Times like these call for books that take you utterly away from our grim world. Dorothy Sayers' books are just the thing. Are you familiar with Sayers? If yes, good for you. If no, what are you waiting for? Sayers was a master of the mystery genre and Lord Peter Wimsey is her mystery-solver. He also ranks on my list of sexiest literary characters.
The Nine Tailors is the first Sayers mystery I read. It was our first, unbearably hot, summer in Virginia, when my mantra was "Virginia is a synonym for Hell on Earth." I literally used to say that to myself every evening as I dragged myself to the trash cans behind the garage with the day's offering of uneaten soggy cereal and melon rinds. I was in the morning sickness stage of pregnancy (Seamus) and half dead from lassitude and loathing, but The Nine Tailors saw me through one particularly miserable weekend.
The plot: honestly, I can't remember much about the finer points, fourteen years after reading it, but I do know I could hardly tear myself away. It's set in the eastern part of England in the 1930's. There's a dead body, of course, but the mystery isn't just about who killed it, but how the victim died. It kept me guessing until the very end.
Who's a Dorothy Sayers fan?