Tag Archives: Dorothy L Sayers

Murder-on-Sea

Murder does like to be beside the seaside.

Thanks very much to my guests. Dr Allan Brodie is a visiting fellow at Bournemouth University and the author of books including England’s Seaside Heritage from the AirDr Kathryn Ferry is a historian of the British seaside and the author of books including The British Seaside Holiday, more information available at kathrynferry.co.uk.

Be aware: there is a brief, non-specific mention of suicide in this episode. There are no major spoilers and non-spoiler details given about the books listed below.

Mentioned in this episode:

The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude

The Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts

Mist on the Saltings by Henry Wade

The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

N or M? by Agatha Christie

Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr

When Last I Died by Gladys Mitchell

— “Razor Edge” by Anthony Berkeley, collected in Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards

The Case of the Haven Hotel by Christopher Bush

A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey

Mystery at Lynden Sands by JJ Connington

— And Being Dead by Margaret Erskine

The Crime Coast by Elizabeth Gill

The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh

Related Shedunnit episodes:

— Episode 1 of “Mysteries of Summer”: Cricket and Crime

— Episode 2 of “Mysteries of Summer”: Murder in a Heatwave

Murder on Holiday

NB: Links to Blackwell’s are affiliate links, meaning that the podcast receives a small commission when you purchase a book there (the price remains the same for you). Blackwell’s is a UK bookselling chain that ships internationally at no extra charge.

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Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/murderonseatranscript.

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See shedunnitshow.com/musiccredits for more details.

Cricket and Crime

Why are crime writers so bowled over by the game? Thank you to my guests, Dr. Andrew Green and cricket statistician Andy Zaltzman. You can find more cricket-related content and news from Andy by listening to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5, or via his podcast, The Bugle Ashes Urncast. You can find Dr.… Continue Reading

Meet The Coles

What happens when a couple of socialists decide to write mysteries? Thanks to my guest, Curtis Evans. His blog is The Passing Tramp and his book, The Spectrum of the English Murder, it is available through all good booksellers.  Join Caroline and guest Teresa Peschel for a free live episode of Shedunnit on YouTube on… Continue Reading

The Golden Age Autopsy

Step inside the mortuary. Thanks to my guest, Carla Valentine, for joining me. Her book, Murder Isn’t Easy: The Forensics of Agatha Christie, has lots more on this subject, as does her previous appearance on Shedunnit, Murder Isn’t Easy. Mentioned in the episode: — Murder Isn’t Easy by Carla Valentine— The Murder at the Vicarage… Continue Reading

The Advertising Adventures of Dorothy L. Sayers

She created Lord Peter Wimsey — and also some excellent slogans about mustard. Mentioned in this episode: — The Mutual Admiration Society by Mo Moulton — Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life And Soul by Barbara Reynolds — Dorothy L. Sayers: A Careless Rage for Life by David Coomes — Dorothy L. Sayers: A Companion to the… Continue Reading

Howdunnit

Invert everything you know about murder mysteries. Mentioned in this episode:— “The Case of Oscar Brodski” by R. Austin Freeman— The Mystery of 31, New Inn by R. Austin Freeman— The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman— John Thorndyke’s Cases by R. Austin Freeman— “A Wastrel’s Romance” by R. Austin Freeman— “The Art of… Continue Reading

Clerical Crimes

Why do murder mysteries contain so many vicars? Mentioned in this episode: — Measuring religious affiliation in Great Britain by Clive D. Field — The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers — Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James — The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie — Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers… Continue Reading

The Shedunnit Centenary

In which Caroline is the guest, not the host. Caroline Crampton is the host of Shedunnit. You can find out what she does when she’s not hosting this podcast at carolinecrampton.com or on Instagram @cacrampton. Guy Cuthbertson is her husband. His website is guycuthbertson.com and he tweets @guywjc. Mentioned in this episode: — The Lion,… Continue Reading

