Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey - Robert Kuhn McGregor, Ethan Lewis
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It's a scholarly yet very accessible work which traces the development of Dorothy L Sayers' detective hero Lord Peter Wimsey in the context of English social history of the 1920s and 1930s and Sayers' own life. The authors explore Sayers' use of Lord Peter to comment on issues such as the upheaval in English society caused by World War I, shifts in the class system and the expanding role of women. They relate the development of Lord Peter's character over the course of the eleven novels in which he features to the evolution of Sayers' worldview. The book includes two interesting appendices. The first is a timeline coordinating events of English history, Lord Peter's fictional life and Sayers' actual life. The second is an analysis of the sonnet started by Harriet Vane and completed by Lord Peter in Gaudy Night. There's also an extensive bibliography, which provides an excellent jumping-off point for further reading.

This is highly recommended for fans of Sayers' writing. Readers not familiar with the entire Wimsey canon should beware: the plots of the novels are discussed in some detail, so spoilers abound.