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[PDF / Epub] ☁ Whose Body? Author Dorothy L. Sayers –

The Stark Naked Body Was Lying In The Tub Not Unusual For A Proper Bath, But Highly Irregular For Murder Especially With A Pair Of Gold Pince Nez Deliberately Perched Before The Sightless Eyes What S , The Face Appeared To Have Been Shaved After Death The Police Assumed That The Victim Was A Prominent Financier, But Lord Peter Wimsey, Who Dabbled In Mystery Detection As A Hobby, Knew Better In This, His First Murder Case, Lord Peter Untangles The Ghastly Mystery Of The Corpse In The Bath

10 thoughts on “Whose Body?

  1. says:

    The very first Lord Peter Wimsey novel, and thus the genesis of one of the most engaging characters I ve ever encountered, literary or otherwise Actually, make that at least two since Bunter is equally astounding , and maybe three because the Dowager s quite engaging, too In rereading this, I found myself surprised at how solid the characters are at the very beginning of the series they are essentially the same fully realized people they are ten books later, though we only see certain facets of them here More dimension follows later.There is so much that I love about this book, including the very first page its first two words, and indeed the first two words Wimsey ever utters to us, are Oh, damn Just a few lines down is the sentence that encapsulates so much about Sayers s writing, the perfect litmus test for the Lord Peter series His long, amiable face looked as if it had generated spontaneously from his top hat, as white maggots breed from Gorgonzola Either you find that quirkily poetic and want to read , or you should be reading something else entirely Curiously, this is only the first of no fewer than three completely random and incidental mentions in this volume of that particular cheese I have to assume that Sayers was a fan The actual mystery is brilliant a man goes into his bathroom one morning to find a naked corpse in the tub, wearing nothing but a pair of golden pince nez He has no idea who the man might be or how he came to be dead in his tub Meanwhile, a financial bigwig s gone missing, and while he bears a superficial likeness to the corpse found across town, they are clearly not one and the same.But as satisfying as the cases are, satisfying by far is the chance to meet Lord Peter as he babbles foolishly in the way only the very rich can get away with, picking apart the mysteries while quoting poetry in between snifters of Napoleon brandy and bidding on early editions of Dante And early 20s England is painted beautifully which is not entirely surprising, given that the book was written in, erm, early 20s England Quite.There are some rough edges, to be sure the odd temporary shifts into second person perspective leap to mind , but they are ultimately very forgivable in a first novel and almost seem charming in light of the later works.If you d like to give it a whirl before expending any energy to get an actual copy of the book, the novel is now public domain, and appears in its entirety here And the preface is quite good, too.

  2. says:

