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The New Lord Peter Wimsey / Harriet Vane Mysteries

With the publication of The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women by Mo Moulton, there should be a resurgence of interest in 20th-century writer Dorothy L. Sayers. Moulton details how Sayers and her friends at Somerville College, Oxford fought for a woman’s right to get a degree, and when the college finally agreed a few years later, she and her group were among the first women to receive them.

While it is a fascinating bit of history, Sayers is best known for her mystery series. Starting with the publication of Whose Body? in 1923, Sayers introduced the world to Lord Peter Wimsey, a British aristocrat who takes an interest in detective work and finds he’s quite good at it. Harriet Vane was introduced in 1930 in Strong Poison as a potential love interest for Wimsey. In it, Vane is on trial for allegedly murdering her former lover. After the matter is resolved, Vane appears in three more of the original Wimsey mystery books by Sayers, including the final one, Busman’s Honeymoonin which (SPOILER) Wimsey and Vane marry.

Though Sayers achieved great success with her detective novels, by the end of the 1920s, she stopped writing them for reasons unknown. As they say, “All good things must come to an end.” But as they also say: “REBOOT!”

Forty years after Sayers died, British novelist Jill Paton Walsh wrote a new Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane mystery, based on an unfinished manuscript and notes that Sayers left behind. It was published to great acclaim in 1998 and led to the release of three more new Lord and Lady Wimsey novels.

Whether you are a huge fan of Dorothy L. Sayers and are looking to revisit all her works, reboot included, or you are just getting started on her books and are reading about everything available, here is a look at the four newest Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane mysteries!

 

 

Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.