Learn more Download now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more



on 11 February 2014
This may be, as another reviewer has said, an 'apprentice piece' but it's still a better book than some crime writers ever achieve. It's true that Lord Peter comes across as a little bit of a caricature compared with later works, but it was necessary to establish, in quite a short novel, at least the basics of his character and background, plus craft a decent mystery. Not an easy task. One might have hoped for a bit more suspense, but the detectin' is all there, and is satisfyingly plausible. As for the lack of the abstruse classical references that pepper her later work -- maybe that is not such a grievous loss! If I'd come to 'Whose Body' first instead of reading Sayers' entire crime oeuvre before trying it, I'm sure I should certainly have wanted to read more. In fact, I rather regret that it wasn't my introduction to this thoroughly engaging sleuth.

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.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 June 2017
Lord Peter is superhumanly talented and knows about everything, but Bunter is even more of a superman. Was Sayers sending up the conventions? Very likely. I loved these books when I read them first in my teens. They (and Christie) were the first adult books I'd read, and I lapped up the details of how adults live. I didn't really understand that the 20s were a long time ago... But then I became a historian.

Lord Peter becomes politer in later books. He is horribly rude here to Inspector Sugg, and to Thipps' neighbours who have pretentions to gentility. He is unfailingly kind to Thipps, however, the discoverer of the body and a previous acquaintance.

Just one question. A naked corpse is found in Mr Thipps' bath, at the same time a well-known financier, Sir Reuben Levy, goes missing. One detail makes it impossible for the corpse to be Levy. Wouldn't the murderer have thought of that?

By the way, Lord Peter's "huntin', shootin, bally old whatsit" accent belongs to the aristocracy – it isn't an affectation.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 April 2018
First published in 1923 Dorothy L Sayers had a hit on her hands with her fictional sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, who appeared in more novels and short stories by the author, although she didn’t write as much crime fiction as some of her peers. Agatha Christie is better known these days than Sayers, but it has to be admitted that in writing style, Sayers is the more literary.

Hearing about a body appearing in a bath in an architect’s flat, so Wimsey goes to have a look, although the case is being handled by Inspector Sugg of the Yard. It is certainly something out of the ordinary, if you were to walk into your bathroom and find a corpse in your bath, wearing only pince-nez. But for Wimsey, he has other things on his mind, as his friend Inspector Parker is investigating the strange disappearance of a financier. Could both the cases be somehow connected?

I admit I have read the Wimsey books many times, and so I already knew who the killer is here before I even opened the book, but although it isn’t that hard to work out, the solution of what actually took place, and all the inns and outs do make for an interesting read.

If you have never read a Wimsey book before, then you should be in for a bit of a treat, and it is fun to see the way that our amateur detective treats and gets along with his valet, Bunter, who used to be his batman in the army. Considering the time this was written it is good that Sayers shows her main character suffering with shell shock, something that was still skirted around in polite society at the time.

This isn’t a particularly long book and is something that is great to relax with when you have some peace and quiet.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 16 September 2017
It is 45years since I was loaned a book called gaudy night. I adored it so much I went to the beginning and this is it.
If you find today's authors of detective novels too scary/vicious/psychological/or just plain nasty then why not wallow in a little gentlemanly detection.
Exceptionally clever, amusing and well written these will fill a lovely gap for reading.
Titled sleuth, time and money on his side sounds upsetting, but this man was buried alive in W W 1 is looked after by his old sergeant and suffers from nerves when he works out the murderer. Add a clever detective sidekick, a mother who any one would like to know and a glimpse of how the other half lives, what could be better.
I find Sayers makes it easier to make sense of clues so you can follow Whimsey's thoughts ..occasionally!
Easy to read, extremely hard to put down.
They are all good but there are favourites. You need to find your own, but Gaudy still holds a place in my heart. Will have to hunt out my bookcase and re-read them all now. Then onto Allingham's Campion books.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 September 2017
I have come to the Lord Peter Wimsey books rather late in life. I am a fan of whodunits and I don't really know how I came to miss Miss Sayer's books.
I love this book. It has a thrilling murder, but it is written with a light touch and a sense of humour. My favourite combination in murder mysteries.
I enjoy the depiction of life at that time (1930s,I think.) The characters are well fleshed out, so that I find them totally believable
I will read all of Miss Sayer's books now, as I have really enjoyed this one so much. It kept me guessing until near the end.
All in all, a very entertaining read. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes a good murder mystery.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 June 2013
Originally published in 1924, `Whose Body?' was the first book to feature Dorothy L Sayer's most famous creation, the Gentleman detective Lord Peter Wimsey. This excellent radio dramatisation, first broadcast in 1973, is an excellent rendering of that fine book.

