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Unnatural Death: Lord Peter Wimsey Book 3 (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Paperback – 25 Aug 2016
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I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail - Ruth Rendell D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers. - Daily Telegraph She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller. - Minette Walters
The third book in the classic British detective series featuring amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, with a new introduction by crime writer Minette Walters.See all Product description
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He is a doctor and one of his patients who is suffering from cancer dies much sooner than expected and he is puzzled by the death. A post mortem is performed but reveals nothing untoward but the doctor becomes so unpopular in the area that he sells his practice and moves elsewhere. Wimsey is intrigued by the case and decides to investigate.
I enjoyed re-reading this book and I especially liked the indefatigable Miss Climpson - who is able to ask questions where the police doing so officially might find out nothing worthwhile. A lot of the detection is carried out by Miss Climpson in the guise of an elderly lady looking for a new place to settle.
It is fairly clear from the start who is the murderer but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story. I just think the plot is so cleverly done and of course the series characters are as always good value. I had forgotten how much Charles Parker appears in these earlier novels as I have mainly re-read the later ones in the past.
In this entertaining novel, Lord Peter uses the indefatigable Miss Climpson as his "ears and tongue and especially nose." A spinsterish lady, much in the style of a slightly younger Miss Marple, she is an enquiry agent for Lord Peter; settling herself into a boarding house near where the elderly lady died and sending letters (which you feel the author had great fun writing) reporting on the people and places involved. Before long there is a further murder and even Parker is convinced that something is amiss. Did Miss Whittaker hurry her aunt along to make sure she inherited? Who is the mysterious Mrs Forrest? Is Lord Peter Wimsey himself going to become a victim?
This is a real puzzle of a mystery, with endless clues and suspects and sometimes you do feel a little bogged down in information. However, the real fun and sense of righting a wrong does shine through and you happily embark on the journey with Lord Peter, Parker, Miss Climpson and, of course, Bunter. Very enjoyable, brilliantly plotted (if a little confusingly at times) and, of course, much of the pleasure is in the character of Lord Peter Wimsey himself. If you enjoy Golden Age detective fiction then you will love this.
The copy was was a paperback, used, in good nick, as advertised. It is the NEL edition of 1982, and contains some notable typos, such as "prisoner" for "poisoner", and "1937" for "1837". However, it is not the notorious edition that gives away the murder method on the front cover artwork!