The Challenge Of Dorothy L. Sayers

Should detective fiction be easy reading? Thanks to my guest, Eric Sandberg. He is an assistant professor at City University of Hong Kong and the editor of Dorothy L. Sayers: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction. Mentioned in this episode: — Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers — The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins — The… Continue Reading

A Second Century of Whodunnits

Reading my way through the last hundred years, from the 1920s to the 2020s, one mystery at a time. My previous attempt at this reading project can be found in the episode A Century of Whodunnits. Books mentioned: — Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L Sayers — Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles — Laurels are… Continue Reading

Dorothy L Sayers Solves Her Mystery

Why did she stop writing detective fiction as WW2 approached? This is the sixth and final episode of Queens of Crime at War, a six part series looking at what the best writers from the golden age of detective fiction did once that period came to an end with the start of the Second World… Continue Reading

At Home With Shedunnit

Who would be the Hastings to your Poirot? What kind of mystery would you like to write? What would you do if you came across a corpse? In this special episode to celebrate Shedunnit’s third anniversary, Caroline’s husband Guy takes the mic and asks her all these questions and more. Guy is on Twitter as… Continue Reading

Double Trouble

What happens when two people write a whodunnit together? Thanks to my guests, Cordelia Biddle and Steve Zettler. They write separately under their own names and together under the pseudonym Nero Blanc. The whole Crossword Mysteries series can be found at crosswordmysteries.com, where there are links to buy each title. There are no spoilers in… Continue Reading

The Murder At Road Hill House Transcript

Caroline: Do you feel an uncomfortable heat at the pit of your stomach? Is there a nasty thumping at the top of your head? If there is, then you might have come down with a case of detective fever. According to Wilkie Collins’s 1868 novel The Moonstone, these were the symptoms — along with a sudden passion… Continue Reading

The Murder At Road Hill House

This sensational case from 1860 ignited a wave of detective fever that we still haven’t recovered from. Thanks to my guest Robin Stevens — you can hear her on two previous episodes of the show, Back to School and Death Sets Sail on the Nile, and her new collection of short stories about schoolgirl detectives Hazel… Continue Reading

Policing the Detectives Transcript

Caroline: Is detective fiction an escapist genre? The marketing for today’s thrillers and cosy mysteries that encourages us to “get away from the real world” for a while by reading about fictional crimes would suggest that it is. Expecting to be soothed by plots that centre on violent death might sound counter intuitive, but it… Continue Reading

Policing the Detectives

Is it possible to write a whodunnit and leave out the police? Many thanks to my guest, Nicole Glover. More information about her work is available at nicole-glover.com, and her first book, The Conductors, is out now in the US and the UK. The inspiration for this episode was Nicole’s article “Who Are You Going… Continue Reading

A Century of Whodunnits Transcript

Something I love about making this podcast is the space it provides for me to zoom right in. I can dedicate a whole episode to a single trope from classic detective fiction, whether that’s tropes like “the butler did it” or settings like “on a boat”. I’ve narrowed the focus even further by putting a… Continue Reading

A Century of Whodunnits

Reading through the twentieth century, one murder mystery at a time. There are no major spoilers in this episode, but the opening plot scenario of each book is discussed briefly. There is a major spoiler for the Sherlock Holmes story “The Final Problem” from 1893. The ten books I read for this episode are: —… Continue Reading

Cryptic Crimes Transcript

Caroline: Classic detective fiction has rules. Codified as the genre grew in popularity in the 1920s and early 30s, these conventions mostly feed into the idea of “fair play” between author and reader. The art of writing a good murder mystery, then, is sticking to this framework while also subverting it. There’s a great skill… Continue Reading

Cryptic Crimes

If you can solve a crossword, you can solve a murder. Thanks to my guest, Hamish Symington. You can find out more about his work at hamishsymington.com and order a custom cryptic crossword from him at customcrypticcrosswords.com. There are no major spoilers about clues or endings in this episode. However, there is some mention or… Continue Reading

The First Whodunnit Transcript

Caroline: The world of detective fiction has recently passed an important milestone. It’s a hundred years since the appearance of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. First serialised in the London Times in 1920, it appeared in book form first in the US at the end of that year and then in… Continue Reading

The First Whodunnit

What was the first murder mystery, really? No major spoilers about clues or endings in this episode. However, there is some mention or discussion of the books listed below. Sources and further information: — The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie — Partners In Crime by Agatha Christie — A Study In Scarlet by… Continue Reading

The People’s Pathologist

Before there was CSI, there was Bernard Spilsbury. No major spoilers about clues or endings in this episode. However, there is some mention or discussion of the books listed below. Please be aware there is a brief mention of suicide at the end. Sources and further information: — The Florence Maybrick episodes of this podcast:… Continue Reading

The People’s Pathologist Transcript

The murder mystery is a form that brings forth certainty from uncertainty. The job of the detective is to sort through the chaotic mass of clues and testimony to create an ordered, coherent narrative of how a crime was committed. Medical evidence forms a vital part of this process, often creating the parameters for a… Continue Reading

Poison Pen

Nothing could bad could possibly happen here, the inhabitants of the peaceful English village say to each other. Until the first poison pen letter arrives. No major spoilers about clues or endings in this episode. However, there is some mention or discussion of the books listed below. Also, be aware there is a very brief… Continue Reading

Spoiler Warning (No Spoilers)

Is it still worth reading a whodunnit if you know… who done it? Thanks to my guests Jim Noy of The Invisible Event and Kate Jackson of Cross Examining Crime. Jim is on Twitter @invisible_event and Kate is @ArmchairSleuth. NB: Despite the title, there are no major spoilers in this episode. However, there is some… Continue Reading

Peace At Last

The day the First World War ended, 11 November 1918, marked the beginning of a new era in which detective fiction would flourish. How did Britain go from “peace at last” to “whodunnit”? Thanks to my guest (and husband) Guy Cuthbertson. His book about Armistice Day is Peace At Last and he’s on Twitter as… Continue Reading

The Psychology of Anthony Berkeley

He was one of the most influential crime novelists of the 1920s and 1930s, but has languished somewhat in obscurity since. A troubled, dark, incredibly innovative writer: to really get to know Anthony Berkeley, you need to dive deeply into his fiction. Thanks to my guest Martin Edwards. His latest novel is Mortmain Hall and… Continue Reading

The Psychology of Anthony Berkeley Transcript

Caroline: The writers of detective stories can be as much of a mystery as the plots they create. During the 1920s and 30s, this attitude was especially prevalent. Some authors, grudgingly or not, accepted the publicity duties that often go with literary success — Dorothy L. Sayers, with her day job in advertising, was even quite… Continue Reading

The Telephone Call

Why has the murder of Julia Wallace on the night of 20 January 1931 haunted detective novelists for decades? Well, it all comes back to the telephone call. Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub. Books and sources:… Continue Reading

Locked Room

A body is found in a sealed chamber, definitely murdered, but there is no way the culprit can have got in or out. How was it done? Special thanks to my guest Jim Noy. He writes about detective fiction at theinvisibleevent.com, makes a podcast called In GAD We Trust, and once compiled a useful list… Continue Reading

The Lifelong Fan

Renée read her first detective novel in the 1930s. She hasn’t stopped since. Special thanks to my guest Renée. Her first crime novel is The Wild Card. Become a member of the Shedunnit Book Club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/bookclub. Books and sources: —These… Continue Reading

Notable Trials

How did a legal history series become so well known that even Lord Peter Wimsey owned a set? Special thanks today to my guest Dr Victoria Stewart. You can follow her on Twitter @verbivorial and order her book Crime Writing in Interwar Britain: Fact and Fiction in the Golden Age here. Become a member of the… Continue Reading

The Mutual Admiration Society

One chilly night in November 1912, a group of young women gathered together to share their writing with each other. From that meeting, we got Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane, and so much more besides. Special thanks today to my guest Mo Moulton, you can follow them on Twitter @hammock_tussock and order their book The Mutual… Continue Reading

