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Monday, December 22, 2008

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers

Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

My review

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Through the first few chapters of Whose Body?, I thought Lord Peter Wimsey was what you'd get if you crossed Sherlock Holmes with Benny Hill. Since I find both those men insufferable, I was prepared to loathe Wimsey.

And then something happened about halfway through the book. Lord Wimsey became more of a real person instead of a know-it-all gasbag. In fact, Wimsey had some rather sobering thoughts about life, the universe, and everything which made me re-evaluate my thoughts on him.

By the end of the book he was back to Sherlock Holmes mode, but there was enough poignant residue for me to feel like I'd read more of Sayers' mysteries about him.

The case Wimsey solves is about a body that mysteriously shows up in a bathtub in a very unsuspecting gentleman's apartment. Along with Scotland Yard's incompetent inspector, Wimsey is called and of course spots all the minute clues no one else would ever in a million years notice. There's a fair amount of beating about the bush until we finally get down to considering who put the body in the bathtub as well as the identity of the dead man. By the time Wimsey reaches this point, it's no real surprise who did the killing.

This mystery is pure British through and through which can become tedious reading when Wimsey goes meandering off on some tangent that is meaningless to the plot. He tries desperately to be witty and bright to the extent that I wanted to suggest he STFU. I was careful to pay close attention to every scene otherwise I could easily miss some significant piece of information buried under some of Wimsey's gibberish. But in the end, I found Whose Body? an interesting read. Dorothy Sayers had a very unique way of presenting her story through Wimsey, and I would definitely read more of this series now that I know better what to - or not to - expect.

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