The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #6)

The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #6)

by Dorothy L. Sayers


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The mistress of the Golden Age mystery, Dorothy L. Sayers paints a perfect picture of murder in this classic tale in which Lord Peter Wimsey must ferret out a murderer in a Scottish artists' colony.

In the scenic Scottish village of Kirkcudbright, no one is disliked more than Sandy Campbell. When the painter is found dead at the foot of cliff, his easel standing above, no one is sorry to see him gone—especially six members of the close knit Galloway artists' colony.

The inimitable Lord Peter Wimsey is on the scene to determine the truth about Campbell's death. Piecing together the evidence, the aristocratic sleuth discovers that of the six suspected painters, five are red herrings, innocent of the crime. But just which one is the ingenious artist with a talent for murder?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062341648
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/02/2014
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Series , #6
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 238,117
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers was born in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, and later she became a copywriter at an ad agency. In 1923 she published her first novel featuring the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who became one of the world's most popular fictional heroes. She died in 1957.

Date of Birth:

June 13, 1893

Date of Death:

December 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Oxford University, 1915; M.A., B.C.L., 1920

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Five Red Herrings 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Wimsey mystery is very good, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. It does rely heavily on train timetables in a, then, somewhat remote area of Scotland. The relevant tables are printed in the story. I wrote them out on a separate bit of paper, and that made keeping track (no pun intended) of the relevant details simple and convenient. The other point some readers may find distracting is Sayer's choice to have the Scottish characters use many Scottish colloquialisms and to have their dialogue spelled as it would sound when spoken with a thick brogue. I think it is charming, but it did take my inexperienced ear a few chapters to adjust to the flow of converstion between the English and the Scottish characters. The mystery, itself, is clever, and the red herrings run rampant. The characters are, as usual, complex and well-written.
katekf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a charming Peter Wimsey novel in which he helps the local investigators of Kirkcudbright in Scotland to understand what happened to the artist Campbell. The majority of the book follows the various detective amongst numerous leads about timetables and bicycles and artists all over Scotland. It is not the strongest Wimsey but it has the nice addition of seeing other types of investigation and how Wimsey can work within a team. The community of artists and townspeople that Sayers creates is charming and I personally would happily spend a week in Kirkcudbright.
BenBennetts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like "Gaudy Night", this stands out among Sayers' oeuvre, above all for the astonishingly powerful evocation of setting. I read a review once which described this as arguably one of the four greatest novels of the twentieth century. I can understand where the reviewer was coming from.
SarahEHWilson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is the weakest of all of DLS's mysteries. It is carefully emotion-free (an observation Peter makes to Harriet about her earlier mysteries in "Gaudy Night"), mechanically brilliant but somehow detached. Interesting how it came right after "Strong Poison"; I wonder if DLS panicked a bit about where her characters wanted to go and needed to isolate Peter way up in Scotland so she wouldn't have to deal with his lovelorn heart.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Dorothy Sayers¿s mysteries, I really do; but with the last couple that I¿ve read, I just haven¿t liked them quite as much as, say, Murder Must Advertise or The Nine Tailors (her two best, in my opinion, so reading them first was kind of like eating desert before dimmer).The Five Red Herrings takes place in an artists¿ community of Scotland, where Lord Peter is conveniently at hand to investigate the murder of an unpopular (of course) artist. All of the suspects in the case are artists; the key to this mystery is discovering who, since the culprit leads the detectives on the case on a wild goose chase half the time. I have to admit that I kind of got bored about halfway through; the mystery deals endlessly with timetables. Usually, I¿m all about the small details that make up a really good murder; but the endless theorizing about who did what where and when got really, really tiring after a while.Character development isn¿t all that strong, either. In the last book, we met Harriet Vane, so I would have thought that she¿d at least be mentioned¿not so much in this book. Lord Peter Wimsey, however, is a shadow of his former self, and he fades into the background most of the time. And Bunter, his faithful sidekick, only gets a brief scene. To be honest, I just didn¿t care all that much about the mystery or who committed the crime, so much so that I bailed on this book about 300 pages in.
foggidawn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not one of my favorite Lord Peter Wimsey books, though the complicated plot and over-abundant Scots dialect make it one of the most memorable ones. Lord Peter retreats to the picturesque Scottish countryside and, of course, there is a murder. Campbell, a hot-tempered artist, is found at the bottom of a cliff, but his death was no accident. Any of six other local artists could have committed the crime, but only one of them did.I'll admit, this one was a bit of a slog for me. Reading before bed, it was all too easy to drift off to sleep when the police started discussing train time-tables. There were far too many trains, towns, bicycles, and suspects, and they were far too difficult to tell apart. Wimsey doesn't shine as much in this one as in previous books, and after all of the character work in Strong Poison, this detached and relatively unemotional Lord Peter is a bit of a let-down. Still, it's Lord Peter, so worth a read!
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A terrific instance of the murderer who makes an insanely complicated alibi for himself only to be caught out by the hero. So good it's to the point where the book is more or less a parody of the genre. Some of Agatha Christie's stuff have the murderers preplanning alibis even more complicated, but since she invented the type I guess they don't really count as parodies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who had not done it if you read for background it is lots of fun can you imagine all those trains? the artist colony is seldom used today in mysteries or the writing colonies not to mention dude ranches . it was nice to get him away from the city. It was not deliberate so no anguish of having to hang someone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Requires an intimate knowledge of train connections between small Scottish towns--gave up after a hundred pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What if everyone in the book disliked the murdered victim, and all(or most) of them have no alibis...a rousing tale.
angharad_reads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ugh. What crap. This is a Peter Wimsey timetable mystery. Timetable! Must be half the book taken up with "but what if he rode his bike in the other direction and pretended to get off that train first". And then the madcap reënactment at the end, but with no surprise killer plot twist. And not enough piffle. It gets more than a single star because it's Wimsey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Because of all the fishing and trains sayer seems to add interesting stuff that i skip when re read like bell ringing notes and secret code solving and bus and trains routes but its historical because where are all the trauns and country buses and the vicar riding five miles on oarish visit and heroines walking one or two miles without sneakers another world and did you figure out where vthe electric came from in country houses.? Own generator!