Gaudy Night, CD-Audio
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A full-cast dramatisation specially recorded for BBC Audiobooks, starring Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey.

When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the 'Gaudy', the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies and poison-pen letters - including one that says, 'Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup.' Some of the notes threaten murder and one of them involves a long Latin quotation, which makes Harriet suspect that the perpetrator is probably a member of the Senior Common Room.

But which of the apparently rational, respectable dons could be committing such crazed acts?

When a desperate undergraduate, at her wits' end after receiving a series of particularly savage letters, attempts to drown herself, Harriet decides that it is time to ask Lord Peter Wimsey for help.

As his investigation draws near to uncovering the culprit, Harriet's life comes under threat. And when the mystery is finally solved, she is faced with an agonising decision: should she, after five years of rejecting his proposals, finally agree to marry Lord Peter? "Solid entertainment throughout". (Eastern Daily Press).


  • Format: CD-Audio
  • Pages: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audio, A Division Of Random House
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780563494096



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I was looking forward to getting to this radioplay. It wasn't one of my favourite books when reading it, I don't think, but I'm already very attached to Peter and Harriet, while listening to the radioplays, and I knew that this would be a crux of both characters' development. I believe this was recorded a long time after the others: certainly, Ian Carmichael remains wonderful but you can hear age and tiredness in his voice. He's not quite so jolly and smooth as he used to be. Not enough bounce to still be the perfect Peter Wimsey, I'm afraid. Still, it would've sounded wrong to have anyone else do it.<br/><br/>I'll confess that I was mostly hanging on for the bits about Peter and Harriet. I wasn't so fond of the way this was narrated, by Harriet, instead of being a radioplay in the same style as the others. That made some of the transitions feel a little clunky to me -- but the ending made up for it all. Oh, Peter.

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