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The Nine Tailors

de Dorothy L. Sayers

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Lord Peter Wimsey (11)

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3,7851002,390 (4.06)2 / 444
While ringing in the New Year, Lord Peter stumbles into an ominous country mystery Lord Peter Wimsey and his manservant Bunter are halfway across the wild flatlands of East Anglia when they make a wrong turn, straight into a ditch. They scramble over the rough country to the nearest church, where they find hospitality, dinner, and an invitation to go bell-ringing. This ancient art is steeped in mathematical complexities, and tonight the rector and his friends plan to embark on a nine-hour marathon session to welcome the New Year. Lord Peter joins them, taking a step into a society whose cheerful exterior hides a dark, deadly past. During their stay in this unfamiliar countryside, Lord Peter and Bunter encounter murder, a mutilated corpse, and a decades-old jewel theft for which locals continue to die. In this land where bells toll for the dead, the ancient chimes never seem to stop. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.… (mais)
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Sure there is a large bell on the front cover, but I was still surprised to find that this was not a book with the "people sewing clothes" kind of tailors and instead an amazing amount of detail about bells.

Thought some of the English phrases and terms were hard to follow, unsure if it was a small country town dialect issue, time period issue or something else.

Very different mystery to what I usually come across, would be interested to read other Dorothy Sayers books to see what other Lord Wimsey mysteries are like.

Often seemed like minor random things were introduced into the story, in such an awkward way that I figured they must be central to solving the mystery, otherwise there was no point in them being there in the first place.

All in all a good but not gripping read. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
I went into 'The Nine Tailors' expecting a well-written golden-age mystery. I was curious to see Peter Wimsey without Harriet Vane as a balance. I wasn't expecting anything more than some colourful scenery, a bit of wit and an engaging puzzle. I got all those things but they weren't really what the book was about.

'The Nine Tailors' is a story lacquered with lots of layers of imagery and inquiry but, at its heart, I think it's about Sayers' love of the Fens and its people and her understanding, expressed through Wimsey, of her arms-length relationship to it.

I didn't always find it an easy book to read. At the start, I was a bit overwhelmed by a tide of technical details of bell-ringing that I couldn't follow and which, especially in the audiobook version, became tedious. I could follow the lengthy descriptions of church architecture more easily because I love to visit old churches but even so, it was a lot to take in.

Eventually, I let go of trying to understand the detail of bells and church and focus on the meaning behind them. A picture emerged of bell-ringing as something that binds a village together. The bells and the church are hundreds of years old. They've stood at the centre of the village, marking all the significant events of village life, for generations. The peals the bell-ringers pull are marvels of mathematics, a sort of Bach in sounding bronze, and yet they are mastered by men with no education but a great deal of commitment. Ringing the bells is a disciplined, collaborative act that requires skill and stamina. The sound of the bells is so strong and so rich that you can lose yourself in it. The book starts with nine hours of bell-ringing. Think of losing yourself in the sound for that long but never letting go of your concentration and constantly having to use your muscle and your wit. That is a mighty meditation.

The bell-ringers are men of the village, with a hierarchy of their own when in the bell tower. The vicar links them to the bells and the music in a way akin to leading the parish in prayer. When Sayers has Lord Peter Wimsey step in at the last moment to ring in the New Year with nine hours of bell-ringing, he puts aside the title and status he was born to and becomes someone judged by his ability to play his part, to collaborate with the other bell-ringers and give himself to the music welcoming the New Year across the village. It seemed to me to be a kind of baptism.

Sayers presents the church as the physical and emotional centre of village life. The vicar and his wife are two of the most engaging characters in the book. He is distracted, obsessed with bell-ringing, proud of the history of his church and is easily distracted from the practicalities of life. His wife is practical and organised and effectively runs the Parish. The two of them represent a link between the village and the rest of English society. They seemed to me to be benign colonists or perhaps transplants who have started to mutate. The church stands above the village and the voice of its bells can be heard everywhere. At one point the church becomes, not for the first time, a refuge for the villagers, a sort of Ark against the floods. I thought these descriptions of bells and church were Sayers' way of showing the spiritual life of the village.

Her love of the place is so deep, it mostly carried me along in an 'isn't that charming' sort of way, like something from an earlier era, perhaps 'Under The Greenwood Tree' or 'Lark Rise To Candleford'. But I'm not from that place or time or faith and one small thing pulled me out of the mood. I learned that, when a man dies, the Tailor bell is rung nine times to mark his death and then once for each year of his life. Suddenly the charming but obscure title to the book got translated in my head as 'The Death Knell' and I imagined the book rewritten as a piece of Noir. It was what I learned next that pulled me out of the cosy world of the book and back into a place I recognise. Although when a man dies, he gets nine bells tolled for him, when a woman dies, she gets six bells tolled for her. I found myself suddenly angry at the fact that, even in death, the Anglican church treated women with less respect than men, and angry again that no one even comments on it.

Wrapped around this depiction of village life and this contemplation on death knells, there is a murder mystery and Peter Wimsey is at the heart of solving it. It's a clever mystery. I couldn't have guessed how the murder was done or by whom. It's also a mystery that adds another layer of symbolism to the book. The cause of death and the consequences of the killing both speak to an almost supernatural force driving justice and atonement.

