mandag den 16. februar 2009

My first crime novel: Clouds of Witness (1926)

The first crime novel I got was Dorothy Sayers´ Cloud of Witness. Together with my parents I visited my grandmother one Sunday afternoon when I was around thirteen years old. As usual, I browsed her books and fell into the first adult crime story I had ever read. I enjoyed meeting Lord Peter Wimsey, the distinguished detective, and his little helper, Inspector Charles Parker, but of course we had to go home before I had finished reading the 286 pages.

"You may keep it. I have read it," my grandmother said so I brought my treasure home. Even today, when I own more than 500 crime novels, this old book is quite special to me. Not only because it was the first, but my dear, generous, humorous grandmother gave it to me!

So this was my first meeting with Dorothy Sayers. I really liked the book, and I have read all her Peter Wimsey stories years ago. One of the things I remember about "Clouds of Witness" is that I thought Wimsey and Parker were ´old men´, or at least middle-aged, so I was amazed when they had solved the mystery and celebrated by getting drunk. I thought that was out of character.



Min første krimi: Et væld af beviser (1947)
Den første krimi jeg fik, var Dorothy Sayers "Et væld af beviser". Jeg var på søndagsbesøg hos min farmor sammen med mine forældre, da jeg var ca tretten år gammel. Som sædvanlig gik jeg ombord i hendes bogreol, og faldt i min første voksenkrimi. Jeg nød mødet med Lord Peter Wimsey, den adelige detektiv, og hans lille hjælper, politiassistent Charles Parker, men selvfølgelig skulle vi hjem, længe før jeg var nået igennem alle 286 sider.

"Du må godt beholde den; jeg har læst den" sagde min farmor, så jeg tog min nyerhvervede skat med mig hjem. Selv idag, hvor jeg ejer mere end 500 krimier, er den plettede, gamle bog helt speciel for mig. Ikke bare fordi den var den første, men min søde, gavmilde og humoristiske farmor gav mig den!

Så sådan mødte jeg Dorothy Sayers for første gang. Jeg blev vældig glad for bogen, og har siden læst hele Peter Wimsey-serien. En af de ting, jeg kan huske om "Et væld af beviser" er, at jeg så Peter Wimsey og Charles Parker for mig som gamle mænd, eller i hvert fald midaldrende, så jeg var helt forbløffet, da de havde opklaret mysteriet og fejrede det ved at drikke sig fulde. Det passede ikke rigtigt til mine forestillinger.

6 kommentarer:

Uriah Robinson sagde ...

A lovely story Dorte. My late mother in law who died last year aged 97 was always saying "I love a good murder".

Louise sagde ...

I loved this post too, Dorte, and feel like writing one like it myself :-)

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you!
This was a post I thoroughly enjoyed writing. My grandmother died 25 years ago, but she was such a warm and wonderful person that she still makes us laugh whenever we remember her.

Dorte H sagde ...

Louise, please do. I can see Maxine has also been inspired by it here: http://petrona.typepad.com/petrona/2009/02/crime-fiction-for-all-tastes-.html
- and she invites people to write about the first crime novel/adult novel they read.
If people become inspired by my post by writing similar ones, is that what is called a meme?

bkclubcare sagde ...

So, to your young and impressionable mind, you found it odd that old men celebrate by getting drunk? Something about this strikes me funny. I don't know why exactly but it continues to amuse me!

Dorte H sagde ...

Serious detectives in suits and white shirts getting wildly drunk in public - yes, that did amaze me.
What amuses me today is remembering how old people in their thirties seemed then. I am ten years older, but I certainly don´t feel old :D