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Gaudy Night (Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries) (DVD)
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Malicious mischief infects an Oxford college in the Dorothy L. Sayers classic Gaudy Night, which happily reunites Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Wimsey, deftly played by Edward Petherbridge, is still proposing marriage at frequent intervals. Harriet (Harriet Walter), though unable to say yes, is also unable to send Lord Peter entirely away. But enough with the romance. As Wimsey heads off for some foreign service work, Harriet visits her alma mater and lands smack in the middle of a poison-pen scandal. Harriet's status as a mystery writer, naturally, means she's the one who should investigate. Sayers clearly had fun writing this one, using Harriet to gently tweak her own profession, at the same time both parodying and defending the cloistered life at a women's college. The production is beautifully done and the performances are terrific, and Gaudy Night brings a satisfying end to the story arc begun with Strong Poison and Have His Carcase. --Ali Davis
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