is absurd.
But ultimately I think this is a book about the relationship between God and humanity.
Sayers' used all the cliches and came up with something greater than the sum of the parts.
It's impressive and moving.
THE BELLS! THE BELLS! OH GOD, THE BELLS.
There are bells in this story.
Big bells, little bells, people who know how to ring bells on a professional level, the politics of bellringing, bells who sometimes attack their ringers, endurance tests of bellringing, history of bells, bells bells bells, it's stopped even being a word now and is just a noise.
That is how I felt when putting down this book.
I assume that a bellringer would go into spasms of delight while reading The Nine Tailors, because someone has finally written a book targeted right at them.
That said, the ratio of bellringer to average citizen is fairly low, and so if you are picking this book up as a civilian, either be prepared for many many many bells, or move on to another Sayers.
Maybe that one with the advertising agency, because I really liked that one.
There's a mystery in here that's pretty solid, except I figured out who the killer was AGES before Wimsey did, and that's just disgraceful because almost everyone in that church should've been able to figure it out just based on their life experience.
Bell fetishists, have at it.
Lovers of mystery novels.
at your own risk.
Sayers has done it again.
Written in 1934, this 11th novel in the Lord Peter Wimsey series shines a light on another topic that I knew nothing at all about.
The word itself is mysterious, and so is its subject.
Campanology is the study of bells, of changeringing specifically, which adheres to mathematically precise ways in which the bells are rung.
In our story, it is New Year’s Eve and Fenchurch St.
Paul’s is attempting to ring 15,840 Kent Treble Bob Majors to match an 1868 feat accomplished in a college church with only 8 men to ring the 8 bells.
It will take 9 hours to accomplish and they planned to have 12 ringers so some could fill in while others took a break.
Unfortunately, influenza has visited the village and laid low so many of the ringers.
Lord Peter Wimsey and “his man”, Bunter, end up in a ditch about a mile from the village and seek help at the rectory.
Lord Peter had experience changeringing in his own college years and when one of the eight ringers was also laid low with the flu, Lord Peter is asked to help.
In his discussions with the rector, we learn about Stedmans, Grandsire Triples, and other mathematical “changes” that have been developed over the years.
I was captivated.
And yes, there is a body.
One that has been rendered unrecognizable and with no obvious means of death as all injuries to the body were done postmortem.
The man is buried at Fenchurch St.
Paul’s, for it is a commitment that the village perform such service for any strangers who die unclaimed in their midst.
Tailor Paul is the deep, sonorous bell that tolls the passing of souls in the village.
These are rung in groups of three: there are 6 rings for women, followed by a note for each year of their life.
Men receive 9 rings, followed by a note for each year of their life.
Thus, “The Nine Tailors” are rung for this man who ended up dead in their village.
The notes for the years of his life had to be guessed.
The book’s format itself is like one of the forms of bell ringing.
A numerical sequence for bell changes also becomes part of a cryptogram that helps to solve a mystery that Lord Peter suspects is connected to the dead man.
The unfolding of this book is a work of genius, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
This novel would serve as a standalone as there is little reliance on Lord Peter’s history.
If you read no other Dorothy L.
Sayers novel, this would be a great example of her brilliance as a writer and an intellect.
The combination of the two is never compromised, yet she writes in a way that can be understood by the lay person as well.
I highly recommend this fascinating novel.
The Nine Tailors, I have noticed, is the book people often mention in connection with Dorothy L.
It's a perennial favorite, mostly, I suspect, because of the solution to the murder(view spoiler)[which comes in the very last few pages of the book through sheer happenstance and not because of Wimsey's Great Brain.
Is this cheating? Did we, the readers, really have all the clues in front of us? Lots of hints, maybe, of the youbetternotangerthebells variety (hide spoiler)]