Whose Body? Unknown Binding – 1 Jan 1987
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She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit. (P. D. James)
Sayers is one of the best detective story writers. (E. C. Bentley Daily Telegraph)
I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail. (Ruth Rendell)
'She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.' - P. D. James
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
'She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller.' Minette Walters -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Hardcover.
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.-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Hardcover. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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.
One small criticism. The little potted biography of Peter Wimsey that appears at the end of the book refers to almost the entire series and is, in places, a little bit of a 'spoiler.' If you plan to read more of them, I'd recommend avoiding it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a fun story. All the clues are there but you'll never put them together to get the right answer. An excellent villain.Published 11 days ago by D Raymond
Middle of the road mystery which lends itself to spelling out the answers well before the end but worth a read.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Stupid and silly annoying language. Will not be wasting any more money on these books!Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Lynette A. Jones
First Sayers novel I've read. It's just not a style of writing I like. Too dated for me (an oldish oldie)!Published 4 months ago by Bittern
ThIs is the mystery novel that first introduces Lord Peter Wimsey and his man servant Bunter. It is not the best of Dorothy Sayers' books but does lay the foundations for the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by guyjfp