Hard as it is for me, a commoner, to believe, the character of Harriet Vane was far from universally adored by readers. Dorothy L. Sayers in a letter to Donald Tovey, dated 18 January 1934:
You are one of the very few people with intelligent sympathy for Lord Peter and his Harriet. Most of them beg me not to let him marry “that horrid girl.” They don’t understand the violent conflict underlying her obstinacy—I am glad you do. There’s stuff in Harriet, but it isn’t the conventional heroine stuff, you see. My only reason for holding her up is that the difficult situation between her and Lord P. is psychologically so difficult that it really needs a whole book to examine and resolve. The Nine Tailors, by the way, goes back a few years to an almost pre-Harriet period. But I will tackle the problem one of these days, and in the howl of execration that will go up when I marry Lord Peter off, I shall hope to hear your voice uplifted in defence of his happiness and of Harriet!