Cover image for Dorothy and Agatha
Dorothy and Agatha
Larsen, Gaylord, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, 1990.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This charming mystery was inspired by the author's curiosity about how Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers got along with one another. It is known that the two women were acquainted and, as members of the Detection Club, collaborated on several projects. While disclaiming any pretense at biography, Larsen bases his novel, set in England in the 1930s, on these established facts. The plot has Sayers, in the midst of preparing a play for production at the Canterbury Cathedral Festival, returning home one evening to find a dead man in her dining room; the apparent suicide victim has left a note suggesting that he and Sayers were lovers. Fellow members of the Detection Club, including Agatha Christie, decide to help their colleague--which leads to Agatha's discovery that Dorothy has lied about the circumstances of finding the body. The confrontation between and eventual alliance of the two ladies results in a good puzzler with a satisfying conclusion--and don't worry, the ladies come to no harm (although a few verbal barbs from Dorothy are close to lethal). ~--Stuart Miller

Publisher's Weekly Review

This literary fantasy uniting crime writers Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers as sleuths has promising moments, but is, overall, disappointing. When the corpse of an unidentified man is found in Sayers's English village home, where she is preparing for the 1937 production of her religious play, The Zeal in Thy House , Christie agrees to investigate. Christie discovers a secret Sayers had been trying desperately to hide, and despite some mutual antipathy, the novelists join forces. With their only clue the unusual nature of the gun used in the killing, the duo, pursued by a crass and persistent female American journalist, uncovers a tie to a gassing incident during WW I which had also involved Sayers's husband, the now alcoholic MacDonald Fleming. Another death and two near-fatalities occur before the killer is unmasked and Sayers extricated from her difficulties. Larsen's ( Crossing the Pyrenees ) pedestrian and often infelicitous prose further hampers this generally pallid novel, which does no service to the doyennes of the British mystery. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

YA-- When a body is discovered in the home of Dorothy Sayers, the Detective Club of famous British writers wants to solve the murder to eliminate the bad publicity that might follow. When they almost make matters worse, Agatha Christie takes over, identifies each clue, tracks it down, and solves the case. The background of the story shows the strong influence of World War I on the lives of the Britons--even as late as the time of the rise of Adolf Hitler. This entertaining novel brings Agatha and Dorothy to life and gives insight into their personalities even if in a fictional situation. The caricatures of these prim and proper ladies having tea (with pinkies curled) over a bleeding body will attract the attention of YAs.-- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.