Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers

This is the first in Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series, but the second that I have read. Gaudy Night was really good but, since many people consider it the best in the series, I was worried that this book wouldn't live up to it; especially as GN focuses mostly on Harriet Vane, who doesn't appear in this book, and I wasn't sure I would enjoy this as much with only Peter. I needn't have worried though; although this isn't quite as good, it's definitely still very enjoyable.
The mystery itself was interesting; it begins with the rather bizarre circumstance of a man discovering a body in his bath, having no idea how it got there. Naturally this is rather intriguing to Lord Peter, who decides to investigate, working with a friend in the police. There are quite a few twists and turns along the way to the conclusion (which I guessed just after Lord Peter had solved it, but before he revealed the solution), which is certainly original. Some aspects were a little gruesome but this wasn't overdone.

Another aspect of the book that I really liked was the characters, who I look forward to getting to know better in later books; it was good to see more of Peter himself in this book, along with his devoted servant/sidekick Bunter, and his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, who are all great characters. It was also just a fairly entertaining read all round. I especially enjoyed the occasional references to detective novels; there are a few times when characters say things like "if we were in a detective novel this would happen, but obviously this is real life," which I found quite entertaining.

There are a few offensive comments made by characters in the book, particularly with regards to the Jews, which has caused some controversy; although the impression I got was that these reflected the views of the characters saying them (and of many people at the time the book was written), and are not necessarily those of the author. Other than that, I can't think of many things I didn't like about this book.

Overall, this was a great book, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.


  1. This is a series I want to read all of at some point too. Very fun!

    1. I've greatly enjoyed what I've read of the series so far :)