I haven't read many of Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novels that don't also include Harriet Vane so I decided to treat myself to one of the mysteries Lord Peter solves before Harriet steals his heart, and I just happened to pick the one that is reputed to be the best, The Nine Tailors.
The reputation is well deserved as The Nine Tailors is a perfect mystery. Plenty of suspects, some of them nasty and some of them nice, an intricate plot but not one that is so complicated it's unreasonable, and a lot of interesting stuff going on that is pertinent to the plot but doesn't seem to be.
I loved learning about campanology, the study of bell ringing--btw, the nine tailors of the title has nothing to do with sewing and tailoring but everything to do with bell ringing--and, of course, I enjoyed Lord Peter's many quotations, literary asides, dry quips, and general decency and good humor. Those are the reasons I enjoy Lord Peter mysteries and gravitate to them as comfort food when the mood strikes. I also loved reading about the Fens of East Anglia, where the story takes place, and their drainage problems as well as the architecture of the church, both of which also figure into the story. I found myself picking up my iPhone frequently whilst reading to look up words and phrases, as well as maps and diagrams of sluices.
I followed up reading The Nine Tailors by checking out from the library the DVD of the episode of the TV series starring Ian Carmicheal. It was alright--the first episode was a complete flashback which showed the theft of the emeralds at the heart of the mystery and then showed Lord Peter and Bunter in WWI, which was very weird because they looked no different, apart from facial hair and uniforms, than they did ~15 years later when the mystery is unraveled. Apart from that, the adaptation was fairly faithful but nowhere near as enjoyable to watch as to read. I actually found myself nodding off at times, something that never happened while I was reading the mystery.