Ian Carmichael stars as Wimsey, and perfectly captures his essential qualities. The easy going charming man about town, with a quick keen intellect and demons that haunt him after his experiences in the first world war. Carmichael is perfect in the part, and his voice sounds just like the one I hear when I read the books. I am however a bit biased, as Carmichael came from Hull, my home town for many years.

The cast list reads like a who's who of British vocal talent, with Patricia Routledge as Wimsey's mother, Gabriel Woolfe as his friend Inspector Parker, Stephen Thorne as his nemesis Inspector Sugg and the wonderful Peter Jones as Wimsey's ineffable and indispensable manservant Bunter. With that much talent around a decent show is assured, and a decent show is what we get.

The story starts when Mr Phipps discovers a body in his bath, wearing nothing but a pince-nez. A wealthy industrialist disappears at the same time, one who bears a resemblance to the corpse in the bath. Lord Peter has to untangle two tangle threads to arrive at the truth behind these strange events.

The murderer becomes obvious quite early on, but the whole thing is done with so much charm that it is a joy to listen to anyway. And there are some quite outstanding moments, such as episode four where things get very dark for Wimsey, in a chilling sequence that is juxtaposed with a very lighthearted and almost funny scene in which Bunter interrogates another gentleman's valet. It works perfectly to make one of the best half hours of radio that I have heard.

The story is split into 5 half hour episodes, spread over two discs. Episode three is plit between discs one and two. Sound production and clarity is excellent for a recording that is now 40 years old, it sounded as though it was recorded yesterday. Liner notes are actually quite extensive and interesting, and a lot better than the BBC's usual record in this department.

In all a 5 star dramatisation of a 5 star book. I loved it, it just flew by. 5 stars.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 3 January 2016
This is one of my least favourite books by Dorothy L Sayers but I still found plenty to enjoy in re-reading it for the first time in many years. I had to admire the way the crime was committed and the way the clues are scattered throughout the text. A dead body is found in the bath in a flat belonging to a Mr Thripps an acquaintance of Lord Peter Wimsey's and an expert on matters architectural.

The police naturally suspect Thripps himself though it is patently obvious to everyone that he couldn't have done it if only because he would have found it physically impossible to heave the body around. Peter's friend - Inspector Charles Parker - is simultaneously investigating the disappearance of financier Reuben Levy, to whom the corpse bears a passing resemblance.

The detection of the crime is well done with everything slotting into place and making it perfectly possible for the discerning reader to get ahead of the detectives and work out who did it ahead of the revelation. Some modern readers may find the class consciousness hard to take but this is how it was when the book was written and modern readers need to bear that in mind when reading the book.

This first book shows Peter Wimsey in his silly ass incarnation - almost a double of Bertie Wooster with Bunter playing a very effective Jeeves. Freddie Arbuthnot makes a brief appearance in this book and appears in later books too though he is rather more loquacious in this one than he is in later books.

This is a good start to the series and establishes the series characters very well
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 23 January 2018
I approached this with an open mind and enjoyed reading it. A superficial assessment is that is a bit like a Bertie Wooster novel with dead bodies thrown in. Some of the master and servant dialogue is almost as good as Wodehouse (a very high bar in my view). The mystery element feels a bit over elaborate and implausible, especially in the first half, but takes second place to the joy of the character and the dialogue as things proceed.
I shall try another Wimsey story and suspend judgment on the realism of the plot from the start.
Anyone familiar with mid twentieth century crime fiction will be reminded of the great Raymond Chandler’s essay on detective fiction. This is exactly the sort of unrealistic stuff he took aim at.
There is room for both styles on my bookshelf.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 March 2016
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 following stories. No Harriet Vane yet but some lovely vignettes of his family and social class.
A naked body is found in a bath belonging to a man who worked for Wimsey's mother who encourages Peter to involve himself in the strange affair.
As the story involves a Jewish financier some claim to find anti-Semite material in this book but I read it as other characters rather than Wimsey himself (or indeed the author) reflecting some unfortunate and ignorant opinions casually voiced in those times.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 16 December 2013
This is the first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, and the first Dorothy L Sayers book I have read. The hero is much more than a crime-solving Bertie Wooster; he is highly educated with a back story involving the First World War, the lasting effect of which is described in a way that feels surprisingly contemporary, given that the book was written in 1925. He is also a fully fleshed-out character with the baggage of a family. For a book of the era, it was also unexpected to see passing reference to street prostitution. Furthermore, the procedural examinations of the murder victim and scenes were more advanced than we might have expected at that time. Well worth a read.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse