Subscribe to the Podcast

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    About Comments

    • Comments are welcome...but...

      Please carry on all conversations without shouting, excessive ranting, or crudity. Profanity and personal attacks will not be tolerated. I am delighted to have you in my house - well, on my blog, anyway - and look forward to discussions. But please remember that we are all trying to carry on a civilized discussion. Your views are valuable. Please treat them that way. Thank you.

    Mystery Publishers

    • Academy Chicago Publishers
      An imprint of the Chicago Review Press. Features a number of interesting authors, most long out of print, plus some other odds and ends, including some horror stories by Conan Doyle.
    • Crippen & Landru
      Crippen & Landru publish mystery short story collections. Of particular interest is what they call "Lost Classics," a series of anthologies of mostly uncollected stories by authors who might be enjoyed by a new generation of readers.
    • Dean Street Press
      This small British publisher has a great many classic crime books in its much broader catalog. They are bringing back many Golden Age classics by authors who deserve another chance at a new audience.
    • Felony & Mayhem
      This publisher specializes in classic mysteries, broadly defined, including newer mysteries that adhere to classic standards. They have just overhauled their website to make it much more informative and user-friendly.
    • Locked Room International
      A small press, specializing in very good English-language translations of (so far) mostly-French authors of locked room and impossible crime stories. They publish in Print-On-Demand and electronic editions.
    • Merion Press
      The Merion Press is an independent publisher of out-of-print works that were originally published over 75 years ago, but are enduring even today.
      The brainchild of editor/anthologist/author/bookstore-owner Otto Penzler, the Mysterious Press has recently returned to life and now works with Open Road Media as an electronic book publisher. It is already republishing the work of a lot of classic authors, with more books on the way.
    • Oconee Spirit Press
      A small, independent publisher committed to publishing "lively fiction, and provocative non-fiction." Most of their list covers early works by established authors writing traditional mysteries, such as Carolyn Hart and Margaret Maron.
    • Oleander Press
      This small eclectic British publisher has begun publishing a series of classic British mystery novels, primarily from the Golden Age. The series is grouped into a section of their catalogue named "London Bound," as the books are set in London.
    • Ostara Publishing
      "Ostara Publishing re-issues titles that have unjustifiably become unavailable either through the ravages of time or the forces of publishing economics. We specialise in Crime and Thriller fiction titles and our range goes from the1920s through to the 21st century. We publish thematically and currently have six series available. All our titles are published in a 'trade paperback' format and printed to order."
    • Poisoned Pen Press
      Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Poisoned Pen Press publishes a fairly wide variety of mysteries. Some are reprints; many are new, by newer authors. Their website has a great deal of information about their books and authors.

    Search Classic Mysteries

    • Search This Site via Google Search


    Amazon invitation

    • Link to Amazon
      Classic Mysteries is an Associate. If you're going to buy something from Amazon, please use this link to reach their site. I appreciate it!
    Blog powered by Typepad

    « The TBR Pile as Kindling, or Vice Versa | Main | Sherlock at 125 »

    November 27, 2012


    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

    S. T. Karnick

    Nice article, Les. CoW is my favorite, but TNT is a close second. I'd say that Tailors is in fact the better book, and one of the essential, greatest mysteries.

    Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)

    I agree Les in that this feels like the mosy distinctive of the Sayers books - it may not be the cleverest in terms of plotting (that may be UNNATURAL DEATH for my money) but it does stand out from the heard for its singlular 'murder' method and the quasi-apocalytic feel to the climax.

    Joan Kyler

    I love this book for the bells. There are some American churches that do change-ringing. The Church of the Advent in Boston rings the changes regularly and a few other churches there occasionally do. We have many church bells in America but we seldom hear them. A shame.

    Les Blatt

    Sergio, I also like "Unnatural Death" for the very clever "howdunit." Many of the Wimsey cases are "impossible crimes," which is a favorite genre. But I do think "The Nine Tailors" stands out for the overall quality of its writing - and you are so right about the impact of the book's climax.

    Les Blatt

    Joan, I have occasionally heard a peal of bells coming from an American church - and, when I do, I must admit that I am instantly transported to the fen country, listening to that peal pouring out of the church steeple in Fenchurch St. Paul. It is indeed the bells - with their distinctive names and personalities, too - that set this book apart in my mind.


    I have a church right around the corner from where I live and of course, I hear the bells ringing the noon hour every day. Although they don't do the sort of thing written about by Sayers, I still welcome the sounds they make. I find it very welcoming.

    I did read THE NINE TAILORS a long time ago and can't remember much about it, Les. It's not my favorite Wimsey, but I did enjoy it - as I did most of Sayer's books. I love the writing excerpt you've posted. Wow, Sayers could write up a storm.

    I think I like MURDER MUST ADVERTISE best - been meaning to re-read it to see if I still feel the same way. Actually, I think I'll re-read THE NINE TAILORS and MURDER MUST ADVERTISE. Why not? Maybe I'll change my mind about both. :)

    Les Blatt

    It is beautifully written, Yvette, and written with passion as well. Ultimately, the mystery itself becomes primarily a question of HOW was the murder committed - and I think the solution is brilliant. As for MURDER MUST ADVERTISE, that's another of my favorites. Sayers put her first-hand knowledge of the advertising world to work for her, and I think the central plot device which explains what I'll only call the setup behind the motive is brilliantly done. No problem with either one. But I don't think you can go wrong with re-reading either one.

    Margot Kinberg

    Les - Oh, I like The Nine Tailors very much. I really liked what I learned about change ringing, and I love Wimsey's reaction when he finds out the truth about that 'extra corpse.' He is so...human. I also do like the other characters, to say nothing of the East Anglia 'feel.' Good choice for your 'tops.'

    Les Blatt

    I love Sayers' descriptions of the scene, her three-dimensional characters, and, of course, the bells, Margot. Yes, Wimsey is very much "humanized" in this one, and that climactic scene where he learns what really happened to the dead man (and nearly shares his fate) is, I think, brilliantly done.

    Atul S. Khot

    Dear Les,
    Oh "The Nine Tailors" is a super fantastic book by Sayers... I read it almost 5 years ago - I was in Ireland then - and it was nearing Christmas - After a long and hard day, I would unwind in bed with this super mystery ;-) - read it pretty slow - like you sip wine ;-) - and outside the wind would howl like anything ;-)
    That gave a very real, physical feeling to the first part of the book - when Winsey goes for that all night tolling...
    A very good Sayers mystery indeed...

    --- cheerio atul

    Les Blatt

    Atul, I agree about reading "The Nine Tailors" slowly - the language really should be savored, particularly on a stormy night. Sounds like the perfect way to read the book. Glad you enjoyed it!

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Disclosure: Amazon Associates

    • As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
      That means that if you order anything from Amazon through a link from my site I get a small commission. As a result, I'd consider it a favor if you would consider making your purchases through my links. As always, though, if you have a local mystery book store, I encourage you to use them as your first choice. For anything else...thank you.

    The Backlist

    Bookmark This Page!

    Google Analytics