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Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Dorothy L Sayers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey. His first appearance is in a classic murder mystery - who is the dead man in the Battersea bath? With an introduction by Elizabeth George.
It was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance.
The body wore nothing else.
Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps' Battersea bathroom.

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

Books In This Series (13 Books)
Complete Series


  • Product Description

    Review

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

    '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

    .

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

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 444 KB
    • Print Length: 228 pages
    • Publisher: Hodder; New Impression edition (15 Oct. 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003LPV5CI
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,377 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great and multi-levelled read 19 Dec. 2009
    By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
    Format:Paperback
    When Alfred Thipps finds a naked male corpse in his bath at the same time as rich financier Sir Reuben Levy goes missing, the police see a connection. Thipps and his maid are arrested on suspicion of murder and the only person they can turn to is Lord Peter Wimsey, ably supported by Bunter. What unfurls is a carefully constructed mystery revolving around identity with Wimsey finding himself battling a chilling adversary who is completely untroubled by conscience.

    My understanding is that this was the first Wimsey novel but even so, all the elements that make Sayers great are already here: the characterisations, the cosy sense of place and time and a story that keeps you guessing. That said, this is a novel that's a product of its time with the result that a couple of instances of anti-Semitism may disquiet modern readers and certainly made me wince.

    Wimsey is a complicated character and Sayers' draws out the aftershocks from his breakdown during World War I. A scene where he essentially relapses is desperately sad and touching, as is Bunter's reaction to the same. My favourite aspect of these books is the devotion that the two men show to each other and Bunter really shines in this story with the way he takes responsibility for his master's well-being. Equally interesting though is the way Sayers draws a distinction between Wimsey - a man conflicted by the fact that his investigations will lead to death - and the murderer, who has deliberately excised their conscience and can operate untroubled by the consequences of their actions.

    As a result, this is a novel that can be read on two levels - each equally entertaining and successful at holding the attention.
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    93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    Format:Paperback
    This was the first of Dorothy L. Sayers' detective novels, but 70-odd years after publication it's not the best introduction to Sayers or to her most successful hero, Lord Peter Wimsey. If that's what you're looking for, try Nine Tailors, Murder Must Advertise, or one of the books that include Harriet Vane (my personal favourite is Gaudy Night).
    "Whose Body" is something of an apprentice work. Lord Peter is here more a bundle of characteristics than a character: a collector of rare books and incunabula, facile with quotations, fluent in French and probably in Latin, a skillful and sensitive pianist who never needs to practise, slightly built but possessed of "curious" strength and speed which he maintains without exercise. Over subsequent books, this caricature smooths and deepens into one of the most interesting and attractive detectives in fiction.
    In spite of its awkwardness, Whose Body is worth reading. The plot is clever, the villain is believable and sadistic, and most of the supporting characters are a delight. Some of these characters are further developed in later novels: Bunter, Parker, the Dowager Duchess, Freddy Arbuthnot. Others fortunately are not. Sayers is much better with people she might recognise as "like us" then with people from other social groups.
    Sayers developed into a powerful writer of fiction whose technique was imperceptible. Here she has less mastery of technique, so that the scenes that work have disproportionate impact. The encounter between the Dowager Duchess of Denver and the American millionaire Milligan is a tiny classic.
    In summary, interesting and entertaining for existing fans, but a hurdle for newcomers to the world of Wimsey.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars the start of something great 19 Nov. 2012
    By Su TOP 100 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback
    Lord Peter De'Ath Bredon Wimsey is the second born son of the, now deceased, 15th Duke of Denver. A highly intelligent person of privilege he was Oxford educated (where he received a First) he is also a veteran of the horrors of the trenches of WW1.

    As a result of his service the ex-Major suffered from boughts of shell shock (now called PTSD). During these times his man-servant, and former sergeant, Bunter looks after him.

    Lord Peter was a man of what should have been changed times; he did not see Bunter as a servant but rather a friend. In one of the books Lord Peter is a guest of another person and that person invites Bunter to sit and eat a meal with them. Bunter politely refuses and Lord Peter comments that "Bunter likes me to know my place".

    It is these relationships which make the characters both accessible and likeable.

    .
    Published in 1923 "Whose Body?" was the first published case of Lord Peter Wimsey, though not necessarily the characters first case - it is mentioned that Lord Peter investigated the loss of and instigated the recovery of The Attenbury Emeralds - this story has been written by Jill Paton Walsh and was published in 2010.

    Lord Peter is asked by his mother, the Dowager Duchess, to investigate the disappearance of her friend's husband; meanwhile the local plod, in the shape of Wimsey's friend Charles Parker, is looking into the murder of a man found in a bathtub. Each man reaches a sticking point in their own investigations and so they decide to swap cases bringing fresh eyes and perspective on to the enquiries.

    The reasoning for the crime is explained in a letter given to Wimsey and read at the end of the book.
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