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Whose Body? (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery)

Whose Body? (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) [Kindle Edition]

Dorothy L Sayers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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: 261 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:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 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
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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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic British crime 28 Nov 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey) Women are good at writing crime. I wonder why? . This is the only one of Sayers that is cheap on Kindle, the others are the new price. Publishers must be having a revolution with this Kindle business. I bought this because I dont possess a hardback, it's one of the few I haven't got. I read Sayers as a teenager and she is worth a permanent place on my shelves. This is OK, the formatting is indents, that is like writing used to be about 1960 and on a bit. In those years we indented a paragraph by five spaces. So it looks a bit funny to our eyes, now, where everything is flush with the left hand margins. Good though, well worth the money. P S Have found at least one American spelling also also, worse "sea-green incorruptible" transcribed as "pea-green". tut tut. But still FIVE STARS.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whose Body? 21 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In this first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery we are introduced to our amateur detective, his friends and family. Living in a sumptuous apartment in Piccadilly, aided by his manservant Bunter, Wimsey is a collector of books with a hobby of criminal investigation. His mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver is supportive of this interest and telephones him one morning to inform him that the architect working on the church roof was most upset, as he found a dead body in his bath. As a body is found, another seems to have gone missing - that of Sir Reuben Levy. Quickly discovering that the body in the bath is not that of Sir Levy, Wimsey sets out to solve the mystery with his friend, Parker, an able member of Scotland Yard.

This is an enjoyable introduction to the delights of Lord Peter and his world. Although it is certainly not the best Wimsey novel, it has a competent plot and is a good beginning to an enchanting series. Although modern crime writers are often scathing of the gentleman, or amateur, detective, this is pure entertainment. Of course, now there is no possible way an amateur could visit crime scenes or interview witnesses with impunity; however suspend all belief and simply enjoy the puzzle and the characters. If you enjoy Agatha Christie or other Golden Age detective novels, then you will love this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible quality print on demand
This is a terrible quality print on demand, the interior text has no indentation and instead all new paragraphs have a line above and below, the cover back and front is also... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Steve
2.0 out of 5 stars Not convincing - why was he murdered - who cares ...
Not convincing - why was he murdered - who cares? Time and thrillers have not been kind to this book.
Published 4 days ago by M. barbara Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love her books and this is one I hadn't read at all so enjoyed it
Published 13 days ago by Christine M. Showell
5.0 out of 5 stars well-constructed and challenging
They don't write them like this anymore! This story has a very unusual murder, which defies rational explanation, but which Wimsey eventually unravels with aplomb. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Donald Hughes
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull
As a lover of Agatha Cristie I was recommended these books but sadly I found it dull and I didn't eve bother to finish it
Published 1 month ago by jennifer seabourne
3.0 out of 5 stars First book, not great
It's a bit dull, to be honest. The mystery is not very interesting and the detection is pedestrian and slow. There's only really one suspect. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps the attention
I did miss Ian Carmichael's voice as Lord Peter, but once I got used to the narrator, I very much enjoyed this version. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. N. G. Tweddle
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage mystery, a classic
Nothing beats good English written well, fast becoming a rarity. Miss Sayers' mysteries are aristocrats of the genre. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BarbaraM
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellence
Wonderful dialogue and language. Inspirational reading. A good night time book. Keeps you in suspense, with lots of intrigue. Can't wait to read another book by Dorothy L Sayers.
Published 3 months ago by Niel
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
First of the lord peter Wimsey novels, quite a twist to the story in the end and the main suspect - well read it to see if it was
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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