I like reading book in a series in order, even if the order really does not matter particularly to the series. The Five Red Herrings is one of those book in a series that could have been placed in a different order and would not have mattered. It barely has Wimsey’s faithful servant Bunter or Scotland Yard and Inspector Parker. The new love interest introduced in the last book is not even mentioned. This could just as easily have been book three as book seven in the series.
The mystery itself is not bad, but a lot of it is in fairly minor details to try to establish whether alibis are valid or not. As a mystery, it is well presented but dull. Sayers has some real glimpses of brilliant writing, almost always as insights into people or situations, but those do not really make up for a mediocre book.
Another annoyance is the written brogue because the Five Red Herrings is set in Scotland. I know why authors use it, but it really does seem to almost always end up being condescending. And it just takes more work to read and interpret it. Usually written phonetically, I end up basically reading the sections out loud so I an understand them.
As always with my mysteries, I want character development and relationships and this was lacking in both.