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The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers

Selections from Her Novels, Plays, Letters, and Essays


With an appreciation by C. S. Lewis

4.67 Stars on Goodreads Read Reviews

In this anthology, renowned murder mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers tackles faith, doubt, human nature, and the most dramatic story ever told.


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About The Book

For almost a century, a series of labyrinthine murder mysteries have kept fans turning pages hungrily as Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane discover whodunit, again and again.

Detective novel enthusiasts may not know that for almost as many years, Christian thinkers have appreciated the same Dorothy L. Sayers for her acumen as an essayist, playwright, apologist, and preeminent translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Now, for the first time, an anthology brings together the best of both worlds. The selections uncover the gospel themes woven throughout Sayers’s popular fiction as well as her religious plays, correspondence, talks, and essays. Clues dropped throughout her detective stories reveal an attention to matters of faith that underlies all her work.

Those who know Sayers from her nonfiction writings may wonder how she could also write popular genre fiction. Sayers, like her friend G. K. Chesterton, found murder mysteries a vehicle to explore the choices characters make between good and evil. Along with C. S. Lewis and the other Inklings, with whom she maintained a lively correspondence, Sayers used her popular fiction to probe deeper questions. She addressed not only matters of guilt and innocence, sin and redemption, but also the cost of war, the role of the conscience, and the place of women in society.

None of these themes proved any hindrance to spinning a captivating yarn. Her murder mysteries are more reminiscent of Jane Austen than Arthur Conan Doyle, with all the tense interpersonal exploration of the modern novel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 

  1. Whose Body? /Conscience
  2. Unnatural Death /Sin and Grace
  3. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club /Covetousness
  4. Strong Poison /Forgiveness
  5. The Documents in the Case / Judgment
  6. The Dogma Is the Drama / Belief
  7. The Five Red Herrings / Pride
  8. Have His Carcase / Despair and Hope
  9. Murder Must Advertise / Greed
  10. The Nine Tailors / Creativity Read an excerpt
  11. The Greatest Drama / Resurrection
  1. The Mind of the Maker / Sacrificial Love
  2. Gaudy Night / Work
  3. Are Women Human? / Equality
  4. Creed or Chaos? / Envy
  5. Unpopular Opinions / Faith
  6. The Man Born to Be King / Incarnation
  7. King of Sorrows / The Cross
  8. The Just Vengeance / Images and Symbols
  9. Busman’s Honeymoon / Time and Eternity

A Panegyric for Dorothy L. Sayers by C. S. Lewis

Chronology

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