Top positive review
Convoluted and rather dated - but still enjoyable
on 21 September 2017
I'm not sure what prompted me to read this - I had read a number of the Lord Peter Wimsey books many years ago (but out of order and had never read the earliest ones). I remember how much I liked them, but I'm not sure they have lived up to my memory. I was distinctly underwhelmed by the first that Dorothy L Sayers wrote - Whose Body - but felt she was getting into her stride with this one. Even when quite young I was always conscious that DLS was writing her ideal man - her own love life was messy and unsatisfactory in many ways and she definitely fell in love with her creation. It is of course a vanished age, but I think these books are redeemed by DLS's cleverness (albeit occasionally rather self-conscious cleverness - latin quotes, complex allusions etc) and an element of humour and parody. I particularly like the feisty (to use an over deployed modern word) female characters. They are individual , flawed and often quite powerful. There are still plenty of Lady Mary Wimseys around - rich posh girls with a disastrous taste in unsuitable and indeed unpleasant men. The Dowager Duchess has a touch of the Miss Marple about her - disguising her shrewdness under a barrage of seemingly disconnected burbling.
All in all, I think they are still an enjoyable read, but you have to set aside 21st Century preconceptions and enjoy them for the period pieces they are.