The mystery decorates rather than drives the plot. The plot moves at a pace so slow, it feels as though you're drifting on the narrative stream with no rudder and no objective other than taking in the view. A TV version of 'Nine Taylors' might get as far as the inquest (about 25% into the book) shortly after the credits but in doing so they'd completely miss the point, which is to immerse yourself in the slow rhythm of life in this isolated village.

As we drifted along, I found myself taking a quiet delight in how Sayers writes. Her prose bubbles with a gentle humour that never sneers or uses sarcasm but rather shows her affection for the people of the village and the way they treat each other.

There were set pieces that I thought quite marvellous. The continuous flow of speech that establishes the characters of the vicar, Mr Venables (great choice of name) is fast and deft and very effective. The way the Sextant and the Vicar talk at cross-purposes when the body is found which, as well as being humorous, shows how a man who is never in a hurry tells a tale to a man who is never quite sure what to do next. The vicar's letter to Wimsey is a masterpiece. The vicar's whole character is on the text of that letter. The description of the Coroner's brisk handling of the inquest feels like fancy camera work in the way it cuts out unnecessary detail and, in the process, establishes the atmosphere of the event.

When I finished the book, I was struck by the way its tone reminded me of Jon McGregor's 'Reservoir 13' which takes a disappearance as its starting point but spends its energy capturing the rhythm of village life. In 'The Nine Tailors' the tracking of the crime is secondary to the immersion into the life of a Fen village. It also uses that solid, unvarying life of that village to reflect on the life Wimsey is living. The book starts and finishes with Wimsey stepping outside his normal life to make up new roles in the village. Yet he cannot escape who he is and what he knows. He remains entangled in the affairs or Red House. Finding the solution as to who died and who was involved in the death brings nothing but disruption and pain. When he finally understands the killing, what used to be a memory that made him smile with affectionate pride has been transformed into something sinister.

I'd wanted to see who Peter Wimsey was without Harriet Vane. In 'The Nine Tailors', Wimsey seems to skim along, dipping in and out of engagement with others. He presents himself as no more than a genial puzzle solver but I think he is constantly trying to step out of the shadow of his own knowledge of the world. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but I was struck by the image of Wimsey's car, last to leave the flooding sluice, at the back of the queue of vehicles, axle-deep in water and being pursued by an impersonal but unstoppable flooding tide, as a symbol of the man's life. ( )
1 vote MikeFinnFiction | Mar 23, 2021 |
When a disfigured corpse is discovered in a country parish, the local rector pleads with Lord Peter to take on what will become one of his most brilliant and complicated cases.

Wimsey gets stuck in a small village over New Year when his car breaks down, and becomes involved in bell ringing the New Year in. Whilst he's waiting for his car to be fixed, he hears the story of some emeralds being stolen and the devastating effect it has had on some of the local families.

Months later, an extra body is unexpectedly found in a grave, face bashed in, hands cut off and a cause of death undetermined, Wimsey is called back to help find out what happened.

What happens next is a story of imposters, double crosses, bigamy, murder, theft, ciphers and bell ringing. Sometimes the information presented is a little too much, which did make my eyes glaze over occasionally, and is perhaps why it took me so long to finish - I should have been able to finish this much faster than I did. Not my favourite of the Wimsey stories, and this would not stand up (on it's own) against an agatha Christie ( )
  nordie | Jan 30, 2021 |
LPW ends up thrown into a mystery after some frankly dodgy driving means he has to stay in a rural village, where a slightly rude vicar decides it will be a bit of a lark to keep the whole village awake all night by ringing bells for nine hours straight. I’d have raised my eyebrows at that suggestion, if I lived in that village. Anyway... dead bodies and stolen jewels mean that LPW has to maintain a connection with the village and the characters that live there till the mystery is solved. He chips away at the problem bit by bit till eventually the whole thing is revealed. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
Lord Peter investigates the death of a mysterious man in a village. The corpse, found when they prepare to bury a spouse in the couple's grave, turns out to be a person with connections to the village. Lord Peter investigates the case with a most unusual solution. I listened to the full cast audio production by BBC Radio featuring Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey. It was delightful. This is probably my favorite Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. ( )
  thornton37814 | Nov 9, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (17 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Dorothy L. Sayersautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bayer, OttoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bergvall, SonjaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Carmichael, IanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Damkoehler, KatrinaDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Eräpuro, AnnikaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Francavilla, A. M.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
George, ElizabethIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Homeyer, HeleneTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Larsstuvold, RuneTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ledwidge, NatachaIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Næsted, HenningTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nielsen, HenningArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Paton Walsh, JillIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The coil of rope which is necessary to hold in the hand, before, and whilst raising a bell, always puzzles a learner; it gets into his face, and perhaps around his neck (in which case he may be hanged!). TROYTE 'On Change Ringing'

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While ringing in the New Year, Lord Peter stumbles into an ominous country mystery Lord Peter Wimsey and his manservant Bunter are halfway across the wild flatlands of East Anglia when they make a wrong turn, straight into a ditch. They scramble over the rough country to the nearest church, where they find hospitality, dinner, and an invitation to go bell-ringing. This ancient art is steeped in mathematical complexities, and tonight the rector and his friends plan to embark on a nine-hour marathon session to welcome the New Year. Lord Peter joins them, taking a step into a society whose cheerful exterior hides a dark, deadly past. During their stay in this unfamiliar countryside, Lord Peter and Bunter encounter murder, a mutilated corpse, and a decades-old jewel theft for which locals continue to die. In this land where bells toll for the dead, the ancient chimes never seem to stop. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.

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