    Time to meet Lord Peter Wimsey, archetype of amateur gentleman detective his sidekick, the invaluable valet Bunter Bunter Yes, my lord Her Grace tells me that a respectable Battersea architect has discovered a dead man in his bath Indeed, my lord That s very gratifying Very, Bunter Your choice of words is unerring I wish Eton and Balliol had done as much for me Update 13 03 2017I did not really have any expectations, this book having been my first from Dorothy L Sayers, just some curiosity of how she compares to my beloved Agatha Christie Having said that much, I was still pleasantly surprised at how much enjoyed reading it I loved the all characters Lord Peter Wimsey, Bunter, detective inspector Parker the Dowager Duchess of Denver Lord Peter s mother.In the beginning, Bunter read very much like Jeeves to Lord Peter s Bertie Wooster Lord Peter Wimsey It s much easier to work on someone else s job than one s own gives one that delightful feelin of interferin and bossin about, combined with the glorious sensation that another fellow is takin all one s own work off one s hands Bunter Yes, Mr Graves, it s a hard life, valeting by day and developing by night morning tea at any time from 6.30 to 11, and criminal investigation at all hours I m off With a taxi I can just Not in those trousers, my lord, said Mr Bunter, blocking the way to the door with deferential firmness Oh, Bunter, pleaded his lordship, do let me just this once You don t know how important it is Not on any account, my lord It would be as much as my place is worth Their exchanges are funny and a nice comic relief, but as the story continues both characters along with DI Parker gather depth Nothing too elaborately detailed, but rather through some nice little touches you learn that a seemingly flippant, offhand Lord Peter served in WW I and suffered a nervous breakdown due to shell shock from which he never recovered completely Sometimes he has relapses, especially if his investigations like here lead to someone even though a murderer losing their life We also learn that Bunter served under Lord Peter s command during his relapses he takes care of him conscientiously effectively.Detective Parker seems to be another sidekick to Lord Peter It affords me, if I may say so, the greatest satisfaction, continued the noble lord, that in a collaboration like ours all the uninteresting and disagreeable routine work is done by you He is thorough, cautious, clever well educated reminds me a bit of Lt Arthur Tragg in the Perry Mason series He likes reading biblical commentary as a chill out before going to sleep.One of the most interesting parts of the book was a conversation between Lord Peter Parker which highlights their characters even Look here, Peter, said the other with some earnestness, suppose you get this playing fields of Eton complex out of your system once and for all There doesn t seem to be much doubt that something unpleasant has happened to Sir Reuben Levy Call it murder, to strengthen the argument If Sir Reuben has been murdered, is it a game and is it fair to treat it as a game That s what I m ashamed of, really, said Lord Peter It is a game to me, to begin with, and I go on cheerfully, and then I suddenly see that somebody is going to be hurt, and I want to get out of it Yes, yes, I know, said the detective, but that s because you re thinking about your attitude You want to be consistent, you want to look pretty, you want to swagger debonairly through a comedy of puppets or else to stalk magnificently through a tragedy of human sorrows and things But that s childish If you ve any duty to society in the way of finding out the truth about murders, you must do it in any attitude that comes handy You want to be elegant and detached That s all right, if you find the truth out that way, but it hasn t any value in itself, you know You want to look dignified and consistent what s that got to do with it You want to hunt down a murderer for the sport of the thing and then shake hands with him and say, Well played hard luck you shall have your revenge tomorrow Well, you can t do it like that Life s not a football match You want to be a sportsman You can t be a sportsman You re a responsible person I don t think you ought to read so much theology, said Lord Peter It has a brutalizing influence When finding out who the murderer is, Lord Peter gets also thrown into a moral dilemma view spoiler The murderer, though not a nice person, as such, is a very useful member of society, who does some good work is charitable hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Dorothy L Sayers wrote mysteries notably, the Lord Peter Wimsey series from the 1920 s through the early 1950 s She also did translations, such as Dante s Inferno She was a controversial writer of her time and a very accomplished one From letters she wrote, she had begun working out her plot for Whose Body in 1920 21 and the book was published in 1923.Lord Peter Wimsey has found his own critics as a character He was in WWI and experienced shell shock with a consequent fear of responsibility due to his regiment being decimated during the war He comes off as garrulous at times due to nervous tension, and all the quirks of his personality are due to his war experiences At the same time, he is aware of his life of privilege and wants to do something meaningful thus, his hobby of investigating crime cases.The Dowager Duchess of Denver, Lord Peter s and Lord Wimsey s Gerald mother, is shrewd enough to know that if her son is to fully recover, his hobby could be a good avenue for getting there When she learns that the body of a man turns up in the tub of an architect she knows, she lets Peter know about it and asks him to see if there is anything he can do.Detective Sugg, an arrest whoever is handy sort, is in the process of trying to find proof that the architect and his house maid contrived to hide this crime in plain view Lord Peter disagrees, and his friend with Scotland Yard, Charles Parker, sees it the same as Lord Peter Meantime, Parker also has a case that just came up a well known Jewish financier named Sir Reuben Levy has disappeared.Thus begins the story that winds its way through many different households and settings The writing is definitely brilliant and, aside from Lord Peter s own thought processes becoming the chief red herrings, those same wayward thought processes get the job of solving the crime done.Bunter, Lord Peter s manservant and one of his Seargents in the war, is a photography buff and aids in both finding and eliminating possible leads Parker takes up a lot of Lord Peter s slack when Lord Peter experiences agitation at getting too close to possible suspects At one point, Parker lectures him that he can t treat crime solving like a football match at school that it isn t a game and he must get over his notion of giving suspects a sporting chance.Lord Peter, at one point, does have an episode with flashbacks to the war It is when he believes he has discovered a guilty person and is reluctant, yet driven, to do the right thing.The depth of the characters is one of the chief features of this book While they may awkwardly hide behind academics or sheer verbal frivolity at times, there are reasons if no excuses for these excursions I enjoyed the psychological aspects of the characters as much as I did the mystery itself This initial offering in the series has made me very curious and I look forward to getting to know these characters further in the second book of the series.

