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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen while you work
This listening cd is a great buy for those who love listening while doing housework, cooking, walking the dog or just listening. It has a full cast including the the late fantastic Ian Carmicheal. It is atmospheric of the period, very enjoyable.
Published 21 months ago by R. Irish

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not up to her best
Needs a good editor's pencil in parts. It's becoming harder to tolerate the prejudices of the period, otherwise a good early delineation of Wimsey's character.
Published 6 months ago by Susan Mayer


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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery with style, 17 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unnatural Death (Hardcover)
Dorothy Sayers, a.k.a. Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming, one of the first women to ever be granted a degree from Oxford University, created one of the leading figures in, and indeed in so doing helped to create the genre of, the British mystery novels. Lord Peter Wimsey, an elegant, refined London-based aristocrat with a taste for books and a penchant for the piano, is again here the leading figure, in Unnatural Death, also published as The Dawson Pedigree.
Wimsey is an old Etonian, Balliol Oxford (of course), served with distinction in His Majesty's forces during the War (this book having been written in 1927, I shall leave it to your good services to deduce which War), who resides both town and country somewhat fashionably, and takes great pride in the ancient family history (by the time one gets to be the fifteenth Duke of anything, the family can be easily considered ancient). Wimsey has a vocation as criminologist, not out of necessity, surely, and not by training either (for such training did not formally exist, but, as an Oxford Arts man, he was trained for most anything intellectual, or at least, that is what an Oxford Arts man would tell you). An interesting addition to the beginning of the book is a short biographical sketch of the fictional Wimsey by his equally-fictional uncle.
All of this, of course, is but preamble to the latest mystery to come calling upon Lord Wimsey. There are the requisite features: a dead woman, Agatha Dawson, wealthy and having left a will that might not be a will, but rather a sham (a delirious woman whose nurse insists that there was no possible way of having made a will during the last month, yet oddly there is a document, complete with a witness who claims that dear old Agatha Dawson wanted nothing to do with the signing -- ah, the plot thickens here).
Of course, to most of the world, Wimsey is, well, following a whimsey of his own. The woman was after all elderly and in poor health; surely his investigations are misplaced. The doctor (not the one who tended Miss Dawson's death, to be sure, but an earlier doctor, suspicious of Dawson's sole heir, her niece) was accused of having blackened the name of Miss Whittaker, the niece, unnecessarily, particularly as no evidence of mischief had been uncovered. Wimsey with the assistance of Inspector Parker are able to rectify the situation vis-a-vis the doctor, but there is still the mystery.
Then, more death. This time the maid. To lose one woman may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two women... (well, you can fill in the rest yourself).
Of course I won't spoil it for you; perhaps others will do that for you, but I sincerely hope not. Suffice it to say, Wimsey proves himself a consummate actor in which the truth comes out (in London, and in style!).
One of the glories of Sayers work is the intricacies of her plots. She tends to get a huge number of people involved (the number of people who seemed to have trouped through the ill woman's bedchamber is in itself surprising, given the era) each with subplots and agenda that nonetheless get neatly resolved in the end. Sayers' development of character (even of the already dead ones!) is done with style and subtlety; while Wimsey is developed over several novels, one doesn't feel him a stranger by reading this one alone. The other characters fit their parts admirably (had Sayers not been a writer, she may well have made a good career as a casting director in Hollywood), in physical and personality attributes.
Her descriptions of the milieu, both in town (London) and in the country (the village and surroundings, in this case, of Hampshire, are interesting reading. Sayers is very much the cosmopolitan, and somewhat condescending toward the countryfolk. However, that is not a heavy element, and perhaps can be written off to her attempt to make Wimsey even more the worldly character he turns out to be over the course of her novels.
In all, an excellent read, a great diversion, and well worth musing over while sipping tea on a Regency-style sofa in one's dressing gown.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery with style!, 22 Nov 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Dorothy Sayers, a.k.a. Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming, one of the first women to ever be granted a degree from Oxford University, created one of the leading figures in, and indeed in so doing helped to create the genre of, the British mystery novels. Lord Peter Wimsey, an elegant, refined London-based aristocrat with a taste for books and a penchant for the piano, is again here the leading figure, in Unnatural Death, also published as The Dawson Pedigree.
Wimsey is an old Etonian, Balliol Oxford (of course), served with distinction in His Majesty's forces during the War (this book having been written in 1927, I shall leave it to your good services to deduce which War), who resides both town and country somewhat fashionably, and takes great pride in the ancient family history (by the time one gets to be the fifteenth Duke of anything, the family can be easily considered ancient). Wimsey has a vocation as criminologist, not out of necessity, surely, and not by training either (for such training did not formally exist, but, as an Oxford Arts man, he was trained for most anything intellectual, or at least, that is what an Oxford Arts man would tell you). An interesting addition to the beginning of the book is a short biographical sketch of the fictional Wimsey by his equally-fictional uncle.
