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Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

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When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the 'Gaudy,' the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obsentities, burnt effigies and poison-pen letters - including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection - and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.

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