Gaudy Night Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Gaudy Night

    Gaudy Night is a tale of intrigue within an intellectual setting. The crime is not actually a physical wrong committed against any number of people, but is more of an intellectual crime committed against an educational institutition.
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The protagonist, Harriet Vane is asked to return to her alma mater Oxbridge, to solve the mystery of who might be doing the mechevious acts against certain Dons within the school. Vane herself has just recently been acquitted of murder against her old boyfriend who had been found dead of poisoning. Vane calls in her good friend Peter Wimsey to help her solve the mystery of the university.
    Wimsey is a world-renown sleuth who has political connections all over the continent. Through his many investigative tactics Wimsey is able to prove that the crime is against the intellectual women of the school and also against their integrity as scholastic members of society. The antagonist, due to the fact that her husband lost his tenure because of one of the Don's reports, has become bitter and evengeful.
    The plot of Gaudy Night is a highly sophisticated plot and is definately not for the reader who is looking for a easy and light-hearted read.   
The review of this Book prepared by Christina Forsyth

In Gaudy Night, the mystery takes a backseat to the characters. Normally, that'd be a disaster, but Sayers writes so well she can pull it off - and pull it off masterfully.

Harriet Vane returns to her Oxford alma mater, only to become involved in a poison pen mystery that threatens to do serious harm to her college.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Chapter Analysis of Gaudy Night

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 70%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical    -   very upbeat    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Somewhat obvious Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's    -   1900-1920's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   scholar    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Has special powers?    -   Yes Ethnicity/Race    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Gaudy Night

Dorothy L. Sayers Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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