  4. says:

    Oh, I feel so badly how much I disliked this book As a mystery genre fan and avid reader of Agatha Christie, I thought for sure I would enjoy the much reccomended Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L Sayers But alas, I found myself bored and annoyed by the personalities of the characters.The plot seems interesting enough a random body of a man wearing nothing but a pair of glasses shows up in a bathtub Who is he and how did it get there Book collector Peter Wimsey is on the case To be honest I couldn t bring myself to complete this book The characters were much too arrogant for my taste and the whole take on the mystery solving seemed primitive Not to mention constant anti semetic comments littering much of the book I just was very turned off by it all.Some people consider this an early mystery masterpiece Me I pass.

  5. says:

    British Jason 1 Jolly good book, what British Jason 2 Oh, rather British Jason 1 I say, how much longer do you suppose we can keep this up British Jason 2 Not long, old bean I ve run out of stereotypical Brit words and this ridiculous accent is doing me head in I almost filed this all up in my PG Wodehouse shelf The similarities in style, setting and character are striking There s a somewhat daffy lead in Lord Peter Wimsey, though he s clearly got on the ball than Bertie Wooster There s the taciturn Parker, just a little looser and given freedom than the butler Jeeves After all, Parker is a police investigator and his own man Even the time and place, 1920s England, hits the Jeeves Wooster mark.The mystery of who dunnit wasn t exactly mind boggling I suspected the culprit almost the moment he hit the stage But this mystery doesn t seem to care for the diabolical plot as much as others in the genre Dorothy Sayers appears perhaps interested in developing a deeper character No, no one between the pages of Whose Body is coming close to Dostoyevsky s Raskolnikov, but Sayers seems concerned with her whys as opposed to her whos For instance, the reasoning behind Lord Peter s desire to catch criminals comes into question than once through the book His past reaches into the present to color the proceedings These are nice touches that you don t tend to get with Agatha Christie Does Sayers always succeed in her quest for why No Allow me to explain The criminal s confession is than a mystery genre trope It s a staple Unnaturally delivered admissions of guilt absolutely abound in these books and it is taken to a RIDICULOUS extreme in Whose Body Sure, the bad guy is said to be one of those clever chaps who needs to brag, but that doesn t justify the lengths to which the character details his every move Let s face it, Sayers had come up with something good and she couldn t help blurting it out Bah, I don t care It was very interesting after all I don t think I could put this review to bed without mentioning this book s racism It is a product of its time, a time when Jewish intolerance was rising and no one but whites were thought much of by whites Also, at one point the main character says something like He s got a touch of the tar baby in him Perhaps it s all part of Sayers attempt to create a well rounded and representative person from 1920s England Perhaps it was the casual racism that came naturally to her as it did to so many of her era If you don t understand and need an example, have a look around It s the same sort of casual racism happening today.

