Some time ago, I was asked for permission to allow a quote from me (an extract from the intro to Ask a Policeman) to be included in a new book about Dorothy L. Sayers. We reached agreement and I've now had a chance to look at the book, which is written by Colin Duriez and published by Lion Hudson. The title is: Dorothy L. Sayers: Death, Dante, and Lord Peter Wimsey.
The author is an expert on C.S. Lewis, and is especially interested in Sayers' relationship with Christianity. Her faith was extremely important to her and Duriez writes sympathetically about her moral dilemmas and struggles, especially in connection with the birth of her son, a secret she kept hidden from the world to the end of her life.
In the overall scheme of the book, Sayers' detective fiction doesn't play a large part and it's clear that it's of even less interest to Duriez than it was to Sayers' principal biographer, Barbara Reynolds, whose magisterial book about DLS remains the key text on her life. So, for instance, The Documents in the Case (to the genesis of which Reynolds devoted a whole chapter, a part of her book I found especially fascinating) does not even get a mention. There's no mention at all of Taking Detective Stories Seriously, in which I gathered her wonderful crime reviews for the Sunday Times.
I can understand this focus, since of course Sayers herself stopped writing detective novels while still in her forties and preferred to concentrate on theological writing and translating Dante, although she remained devoted to the Detection Club to the time of her death. For my part, I'm primarily interested in her influential contribution to crime writing, both as a novelist and a commentator. This book doesn't cast any fresh light on those areas of her work, it has to be said, but it serves perfectly well as a concise and very readable introduction to the life of a remarkable woman.