Gaudy Night: the classic Oxford college mystery - Dorothy L Sayers; | Foyles Bookstore
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Gaudy Night: the classic Oxford college mystery
Foyalty 30

Gaudy Night: the classic Oxford college mystery (Paperback)

Usually despatched within 2 days.


The twelfth book in Dorothy L Sayers' classic Lord Peter Wimsey series, introduced by actress Dame Harriet Mary Walter, DBE - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries.

'D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers' Daily Telegraph

Harriet Vane has never dared to return to her old Oxford college. Now, despite her scandalous life, she has been summoned back . . .

At first she thinks her worst fears have been fulfilled, as she encounters obscene graffiti, poison pen letters and a disgusting effigy when she arrives at sedate Shrewsbury College for the 'Gaudy' celebrations.

But soon, Harriet realises that she is not the only target of this murderous malice - and asks Lord Peter Wimsey to help.

'She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.' P. D. James

Fiction & PoetryCrime & ThrillersClassic crime Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Publication Date: 22/09/2016 ISBN-13: 9781473621404  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Usually despatched within 2 days. Add to Basket

Dorothy L Sayers was born in Oxford in 1893, and was both a classical scholar and a graduate in modern languages. As well as her popular Lord Peter Wimsey series, she wrote several religious plays, but considered her translations of Dante's Divina Commedia to be her best work. She died in 1957.

More books by Dorothy L Sayers

Customer Reviews

This book must rate as one of my all time favourite novels. Gaudy Night is all the things that Sayers does well; characters, especially the so realistic Harriet Vane, setting, Oxford at its best, and a mystery, which proves that a gory murder within the first three chapters is not essential. Harriet feels so real because she is the centre of the book, the reader is told of her doubts about the wisdom of revisiting Oxford let alone becoming involved in the mysterious persecution of the College inhabitants, and crucially her perspective on Lord Peter Wimsey. The reader, together with half the characters in the novel, fall for Peter’s undoubted charm and abilities, and obviously Sayers writes with real affection for her creation, yet with a realistic view of some of his weaknesses. Oxford is at its best as the colleges, towers and river make it into another character in this book; not that there is any shortage of academics, students and staff bumping into each other in many ways. Harriet Vane, author of thoughtful mystery novels and survivor of a murder trial thanks to Peter’s intervention, finds herself drawn back to her old college for the annual celebrations. She realises that she has become a notorious character for her contemporaries, not least because of her links with the famous Peter. She is fascinated by the fates of the other women who have married or who have chosen a career. Her return to London feels wrong as Peter disappears and her novel does not proceed well. When she is summoned back to Shrewsbury College to help solve a mysterious poison pen mystery, she decides to stay, do some academic work, and help the senior staff maintain peace and order. She meets current students and tries to understand undergraduate life; especially when she encounters Peter’s nephew. She becomes embroiled in his difficulties, not least having to contact Peter, who proves as elusive and surprising as always. The mystery is not really dangerous in terms of murder for most of the book, though there is a disturbing element when Harriet and at least one other seem to be in grave danger. Peter’s contribution is not to dominate as he graciously admits that Harriet has done most of the work; certainly he is not seen as the superhero coming in to save the day, but bringing a new insight. Harriet is not a female detective in many ways, but she emerges as someone who cares deeply and is determined to discover what is going on, and why, in an institution that changed her life. This is such a super read that part of me could have rushed through each episode, each reflection on Oxford life, each observation on the largely absent Peter. To do that would have spoilt some of the enjoyment of a novel that Sayers obviously enjoyed writing with enormous confidence. There are times when it is self indulgent, when Sayers is showing off her considerable education, when she makes jokes and comments in other languages. It is a big book, and reading some editions has put me off as this book needs to be read comfortably and savoured. The folio edition is therefore the ultimate version beautifully printed. I can see that Sayers is an acquired taste, but this novel is enough to send me off to seek the other Sayers book as soon as possible.

- 26/11/2017
Report this Review
Leave Review

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.


Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
Free UK Standard Delivery on Orders Over £25 (2nd Class)     3-5 Days
UK Standard Delivery (2nd Class) £2.99 £0.00 3-5 Days
UK 1st Class Delivery £3.99 £0.00 2-3 Days

Click & Collect / 
Delivery to a Foyles Bookshop


Free Free Click and Collect and Delivery to Store is available for all our shops. Collection times will vary depending on availability of items. Individual despatch times for each item will be given at checkout.
Please wait for order arrival confirmation email before making a journey to collect.
UK Courier* £7.95 £0.00 1 Working Day
Western Europe Airmail** £9.00 £1.00 7-8 Days
Rest of World Airmail*** £12.50 £1.00 7-10 Days

* For courier service please contact the Charing Cross Road store

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

*** We are currently unable to delivery to the following countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Macao, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Virgin Island US

Given the unfolding situation across Ukraine, with regret we have now suspended orders placed from, or to be delivered to, both Russia and Ukraine. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

For goods delivered outside of the UK, the consignee (ie the person to whom the consignment is sent) will be the declarant and importer into the country for which the consignment is destined. The consignee will be responsible for both customs clearance and payment of customs duties and local taxes where required.

Customs Charges - if you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), other taxes, customs duties and/or fees levied by the destination country. Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be borne by you. It is accepted by you that Foyles has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. Foyles recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order.

Delivery Help & FAQs

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Busman's Honeymoon: Classic crime for...
Dorothy L Sayers
Murder Must Advertise: Classic crime...
Dorothy L Sayers
The Nine Tailors: a cosy murder...
Dorothy L Sayers
The Talented Mr Ripley
Patricia Highsmith
© W&G Foyle Ltd