  6. says:

    At last, I pick up Dorothy Sayers first mystery novel and finally learn the Origins of Lord Peter except, this isn t an origin story like I was expecting We don t get to see Lord Peter as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, deciding to become a defender of justice while pretending to be a empty headed rich playboy oh man, did anyone else start thinking of Peter Wimsey Batman slashfic Maybe Batman builds a time machine and goes back to the 1930 s and he and Peter fight crime together while Alfred and Bunter hang out and trade dry witticisms and then everyone makes out Give me a couple days, I ll work on it instead, this is like the earlier Batman movies, where he s already running around Gotham punching people in funny outfits and it s always been that way There are some references in this book to Peter taking up detective work out of boredom, but when the book starts he s already solved several important cases and has his method figured out Boo on Sayers for not giving me the gritty origin story I expected, but that s okay Aside from that quibble, I enjoyed this story pretty well like most other reviewers, I guessed the culprit pretty quickly, but it s not Sayers fault that I watch so much Law and Order SVU and have learned to pick out the patterns This is very obviously a first novel, and her style has improved a lot since this book It s not the best in the series, but it s still a fun, brief detective romp Which leaves only one thing left to talk about.RACISM In her very thoughtful review of this book, Kelly expressed discomfort with what she saw as anti Semitic elements present throughout the plot Having now finished the book, I disagree with this reading, and will try to explain myself without pissing anyone off First an author is not her characters, and just because a character expresses a certain view does not mean that the author shares this view It s true that some of the minor characters in this book express anti Semitic opinion, but I think Sayers is using their prejudiced beliefs to make a point about how Jews were seen by the general population at the time I don t think anyone can deny that in the 1920 s, people were still racist as hell.Secondly, I read the book specifically looking for anti Semitic statements andI just don t see them Some not all characters are prejudiced against Jews, but no one is saying that Jews are evil if anything, characters just echo commonly accepted misconceptions and stereotypes about Jews, and none of it seems motivated by a particular malice, but by just general ignorance A prime example of this is Peter s mother who delivers what Kelly saw as a lengthy rant against Jews I think she was referencing Peter s mother, anyway the character s not named in the review, so I apologize if I got it wrong, Kelly Here s some of the Duchess s dialogue, judge for yourself and I m sure some Jews are very good people, and personally I d much rather they believed something, though of course it must be very inconvenient, what with not working on Saturdays and circumcising the poor little babies and everything depending on the new moon and that funny kind of meat they have with such a slang sounding name, and never being able to have bacon for breakfast Still, there it was, and it was much better for the girl to marry him if she was really fond of him I don t see anti Semitism in that Peter s mother doesn t understand Judaism very well, but there s nothing particularly unkind in her dialogue in fact, she s basically saying, Yes, Jews are different and I don t understand their religion at all, but they should be able to marry who they like Further, I think that based on what I know of Sayers other books, the speech is meant to be a comic display of how little Judaism was understood at the time I don t think Peter s mother is anti Semitic, and I don t think the book is, either.

  7. says:

    Lord Peter Wimsey is a charming, intelligent aristocrat who keeps occupied as a rare book collector and an amateur sleuth Set in post World War I Britain, he occasionally suffers from PTSD from his war years Wimsey enlists the help of his valet, Mervyn Bunter, in the detective work, and the dry British wit of the duo had me laughing Wimsey s mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, is another wonderful character a socialite who often voices the feelings of the 1920s upper class.A body naked except for a pair of gold pince nez is found in the bathtub of an acquaintance of Wimsey s mother On the same day Reuben Levy, an important Jewish financier, is reported missing The corpse has a mild resemblance to Levy Wimsey, Bunter, and the competent Inspector Parker from Scotland Yard work together to solve the cases A confessional letter by the criminal at the end of the book detailed why the corpse was found in the tub.Although the characters seem to think that the Jewish Reuben Levy is a good person, there were quite a few stereotypical comments about Jews scattered throughout the book It is probably reflective of the lack of understanding of other religions and ethnic groups that existed in 1923.This short detective story is the first of a series of Lord Peter Wimsey cozy mysteries It kept my interest, and I especially enjoyed the humor.

