Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Calendar of Crime - January / The Nine Tailors

For my January book. I chose 4. - the New Year's category. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers begins with Lord Peter Wimsey and his manservant Bunter going off the wintry road into a ditch.They walk until they come to Fenchurch St. Paul.

It was past four o'clock and New Year's Eve; the snow that had fallen all day gave back a glimmering greyness to a sky like lead.

I bought a lovely used copy years ago. I have been meaning to read it in January, prompted to do so by Gladys Taber whose housemate Jill read it every year in that month. From Stillmeadow Sampler:

Jill, of course, reads Dorothy L. Sayers' The Nine Tailors again, although she almost knows it by heart now.

And from Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge, concerning which one book to take to a tropical island:

Jill would take Dorothy L. Sayers' The Nine Tailors and just reread it every few days.

I enjoyed the small parts of the book which focused on a dotty vicar and his long-suffering and much-loved wife. However, I simply cannot say that I liked the book. The main subject is campanology, which is bell-ringing. Sayers is clearly very knowledgeable on the subject, but this reader could not understand it at all! I felt like I was reading an unknown language. And the locale was so dismal and depressing that I couldn't stand being there, even if in the pages of a book! The villagers for the most part seemed as miserable as the locale.

I watched The Nine Tailors many years ago, and my memory of it is that I just didn't get what was going on. I felt sure that if I read the book, all would become clear. But, no. The book is well-thought of, and highly praised, but I  cannot add my voice to the throng.


  1. Well, this is not one I've read, but I say - on to the next book! Right? I see you're reading the lovely 4:50 From Paddington on your Kindle. I love that one!

    1. After reading Cath's post, I just HAD to read it again!!

  2. I'm shocked--first of all that now I again once again comment here! Second that you didn't enjoy the 9 tailors. I loved it, but then Sayers is my favorite mystery author and Lord Peter by favorite detective, and I've always been fascinated with change bell ringing even though I miserably even failed at auditioning for the simpler bell choir at church. I found out I don't follow reverse image very well at all. I remember Gladys writing that! And that she read the Forsyte Saga every few years, which I adored the first few times I read it but haven't been motivated to get it off the shelf the last decade.

    I see that you're reading The Tender Bar. Are you enjoying it? We watched the movie the other night and were so glad we watched it. Is the book even better?

    1. Hooray, that you can comment!
      You are definitely in the majority about TNT! It seems to be much loved.
      I read TFS last year and really loved it.
      I just finished TTB, and I told Tom it is one of the best books I have ever read! I bought it because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, but I don't think I will watch it because the book is so perfect to me!

    2. Nan,you probably would be disappointed with the movie after loving the book. I on the other hand know I have a treat ahead of me with the book to read. I must be sure to find it now after reading your comment about it.

  3. Although I have not read this book, I know what you mean about the dismal locale and miserable villagers. When the setting and cast of a story is so that I can not connect to it, the book does nothing for me.

    1. That is sure what happened to me! Even Lord Peter couldn't save it for me.


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