Brides In The Bath

Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. But three times? Three women dead in identical circumstances is highly suspicious. This is the story of the brides in the bath. Become a member of the Shedunnit book club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/membership. Books… Continue Reading

Back To School

School is an enclosed world that breeds tension and suspicion and stress. No wonder it’s such a perfect setting for a murder mystery. Become a member of the Shedunnit book club and get bonus audio, listen to ad free episodes and join a book-loving community at shedunnitshow.com/membership. Contributors: —Moira Redmond, author of the Clothes in… Continue Reading

Period Style

Murder mysteries: if you believe the clichés, they all happened in the 1920s and 1930s, surrounded by flappers and butlers.  But let’s take a second to wonder — why is it that detective fiction is so closely associated with this period style? Find more information about my guest Jacqueline Winspear and the Maisie Dobbs books… Continue Reading

Pseudonyms

Authors’ names loom large when we think about detective stories. Yet many of them are pseudonyms, created just to appear on book covers. But why go to all this trouble? And what makes a good pen name, anyway? Find more information about my guest Helen Fields / H.S. Chandler at her website helenfields.co.uk and get… Continue Reading

The Secret Life of Ngaio Marsh Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the thirteenth episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: Before we get started with today’s show, I want to tell you about another podcast you should check out. The Lonely Palette is a show that aims to make art history accessible, enjoyable,… Continue Reading

The Secret Life of Ngaio Marsh

By any definition, the New Zealand crime writer Ngaio Marsh lived an extraordinary life. But who was she really, this globetrotting blockbuster author who divided her life between opposite sides of the world? Find more information about my guest Joanne Drayton and links to the books discussed at shedunnitshow.com/ngaiomarsh. To be the first to know… Continue Reading

Round Robin Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the twelfth episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: Writing is a solitary pastime. To invent the characters and stories that readers love, most authors have to lock themselves away from the world, avoiding company and interruptions until the blank page is… Continue Reading

Round Robin

 Writing is usually a solitary pastime, yet a group of detective fiction authors in the early 1930s decided to work together on murder mystery stories. Is it possible to construct a compelling whodunnit this way, or do too many cooks spoil the broth? Fill out the audience survey and have your say in the… Continue Reading

The Other Detectives

Some sleuths need no introduction. But other characters, also created by famous authors like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, lurk in obscurity. In this episode, we’re on the hunt for the other detectives. Find more information about this episode and links to the books discussed at shedunnitshow.com/theotherdetectives. The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr… Continue Reading

The Other Detectives Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the eleventh episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: Some sleuths need no introduction. They are constantly re-incarnated on television, on stage, in films, in new novels. Fans pore over the books and stories in which they appear, passionately discussing and dissecting… Continue Reading

Nurse Daniels

On 6 October 1926, a woman went into a cloakroom in Boulogne, France and never came out. She was never seen alive again. Her disappearance captivated the world, and even detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers tried to solve the case. This is the story of Nurse Daniels. Find more information about this episode and links… Continue Reading

Nurse Daniels Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the tenth episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: On 6 October 1926, a young woman went into the cloakroom on the quay at Boulogne in France. Her friend was waiting for her outside, expecting her to come out again quickly because they… Continue Reading

The Rules Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the ninth episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: A good detective story has a recognisable rhythm. The plot might have unexpected twists and the characters can surprise you, but there are certain structures and tropes that recur through much of the crime… Continue Reading

The Rules

A good detective story has a recognisable rhythm and plot points. But how did these tropes come about? And what happens when you break the rules? Find more information about this episode and links to the books discussed at shedunnitshow.com/therules. The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find… Continue Reading

Dining with Death Transcript

Here’s a full transcript of the eighth episode of Shedunnit. Click here to listen to it now in your app of choice. Caroline: It’s a perfect image of family harmony and domestic bliss. Everyone gathered around a table groaning with food, brought together for the daily ritual of breaking bread. Maybe it’s a huge dining room… Continue Reading