Book Review Time: Whose Body?

An unidentified corpse has been discovered in the bath. The only object left on the victim’s person is a pair of pince nez of strange specifications. Elsewhere, a successful financier has been reported missing. He is believed to have left his house in the wee hours of the morning undetected. Though he is known to be a loyal and loving family man, he has acquired enemies in the business world. Initially, the two cases appear unrelated. But all is not what it seems.

A clever criminal with mysterious motives is on the loose. And it will require an equally clever mind to root him out. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, a hyperactive aristocrat with attention deficit and hidden battle scars. Lord Peter views detective work as a right bit of fun, a sporting exercise meant to invigorate the mind and the spirit. But uncovering this mystery will require seriousness and tact. And this privileged private investigator will learn to balance his quick wit with the more measured approach of his valet, Bunter and his friend, Scotland Yard’s, Detective Parker.

Whose Body? is a novel filled with humor, social commentary, and intrigue. I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve only recently become aware of the works of Dorothy L. Sayers, who like her contemporary, Agatha Christie, was one of the standout mystery writers of her time. This novel proves her merit.

So, as the season ushers in colder temps, envision yourself reading a great mystery, lying on the sofa, under comfy blankets, with a cup of cocoa at your side. However, if you’re anything like Lord Peter, you may prefer spirits of a stronger kind.

Warning: this novel does contain culturally insensitive language, reflecting the sentiments of many in 1920s England. After reading this novel, I believe the narrow-minded attitudes presented by Sayers are used as a means of criticizing (not commending) the society which held them. This may be a generous interpretation. Either way, I felt an advance warning was appropriate and necessary.

You might also find my post “Problematic” of interest,

Be well, my fellow ink-drinkers!


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