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26 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less frothy than some of the other Wimsey novels
As other reviewers have mentioned, what makes this novel stand out from the usual period crime fiction is the portrayal of between-the-wars London when Armistice Day is still a real reminder of what men endured, when survivors of the first world war still suffer from shell-shock and the after-effects of gassing and wounds, and when having a wife go out to work is a...
Published on 19 Nov 2006 by Roman Clodia

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3.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar fourth book in the Wimsey series
When Peter Wimsey finds the elderly General Fentiman dead in front of the fire of the Bellona Club, it seems like an obvious case of natural causes, especially as the General was known to have a heart condition. But then the General's solicitor visits Wimsey with a problem: he needs to establish the General's time of death in order to determine who gets a very large...
Published 7 months ago by I Read, Therefore I Blog


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2.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, the second of which is terrible, 23 July 2012
This review is from: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Paperback)
A love of Edmund Crispin, Josephine Tey, Agatha Christie and classic detective fiction in general has brought me to Dorothy L. Sayers; whether Dorothy L. Sayers herself will bring me back remains to be seen.

The first half of this decidedly dicey book is wonderfully cast in the Golden Age mould - the small matter of two deaths made delightfully more complicated by the particulars of a will - and full to the brim of mysteriously out-of-order telephones, tell-tale stains on shoes, disappearing strangers and some beautifully subtle cluing. The entire affair appears tied up by the half-way point, and then one further revelation leads us off on a merry chase once again.

Well, no, not merry. What had been a spry and cunning little puzzle swiftly descends into a turgid round of repetitive interviews from which very little of any meaning or relevance results. Indeed, as has already been pointed out in another review, our detective only tumbles to the guilty party after a quite agonisingly ham-fisted piece of author intrusion that renders most of his `investigation' entirely void. It's like the second half of a different book. The mind, frankly, boggles.

Sayers' reputation places her some distance above criticism, but the wild variation in quality here came as a thundering disappointment. When I'm able to convince myself that she could maintain the brilliance of the first half over an entire book I hope give her another try, but for the time being I'm off to lick my wounds at such a wasted opportunity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to second guess ..., 17 July 2012
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... and therein lies the beauty of the story. The characters are so well formed and the tale is so gripping. You can't help feeling the pain and empathising with the frailties of some of the lead protagonists. My suspicions were weaving a tortuous path but I couldn't see the true villain until Dorothy Sayers intended me to. A must read for lovers of this genre.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but slight, 5 July 2008
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Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Paperback)
All detective fiction - indeed all fiction - relies on coincidence. But perhaps the plot of this book overdoes it. Sayers can write and the reader is carried along and entertained by the story; but in retrospect there is nothing of any substance there. I've also always found the denoument somewhat unpleasant. I don't share Sayers' evident belief that members of the aristocracy are somehow innately qualified to dispense justice, in whatever way they may see fit to do it.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale of crime, 18 Sep 2000
Ian Carmichael quite simply is Lord Peter Wimsey. Capturing the feel of an era gone by, of the period between the two world wars, the effect of shell-shock & a gentleman detective, Dorothy L Sayers' timeless stories as reproduced by the BBC are all excellent. This is however the best.
The plot is, as always believable yet challenging, & the overall production is excellent, as you would expect from the BBC. Special mention must go to the late lamented Peter Jones for his outstanding performance as the indispensable Bunter.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Usual BBC quality, 2 Feb 2009
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Well up to standard, but like most such dramatisations rather on the short side to permit the full subtleties of the novel to emerge. But glad I bought it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, 1 May 2008
This review is from: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery (Paperback)
A passable time-waster, I found Lord Wimsey rather irritating this time. The mystery itself is quite amusing but tends to contribute towards the rather pretentious air of the book.
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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery by Dorothy L Sayers (Paperback - 1 Mar 1977)
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