  8. says:

    There are many book series that over the years I have said I d love to read those books and then never did Lord Peter Wimsey is one of those great characters that I vowed to visit, and promptly forgot my promise In an attempt to turn over a new leaf reading wise, I am changing this habit When I find a book that really appeals to me, I make the time and read the book This does mean that I reshuffle my TBR pile , but that s ok I have already read several delightful books that I probably never would have read otherwise They would all still be lost in wishicouldreadthisland Recently I read an article listing several female detective writers that wrote before and at the same time as Agatha Christie, and I had never read a single word of any of their writings Then I watched a documentary by Lucy Worsley about British murders that mentioned most of the same authors again When the little voice inside my head started saying I would love to read that I didn t allow myself to just forget about it I immediately picked one of the authors Dorothy L Sayers I went to and found a scanned copy of Whose Body and actually started reading Finally reading Sayers is just the first step I have a whole list of female mystery writers from that time period.and one at a time, I m going to actually delve into their fictional worlds and savor their exceptional talent as storytellers.Whose Body is the first Lord Peter Wimsey story He is quite an interesting character English aristocracy Wealthy, privileged, a bit of an upper class dandy.but with a difference.he can solve crimes He s different from Sherlock and Poirot in that he goes after a case with a sense of flair, humor, and upper class sarcasm He uses his social standing to gain a foothold and his brains to finish the job I thought I might find him annoying.rather upper class twit ish But from the first chapter of Whose Body I found myself liking Wimsey.he s amusing, capable and at times, pokes fun at himself and his class with witty bad verse and even song Too much fun In his first case, Wimsey teams up with his friend Charles Parker, to solve the discovery of a murdered naked dead man in a bathtub, and the disappearance of a local financier, Sir Reuben Levy Levy left his house in the middle of the night without so much as a stitch of clothing with him, never to return The police namely Wimsey s nemesis, Detective Sugg want to claim the dead body in the tub as the financier.find a naked man, lose a naked man, they must be one and the same, right But Wimsey knows the dead man is not the missing wealthy Jewish financierso who is he Sugg is quick to rush to judgement in an effort to close the case he arrests the man who lives in the apartment where the dead body was discovered, and a servant girl Wimsey knows Mr Thipps did not kill the strange man, but he knows he needs to discover the identity of the found corpse and his killer and find the missing banker before Sugg makes mistakes With his trusty man servant Bunter and Scotland Yard s Charles Parker in tow, Lord Peter Wimsey is on the case At just over 200 pages, this book is a quick and fun read Wimsey and Parker each take a case and begin investigating, then compare information with each other And Wimsey s trusted manservant Bunter photographs items and dusts for fingerprints, all while quizzing the servants about their employers and anything they may have witnessed or overheard All of this is done with Sugg of Scotland Yard seething in the background Wimsey pulled rank his mother is good friends with the Chief, of course and has complete access to the crime scenes Cue Sugg seething You know, the poor guy isn t that great of a detective, but he is an excellent seether Too bad there isn t a spot at Scotland Yard for seething He would be perfect In the end, this case turns out to have just as many magnificent twists and turns as any Christie novel And it is just as masterfully executed I am definitely going to push on to book 2..Wimsey s brain power and antics are just too fun Dorothy L Sayers wrote 11 Lord Peter Wimsey books and five collections of short stories Author Jill Paton Walsh completed an unfinished manuscript left by Sayers and also wrote 3 Wimsey books herself I was led to finally read this series while watching the documentary A Very British Murder featuring Historian Lucy Worsley She mentions many classic mystery writers My TBR grew by leaps and bounds The documentary is wonderful for classic mystery lovers I found it streaming on Britbox I highly recommend anything by Lucy Worsley She discusses history with intelligence, understanding, and humor

  9. says:

