New Book

I finished reading a Dorothy Sayers novel which I had not read before, and that is something that I have not done in quite a while. For quite some time I had thought I had read all of Dorothy Sayers’ mystery novels, and I had included The Documents in the Case among them, but after reading it recently, I know that it wasn’t something I had read before. It’s an interesting book because it is present almost entirely as written correspondence. There’s a few brief lines near the end that are spoken, but that’s it. Sayers probably wasn’t the first person to come up with the idea, nor was she probably the last person to use this conceit for a novel, but I do not know of any other examples. There are several other notable things about this book as well. It is an enjoyable read even though one can guess pretty easily who the murderer is quite early on. The method itself is also fairly easily determined, but the real mystery is how the murder is to be proved. I do confess that it would not have occurred to me, oh, probably ever. Another interesting thing about this book is that it is Sayers’ only collaboration with another author; Robert Eustace in this case. (I’m not counting the atrocious Thrones, Dominations “completed” after Sayers’ death by Jill Paton Walsh.) And finally, I believe this is the only full length novel that Sayers wrote that doesn’t feature Lord Peter Wimsey. She wrote a fair number of short stories without him, but not novels.

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