So Greeby was murdered for his Platonic enclitics. Or perhaps he wasn't. At the time Sayers wrote Murder at Pentecost, John Dewar Denniston was reading systematically through the whole of Greek Classical Literature to perfect his maximum opus: The Greek Particles published in 1934. I wonder if Sayers knew what he was working on, and, with a tactful variatio, is alluding to it.
Denniston was a mighty scholar. In our day, academe has arranged its wagons into a fortified corral; it is manned by in vitro life-forms generated in PhD manufactories; dominated by a culture of five-papers-a-year. Denniston's was a broader era when teachers hopped back and forth between posts in Oxbridge and jobs in Public Schools or Whitehall, and the Detective Fiction novel was a literary form enjoyed and respected by the Intelligentsia (some of whom, indeed, such as 'Michael Innes', wrote it).
Denniston was a very serious practicioner of the art of Prose Composition: i.e. putting passages of English into Latin or Greek. He rightly believed that you haven't really understood a language until you have become expert at writing it yourself. He was particularly attached to Greek Prose Compo, and formed a group of Oxford College tutors who not only taught the undergraduates this art, but practised it among themselves. In 1949, they published Some Oxford Compositions. Another member of this group, Maurice Bowra, who wrote an obituary of Denniston for the British Academy in 1949, wrote that "He excelled at Greek Prose and was equally accomplished in the Platonic and the Demosthenic manners. ... the first produced more dazzling results in versions from Shelley and Meredith and Dorothy Sayers ... for every word and every phrase he found an equivalent at once exact and exciting, and the final result was itself an accomplished piece of art. For example, in translating a piece of Dorothy Sayers he had to deal with something which was undeniably conversational but had none the less a literary distinction ..." Bowra then quotes the passage from chapter 3 of the Bellona Club which begins "Well, Felicity ...", and gives four lines from Denniston's Greek version; and comments "This called for something in Plato's most dashing manner, and got it in Denniston's version ... This is certainly Plato, but it is also Miss Dorothy Sayers".
Agatha Christie did a fair bit of damage to the prestige of 'Detective Fiction', with her mechanical denouements, her superficial cardboard characters, her wooden style, and her lack of intellectual depth. Sayers, on the other hand, gives witty and penetrating expositions of life and culture between the Wars; the bohemian underworld and the Left Book Club; rich widows and their gigolos in seaside grand hotels; the advertising industry; women's colleges in the decade after "women got their degrees at Oxford"; exploitative Lesbian relationships; the fad for 'Spiritualism"; the Abdication Crisis ... And she can contrive the most diverting genre-confusions: has anybody else ever realised the erotic potential of the Oxford Degree Ceremony?
I do urge any readers who have a curiosity about the Thirties and have not yet met Dorothy Sayers, to do so. She was so good a writer of English prose that the best brains in Oxford used her books for their most mind-stretching intellectual exercises. Her own style was honed and polished by her studies in the Greek, Latin, and English Classics, her love of French, and her adventures translating Dante.
And she was an extraordinarily able apologist for orthodox Christian belief. She took no prisoners.
Don't be put off by Media "adaptations". As with Narnia, so with Sayers: adaptations are devised by non-Christian subliterates with the motive of excising anything which lies outside their own poverty zones.