The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Book scouting Dorothy L. Sayers

Tuesday Night FebruaryA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in February will be devoted to Dorothy L. Sayers.



Book scouting Dorothy L. Sayers

The mysteries of Dorothy L. Sayers were widely published in England and the United States by a variety of different publishers; as is often the case, the American publishers moved towards the more lurid end of the spectrum while the British publishers kept it somewhat more classy. There is plenty here to enjoy, regardless of which style you prefer. DLS had a variety of paperback publishers in the US and only a few in the UK; the Four Square and Penguin editions are all quite collectible.

I’ve also added the cover of a volume connected with Sayers’ advertising career (and Murder Must Advertise); The Recipe Book of The Mustard Club, written largely by Sayers and with recipes largely contributed by her husband. Note that Suspicious Characters is an American retitling of Five Red Herrings, just in case anyone has a moment of delight thinking that there is a Lord Peter title they have yet to read (sorry!).




10 thoughts on “The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Book scouting Dorothy L. Sayers

  1. I can’t believe I’m arguing with you, but Hangman’s Holiday is a collection of short stories – I’ve just been reading it – mine has the green Penguin cover above. The other cover shows a missing pearl necklace from a Christmass-y short story…

  2. tracybham says:

    I am surprised that you have covers there that I would like to locate. Because I just don’t think of there being many interesting paperback covers for Sayers’ books. Probably because I have copies of all of the books and haven’t felt in need of more copies (like I do with Rex Stout) and thus haven’t looked online for what is available. There are several there I would love to find.

    • Noah Stewart says:

      It’s surprising, isn’t it? I always enjoy the cheerful vulgarity of early American paperbacks from the 1940s, and there’s an edition of Strong Poison shown above that certainly qualifies. In fact the early Avon editions of DLS are the most interesting to me; I have a copy of “In the Teeth of the Evidence” and the reproduction here doesn’t do justice to the full richness of the colour and the creepiness of the skull. And of course that edition of “Whose Body?” that introduces a scantily-dressed French maid who is decidedly not present in the text. Ah, those were the good old days!
      I’m also very fond of the 50s and 60s Penguin greenback editions of DLS when they were experimenting with their first non-text-only covers … they kept it classy yet graphically inviting.
      Which ones attracted you?

      • tracybham says:

        Specifically the Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club with the skeleton, Strong Poison with the lady in the very tight dress (that is also one of my favorite novels in the series), Murder Must Advertise (both of them), just about any of the editions of In the Teeth of Evidence (especially the one with the skeleton). But the only one I do have is the Nine Tailors with the bell with the skull, and I would take just about any of the others if I ran into them.

  3. Bev Hankins says:

    I’m pleased to say that I own seven of these editions! (That’s quite a coup, considering that I rarely have the beautiful covers you feature). Of course, one of them is thanks to your generosity!

    The ones I would most like to have are the first and last Whose Body editions and the Strong Poison with the lady in gold. The other Sayers books that I really like are the Avon editions that came out in the late 60s/70s, I believe. I have a fondness for them because I discovered Sayers at a tiny library here in Indiana and they had those paperback editions. I’m still working on getting the first printing of all the titles in those covers.

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