In 1922, she found a position as an advertising copywriter at Benson's, a London advertising agency. Meanwhile, her father had changed his parish for an even poorer living at Wisbech, in the Fen country, and she spent her vacations there writing drafts of a novel featuring a nobleman/detective whose family seat was also in that district. The first Wimsey novel, Whose Body?, was published in 1923, and three others followed.
By this time, Sayers's romantic life was rather unhappy. She had many beaux at university, however, she did not fall deeply in love until she was 29, to a caddish journalist and novelist named John Cournos. She would have married him, but he claimed not to believe in marriage and so she broke up with him later. The experience scarred her deeply, and in Strong Poison she made the story a central part of the plot, putting Harriet Vane in the same situation. On the rebound, she had an affair with a car salesman and motorcyclist, Bill White, and to her consternation became pregnant. Her son was delivered in secrecy-- even her parents never knew-- and was raised by a cousin; it soon became clear that Bill could not be a reliable husband.
Two years later, in 1926, she married a divorced journalist and celebrated raconteur, Capt. Atherton Fleming, known as 'Mac' and he later adopted her child as his own. They were comrades at first and enjoyed each other's company, but as Sayers's success grew, he became unhappy, and he began to drink and to treat her badly. Their unhappiness continued until his sudden death in 1950.
Sayers today is known as much for her scholarship and translations as for her detective writing, just as she would have hoped; but the Wimsey novels are still remarkable for their artful combination of solid puzzles and strong, interesting personalities, so that the plot is driven as much by the characters themselves as by the detection. Sayers frequently lamented that "modern" writers of her time had decided that characterization got in the way of the plot, and she consciously aimed in her stories to bring the detective story back into the rich tradition of the 19th-century English novel. Her rich, literate writing shows how satisfying the the combination of mystery and manners can be.