In the debut mystery in Dorothy L. Sayers’s acclaimed Lord Peter Wimsey series, the case of a dead bather draws Lord Peter into the first of many puzzling mysteries Lord Peter Wimsey spends his days tracking down rare books, and his nights hunting killers. Though the Great War has left his nerves frayed with shellshock, Wimsey continues to be London’s greatest sleuth—and he’s about to encounter his oddest case yet.
A strange corpse has appeared in a suburban architect’s bathroom, stark naked save for an incongruous pince-nez. When Wimsey arrives on the scene, he is confronted with a once-in-a-lifetime puzzle. The police suspect that the bathtub’s owner is the murderer, but Wimsey’s investigation quickly reveals that the case is much stranger than anyone could have predicted.My thoughts:
If you read any kind of mysteries it isn't long before the name Dorothy Sayers will pop up. Since I've been reading quite a few mysteries lately I decided to delve into Whose Body?, the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Series. I have to admit that just the name Lord Peter Wimsey intrigues me enough to read the book!
Detective work to Lord Peter Wimsey is a hobby. He has the aid of a Scotland Yard man, Charles Parker, and his loyal butler, Bunter to help him with his sleuthing. He isn't bothered in the least with his unconventional ways of investigation and he will keep investigating until he finds the real murderer.
If Bertie Wooster (P.G. Wodehouse) entered the mystery genre I think it would look a lot like Lord Peter Wimsey. Yes, Wimsey is much smarter than Bertie, but that element of British humor is a great addition. I did find the murder details in this story to be more descriptive than say an Agatha Christie Poirot mystery, but not anything close to most modern mystery writers.
I really enjoyed Whose Body?. Sayers writes a very suspenseful mystery with a just the right amount of humor in it that adds to the overall story.
Here were some passages I enjoyed:
- "Oh, quite," said Lord Peter, grinning at the telephone. The Duchess was always of the greatest assistance to his hobby of criminal investigation, though she never alluded to it, and maintained a polite fiction of its nonexistence.
- "I'm sure it must have been uncommonly distressin'," said Lord Peter, sympathetically, "especially comin' like that before breakfast. Hate anything tiresome happenin' before breakfast. Takes a man at such a confounded disadvantage, what?"
- Nevertheless, while communing with Dante, he made up his mind.