Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers is, without reservation, my favorite book of all time. I've read it at least ten times in the past two years. If you like England, if you like mysteries, if you like intelligent and witty writing by the most intelligent and witty author, if you like fantastic writing, read this book. If you're a fan of Gilmore Girls or House or any show full of literary quips and references, read this! Of course, it would probably help to read Strong Poison and Have His Carcase first, but regardless: Gaudy Night is a masterpiece-of-masterpieces.
Throughout her writing career, Sayers was determined to transcend the "whodunit" genre and make a mystery novel a good all-around novel. Gaudy Night was written in pre-WWII England (1930s), about an twisted prankster wreaking horrors on an Oxford women's college. As the United States celebrates Memorial Day, a day in which we remember troops who have died to protect our freedom, let us also remember the authors who defied convention to give us the true definition of great literature.