As My Wimsey Takes Me
Episode 10: STRONG POISON, part 1

Episode 10: STRONG POISON, part 1

February 24, 2020

In which Charis and Sharon finally (finally!) start discussing STRONG POISON, the fifth Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. We talk about the dramatic introduction of Harriet Vane, our love for the novel's first few chapters, and the theme of the detective's intuition. We also cover Parker's promotion, Sayers' desire to "Reichenbach" Peter, and the many callbacks this book has to previous mysteries in the series.

This will be the first of two episodes on the first half of STRONG POISON. We do not give away the whodunnit.

For episode shownotes and transcripts, please visit our website.

Episode 9: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 3

Episode 9: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 3

February 10, 2020

In which Charis and Sharon wrap up the discussion of THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB. We finally meet a key suspect and reveal the culprit. We also talk about whether or not art always reflects something about the artist's psyche. And we cover the unequal care given to traumatized members of different economic classes, Peter "starting to see women as people," Parker as sidekick vs. policeman, and why Peter turns certain criminals in to the law and offers others a different ending. We also talk about all our many favorite lines from THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB!

This episode gives away the whodunnit.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 8: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 2

Episode 8: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 2

January 27, 2020

In this second of three episodes on THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, Charis and Sharon run through the events of chapters 8 through 16. We continue to explore the similarities between this book and the themes we talked about in our two earlier episodes on UNNATURAL DEATH. We also discuss our glimpse into Parker at work, alternative sidekicks for Peter, and the introduction of Marjorie Phelps.

This episode does not give away the whodunnit. For our first episode on THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, listen here.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 7: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 1

Episode 7: THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, part 1

January 13, 2020

In which Charis and Sharon dive in to the first third of THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB, the fourth Lord Peter Wimsey mystery! Join us as we talk about the book's portrayal of generational reactions to World War I, the effect of the war on different temperaments, and unhappy marriages in the wake of the war. We also cover the many similarities between this book and UNNATURAL DEATH, insights into how Peter organizes his cases, and how Chris Evans wears really excellent sweaters in Rian Johnson's KNIVES OUT.

This episode covers up through chapter 7 and does not spoil the whodunnit.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 6.5: “The Locked Room” and Listener Q+A

Episode 6.5: “The Locked Room” and Listener Q+A

December 30, 2019

In this holiday episode, Charis and Sharon discuss "The Locked Room," a Lord Peter short story that was just published for the first time in 2019. It appeared in BODIES FROM THE LIBRARY 2, edited by Tony Medawar. Special thanks to Tony Medawar and to Laura Schmidt, archivist at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, for speaking with us about the background for anthology collection and the story manuscript respectively!

We also wrap up loose ends from our conversations about UNNATURAL DEATH by revisiting our talk about the racism in the book, quoting our favorite lines, and talking about the novel's original US title. And we ring out the year by answering some questions submitted by our listeners.

**Note: If you would like to remain completely unspoiled for "The Locked Room," our discussion of the story starts at minute 19 and ends at 49:13.**

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 6: UNNATURAL DEATH part 2

Episode 6: UNNATURAL DEATH part 2

December 16, 2019

In which Charis and Sharon discuss the second half of UNNATURAL DEATH. We reveal the whoddunnit right away and chat about how difficult it is to talk around the culprit when it comes to this book. This episode revisits our conversations on spinsters, lesbianism, and the detective's moral responsibility in light of later revelations in the book. We also boggle at the over-abundance of murders in this novel and have a lengthy discussion on how to deal with casual racism in the literature we love.

*Content note: UNNATURAL DEATH contains several instances of a racial slur. We do not use the word ourselves in our discussion, but we do talk about its appearance and context in this episode.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 5: UNNATURAL DEATH, part 1

Episode 5: UNNATURAL DEATH, part 1

December 2, 2019

In which Charis and Sharon discuss UNNATURAL DEATH, the third Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. We talk about how Lord Peter learns of this "crime of crimes," where a murder doesn't seem to have been committed at all. We also cover the issue of "surplus women" in the early 20th century, the prominence of spinsters in the book, the introduction of a favorite character, the novel's portrayal of lesbians, and what happens when the detective's actions lead to an innocent's death.

This episode covers up through chapter 10 of UNNATURAL DEATH and does not spoil the whodunnit.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 4: CLOUDS OF WITNESS, part 2

Episode 4: CLOUDS OF WITNESS, part 2

November 18, 2019

In which Charis and Sharon catch up after several life disruptions to discuss the second half of CLOUDS OF WITNESS. We cover the idea of mysteries as "convalescent literature," the novel's treatment of national stereotypes, power imbalances in romantic relationships, and the detective's family life. We also talk about why you should never go out onto the moors without your hat.

This episode reveals the whodunnit of CLOUDS OF WITNESS.

(An alert for our listeners: this episode contains the sound effect of a rifle firing. If you wish to avoid hearing it, skip past minute :50.)

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 3.5: THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY

Episode 3.5: THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY

November 8, 2019

Welcome to a very special episode of As My Wimsey Takes Me! In this episode, historian Mo Moulton joins us to talk about their new book THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY: HOW DOROTHY L. SAYERS AND HER OXFORD CIRCLE REMADE THE WORLD FOR WOMEN. Mo tells us about the amazing individuals who made up the Mutual Admiration Society, their lives and accomplishments, and how this friendship influenced Sayers as a thinker and an author.

THE MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY is now available for purchase in the US and UK. Additionally, Mo will be on tour promoting the book. You can find more information about tour dates and locations on their website.

About Mo: Dr. Mo Moulton is a historian of 20th century Britain and Ireland, interested in gender, sexuality, and colonialism/postcolonialism. They work as a Senior Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Birmingham, where they are the Director of the Modern British Studies Centre. Moulton earned their PhD from Brown University and spent several years working in the History & Literature program at Harvard University.

You can find Mo on Twitter @hammock_tussock and at their website, momoulton.com.

For additional shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.

Episode 3: CLOUDS OF WITNESS, part 1

Episode 3: CLOUDS OF WITNESS, part 1

November 4, 2019

In which Charis and Sharon discuss the first half of CLOUDS OF WITNESS, wherein Peter must defend his brother, the Duke of Denver, after the latter is accused of murdering their sister's fiancé.

We cover British vs. American detective fiction traditions and what CLOUDS OF WITNESS owes to the Victorian country house mystery. We also talk about Sharon's theory of epigraphs, depictions of marriage in the novel, options (or lack thereof) for independent women in the 1920s, and what a mystery with Charles Parker as the protagonist might look like.

An alert for our listeners: this episode includes the sound effect of a rifle firing. If you wish to avoid hearing it, skip past minute 1:10.

For shownotes and the episode transcript, please visit our website.