Title: Whose Body?
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Release Date: July, 1995 (Originally released 1923)
Acquired: Amazon purchase
Date Finished: November 28, 2014
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 more, 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.
My first introduction to Dorothy Sayers was in college. I took a really cool English course which revolved solely around mysteries. The book we read was The Nine Taylors and it blew me away. I read the whole book trying to pin the murder on one person and then another. Lord Peter Wimsey was funny and not your typical investigator. I absolutely loved it.
After college I really never thought much about Dorothy Sayers again, but one day Amazon was running a special on her books so I snagged a couple. Whose Body? was actually the first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, so that is where I started.
I wasn’t impressed. I could tell it was Sayers’ freshman novel. It was all over the place and very difficult to follow. I also struggled with Wimsey’s upper-class British jargon. The actually mystery was quite clever, but I couldn’t really enjoy it. I don’t remember having these problems with The Nine Taylors, the eleventh in the Wimsey series, so I can only assume Sayers’ writing and pacing improved drastically by the time it was released. Thank goodness!
As I said, the mystery was clever, but the book, as a whole, was not. If Sayers is not one of your favorites and you started with this one, I could easily see why. I urge you to give Sayers another try, but maybe start later in the series.