I read this book about 20-Dec-2009. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1930. This note was last modified Thursday, 22-May-2014 19:47:07 PDT.
This is book 6 of the "Lord Peter Wimsey" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
And now I've reread it again quite soon. It was still on the stack in my room.
The "love at first sight" thing still doesn't make so much sense. I certainly understand attraction, but Peter is very clearly really serious about Harriet pretty much instantly.
It is, of course, a standard literary trope. And I've heard people say that about their own relationships—sometimes multiple times, though. If you feel that way about everybody interesting you see, then you probably feel that way about the one you end up with, and can honestly say later that you "knew as soon as you saw her" or whatever. Or maybe it really works for a lot of people.
It's certainly true for me that I've been immediately attracted to everybody I've ended up being involved with. And to a number of other people as well.
As a modern reader, when I hear "arsenic" I immediately think "acquired tolerance". To a significant extent this is the book that taught people that, though. It wasn't this obvious to the audience it was written for.
I do think all the precautions to avoid incriminating the murderer are very well planned and described. Also the work to call them to the attention of the servants, so they can then tell the police about them "independently". It did draw attention—Bunter's, and hence Lord Peter's. But not the police's.
The tour of the artistic world was fun, and no doubt reasonably accurate. Always allowing for the fact that Dorothy Sayers was in the position of Harriet Vane, the successful author of non-literary books.