All of this, of course, is but preamble to the latest mystery to come calling upon Lord Wimsey. There are the requisite features: a dead woman, Agatha Dawson, wealthy and having left a will that might not be a will, but rather a sham (a delirious woman whose nurse insists that there was no possible way of having made a will during the last month, yet oddly there is a document, complete with a witness who claims that dear old Agatha Dawson wanted nothing to do with the signing -- ah, the plot thickens here).
Of course, to most of the world, Wimsey is, well, following a whimsey of his own. The woman was after all elderly and in poor health; surely his investigations are misplaced. The doctor (not the one who tended Miss Dawson's death, to be sure, but an earlier doctor, suspicious of Dawson's sole heir, her niece) was accused of having blackened the name of Miss Whittaker, the niece, unnecessarily, particularly as no evidence of mischief had been uncovered. Wimsey with the assistance of Inspector Parker are able to rectify the situation vis-a-vis the doctor, but there is still the mystery.
Then, more death. This time the maid. To lose one woman may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two women... (well, you can fill in the rest yourself).
Of course I won't spoil it for you; perhaps my tag-team reviewers will do that for you, but I sincerely hope not. Suffice it to say, Wimsey proves himself a consummate actor in which the truth comes out (in London, and in style!).
One of the glories of Sayers work is the intricacies of her plots. She tends to get a huge number of people involved (the number of people who seemed to have trouped through the ill woman's bedchamber is in itself surprising, given the era) each with subplots and agenda that nonetheless get neatly resolved in the end. Sayers' development of character (even of the already dead ones!) is done with style and subtlety; while Wimsey is developed over several novels, one doesn't feel him a stranger by reading this one alone. The other characters fit their parts admirably (had Sayers not been a writer, she may well have made a good career as a casting director in Hollywood), in physical and personality attributes.
Her descriptions of the milieu, both in town (London) and in the country (the village and surroundings, in this case, of Hampshire, are interesting reading. Sayers is very much the cosmopolitan, and somewhat condescending toward the countryfolk. However, that is not a heavy element, and perhaps can be written off to her attempt to make Wimsey even more the worldly character he turns out to be over the course of her novels.
In all, an excellent read, a great diversion, and well worth musing over while sipping tea on a Regency-style sofa in one's dressing gown.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Death, 4 May 2011
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Very enjoyable but would be vastly improved if the cast details and especially the music were removed between each episode and just inserted at the end of the 'book'
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic detective fiction with the brilliant Peter Wimsey, 4 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
While this isn't my favourite D.L Sayers, it's a wonderful story, about a young woman suspected of murdering her rich aunt and a servant who signed the aunt's will...but the post mortem doesn't show anything. Only Lord Peter Wimsey can solve the case, with the help of Chief Inspector Parker and Miss Climpson.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lost world, 12 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
A good read, with an interesting murder method. Not the best Wimsey, but the mass of secondary characters is well-written, and the plot is good. As always, Sayers really evokes the feelings of the era, from the houses and landscapes, to the clothing and idioms.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery - kindle price higher than paperback price, 7 Feb 2011
By 
C. Page (UK) - See all my reviews
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Great book, readable and engaging - but the main mystery is why a book that is out of copywrite ( the author died more than 50 years ago in 19957 ) should cost more on kindle than in paperback !!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord Peter Wimsey novel, 27 Feb 2010
By 
Lorraine (Worcestershire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
A good piece of writing by Dorothy Sayers. It was complusive reading from begining to end.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot, but old fashioned sentiments, 23 April 2008
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
Most people read thrillers for the plot and this one delivers on that score. Wimsey's London - Wimsey's world in fact - seems much smaller than that of today. He and his associates Parker of Scotland Yard and Miss Climpson can seemingly always trace someone just by looking for long enough. Some of the sentiments expressed by some of the characters jar with the modern reader, but are surely excusable as being of their time and place.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Death, 29 April 2011
By 
whisty (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
I just love these old fashioned books and this with other Dorothy L Sayers BBC Radio 4 CD's were bought for easy listening while sunbathing on holiday. The only minus was this was serialised on the radio and at the beginning and end of each part there was the opening and closing music that became repetitive.

As a fan of the Author and Ian Carmicheal as Lord Peter Whimsey well worth it.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Death, 26 April 2008
This review is from: Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (Paperback)
An intriguing plot, well thought out. My main criticism is that the plot dragged somewhat but an enjoyable read nevertheless.
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Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery)
Unnatural Death (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) by Dorothy L Sayers (Paperback - 1 Nov 1982)
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