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Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey) Paperback – 11 Oct 2004

70 customer reviews

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Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey) + Gaudy Night (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) + Busman's Honeymoon: Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery Book 13: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0450027120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0450027123
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 3.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit. (P. D. James)

Sayers is one of the best detective story writers. (E. C. Bentley Daily Telegraph)

I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail. (Ruth Rendell)

She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller. (Minette Walters)

Book Description

The classic British detective series featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Raina on 12 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Well, how do I start? If you're not fond of romantic interest in detective novels, then don't read this book. It is as much about the murder as it is about the relationship between Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. The murder is in my opinion even eclipsed by these two.
It is, however, absolutely imperative for the enjoyment of this book that you like Harriet and Peter both and are not entirely fixated on the crime aspect. This is a very character-driven book. Also, it is hillariously funny at times. Another word of caution: it might be better to read "Strong Poison" before reading this one, because the relationship between Peter and Hariet is not easily understood unless you've read how and why they met. So I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I laughed, I was puzzled, I was delighted by the characters. What more can you ask?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 23 July 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
Dorothy L Sayers provided some of the great treasures to be found in the so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction". A classical scholar with a formidable intellect, she was an eminent practitioner and an eloquent critic of detective fiction. Her feisty, detective fiction writing character, Harriet Vane, and her aristocratic, monocled, amateur detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, may be found together for the second time in her 1932 novel "Have His Carcase".
On a walking holiday, while recovering from a court case in which she was alleged to have killed her lover, Harriet Vane discovers the body of a man. It is lying on rocks on a beach, close to low tide level. The evidence suggests suicide. After taking photographs with her camera, finding a cut throat razor and removing a shoe from the corpse, Harriet vainly tries to enlist help in moving the body before it is washed away by the incoming tide. The local police force is alerted and so is Lord Peter Wimsey.
This is a long novel. Interest focuses not only on the solution to the mystery but also on the likelihood of Wimsey succeeding with his wish to marry Harriet. There is witty dialogue, there are fulsome reports from a range of eccentric characters, there are descriptions of the human anatomy and how it responds to the throat being cut, there is an interminable attempt to decode a ciphered letter, and there are classical quotations provided at the start of each chapter. There is little dramatic tension, no suspense, and no thrills. Dorothy L Sayers was a cultivated, fluent writer, sometimes boring but never banal.
If your tolerance of boredom is low, but your credit balance at the bank is high, then invest in the audio tape reading of the book provided by Ian Carmichael.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 27 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Have His Carcase begins with a bang when Harriet Vane finding the body of a man with his throat cut on a beach near the seaside resort of Wilvercombe. Unable to drag the body to a safer location and aware that the tide is coming in, she settles for taking photographs of the body before heading off to find a telephone so she can alert the authorities. Unfortunately, by the time she's able to do so, the tide has come in and the body disappeared. Without a body, there can be no inquest but this doesn't unnecessarily worry the local police who believe that the victim, Paul Alexis (a dancer come gigolo) committed suicide. However Harriet is not so sure and when Lord Peter Wimsey comes to offer support, he too finds it difficult to buy into the theory. And then the body finally shows up ...

This is an intricately and densely plotted mystery novel as Sayers deftly takes the reader through Wimsey and Vane's investigations, with the ever-loyal Bunter doing the required footwork. Much of the plot turns on the timing of the discovery of the murder (which I'm not going to spoil but which ties in with the alibi for the main suspect) and the reader is really kept on their toes as Sayers goes through all the possible permutations and what they would mean.

Against this, we're also given more on Wimsey and Vane's relationship as Wimsey persists in asking Harriet to marry him and she persists in refusing. What makes this so interesting is that Sayers successfully sets it up as a kind of running joke whilst at the same time creating a genuinely emotional scene between the two that explores the undercurrents of why each behaves as they do and which I found to be moving (not least because you end up rooting for and understanding the position taken by both characters).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Austin HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Dorothy L Sayers provided some of the great treasures to be found in the so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction". A classical scholar with a formidable intellect, she was an eminent practitioner and an eloquent critic of detective fiction. Her feisty, detective fiction writing character, Harriet Vane, and her aristocratic, monocled, amateur detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, may be found together for the second time in her 1932 novel "Have His Carcase".
On a walking holiday, while recovering from a court case in which she was alleged to have killed her lover, Harriet Vane discovers the body of a man. It is lying on rocks on a beach, close to low tide level. The evidence suggests suicide. After taking photographs with her camera, finding a cut throat razor and removing a shoe from the corpse, Harriet vainly tries to enlist help in moving the body before it is washed away by the incoming tide. The local police force is alerted and so is Lord Peter Wimsey.
This is a long novel. Interest focuses not only on the solution to the mystery but also on the likelihood of Wimsey succeeding with his wish to marry Harriet. There is witty dialogue, there are fulsome reports from a range of eccentric characters, there are descriptions of the human anatomy and how it responds to the throat being cut, there is an interminable attempt to decode a ciphered letter, and there are classical quotations provided at the start of each chapter. There is little dramatic tension, no suspense, and no thrills. Dorothy L Sayers was a cultivated, fluent writer, sometimes boring but never banal.
If your tolerance of boredom is low, but your credit balance at the bank is high, then invest in the audio tape reading of the book provided by Ian Carmichael.
Read more ›
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