    It s difficult for me to be objective about Dorothy L Sayers Since discovering Strong Poison in the school library when I was about 14, she has been one of my favourite writers and one whose novels I re read regularly In the past couple of years I ve ventured beyond the novels and the short stories not being much of a short story reader, I ve not read all of these to read Sayers collected letters, some of her essays such as Are Women Human and Barbara Reynold s excellent biography, Dorothy L Sayers Her Life and Soul This has in turn made me want to read of Sayers non fiction as well as her plays and her translation of Dante Suffice to say, I m a big fan and a shared love of Sayers writing is what has introduced me to a number of my GR friends This novel is where it started for Sayers best known contribution to crime fiction literature, Lord Peter Wimsey At the time the novel was published in 1923, Sayers was an Oxford University graduate she was amongst the first group of women graduates to be finally awarded their degrees in 1920 and a published poet She had worked in publishing and as a high school teacher and was then working as a copy writer in a London advertising agency all of which makes her stand out from other women of her generation For a first novel, this has a lot of strengths Lord Peter, the wealthy and erudite younger son of a Duke, shell shocked WWI veteran, musician, collector of incunabula and amateur detective, comes to the page fully created He develops throughout the course of the twelve novels in which he features, but the essentials of his character are there from the beginning the sharp intelligence, the ready wit, the tendency to quote poetry at odd moments, the silly ass impersonation and affected drawl of his public persona, which disappears when he speaks seriously to those he is closest to, the troubled conscience, the lingering effects of shell shock Lord Peter is a superb character, as are his manservant Bunter, his friend Scotland Yard inspector Charles Parker and his truly wonderful mother, the Dowager Duchess, all of whom thankfully also feature in later novels The deft characterisation not at all common in a Golden Age mystery novel is not the only strength of Sayers writing Her prose is excellent, her dialogue is witty and the mystery itself is interesting enough That said, the novel is not without its weaknesses There is, for example, a startling lapse from the third person voice to the second person at one point in the narrative In addition, the perpetrator is not that difficult to pick although admittedly the big reveal is not necessarily a feature of Sayers novels , the perpetrator s method is complex and improbable and the novel contains one of my pet peeves in crime fiction the extended confession in the form of a letter The weaknesses are enough for me to rate the novel lower than I would want to rate anything written by Sayers However, the fangirl in me means I can t bring myself to give this less than 4 stars, well, maybe 3 3 4 I m looking forward to a Lord Peter re read over the next 12 months with my good friend and Sayers novice Jemidar.

  10. says:

    I understand Sayers is a master and one of the classic mystery writers, in the vein of Agatha Christie However, I don t find her writing to be as good as Christie s, actually I dislike a lot of her writing style Lord Peter Wimsey says the most RIDICULOUS stuff sometimes He quotes random poetry that is bizarre all the time He leaves his g s off of the end of his gerunds believin , reckenin , understandin and it drives me NUTS.Another thing I dislike about the novel is all the anti Semitism It s Jews this and Jews that and oh, you know how those Jews are and He was a good man in spite of being a Jew, and Jews are monsters for circumcising babies , and blah blah blah It really gives me the shudders, especially since lately in the real world it seems like anti Semitism is making a strong comeback.The mystery is good I mean, it s set up well and makes sense.However, Sayers just cannot get to the point She draws certain stuff out for far too long, delighting in scenes where nothing is happening in relation to the case.Also, I d figured out who dun it about halfway through the book and from there it was a long slog towards Wimsey getting his man There were a few stellar lines The two that stood out the most were His long, amiable face looked as if it had generated spontaneously from his top hat, as white maggots breed from Gorgonzola This was seriously disgusting and she was describing our hero Wimsey with this line But it was a good line, and I expected like this, but I didn t get any.The only other line that really grabbed me was when Wimsey s about to be killed by the murderer and he grabs the murderer s wrist in an iron grip When lovers embrace, there seems no sound in the world but their own breathing So the two men breathed face to face Wow I thought that was very good writing However, it s so few and far between it s definitely not a reason to pick this book up.In short If you re interested in mystery classics, then it makes sense to pick this up But Sayers is no Christie, that s for sure