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Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey…

Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) (original 1927; edition 1995)

by Dorothy L. Sayers

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2,230522,889 (3.86)153
Title:Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)
Authors:Dorothy L. Sayers
Info:HarperTorch (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Books Read 2012
Tags:fiction, crime, mystery, british

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Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers (1927)



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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I picked this one up and started reading it when nothing else appealed. Apparently nothing is as good as a Sayers novel these days. Well, you can see why: Wimsey is hilarious, and Sayers brings an interesting perspective to the genre. She recognized the racism and sexism so prevalent in her time, created characters who shared it, but permits her leads to be more enlightened. And Miss Climpson is one of the best characters ever.

Rereading it, and realizing how much of the plot had stuck in my brain was interesting. One thing that really jumped out at me this time was the variety of relationships shown. Central to the story are two women school chums who spend the rest of their long lives keeping house together and running a stud farm. I suppose the dearth of single men after the war made it easier for women to establish families with other women without censure.

Personal copy. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |

The only reason why I won't stop reading this series is I really like Lord Peter Wimsey. The problem is he isn't the only main character here. I don't mind Parker but both of them got swept under all the gossip you get to read here. I will just pretend I never read this book.

There are so many problems in this book that I am at a loss where to start. First, Wimsey doesn't play that much a role here anyway. He does start everything though.
The case starts 'almost imperceptibly, in the overhearing of a casual remark dropped in a Soho restaurant' but then goes south. The stupidity of everyone involved in it is staggering. Most of this book is he said, she said reporting. This is one of the most gossipy novel I've ever read.

One of the biggest problems I had with this case and what ruined this so-called mystery for me is that the author so obviously tried to keep Parker and Wimsey away from a person of interest. It was so in your face I started thinking it could be a parody of some sort. It was glaringly obvious. God, it was tedious to get through it. Not much of a mystery I'm afraid.

The less I say about other characters, the better. The way a distant cousin of Miss Dawson's, Rev. Dawson, is treated is horrible. To say it was uncomfortable to read parts of this book would be an understatement.

There are a couple of things I did like but I am not sure if they could be enough to redeem this book. The relatio0nship between the murder victim Agatha Dawson and her best friend Clara Whittaker is lovely. And I do like Wimsey and Parker so there's that.

I hope this will be the only weak story in the series. ( )
  Aneris | Aug 12, 2016 |
This was quite a surprise on rereading it - I have always liked Sayers' work but they are kind of dated (well, what can you expect?). However, in this story, the action revolves around a chance meeting where a doctor bemoans his fate after being dead sure that one of his patients had been murdered while everyone else was willing to think it a natural death - after all, the lady in question was in her seventies and suffering from cancer so there was no surprise over the death. Lord Peter gets one of his helpers to go to the town in question and see what was what, while his friend Inspector Parker looks on in increasing alarm as it appears that Lord Peter has lost his marbles. Needles to say, things get resolved quite neatly in the end though it does depend rather unusually on a LOST DOCUMENT!!! to break an apparently unbreakable alibi and the early parts of the story are equally unusually polemic over the role of women in post WW1 society until Sayers loses herself in the flow of the story. ( )
  JohnFair | Jul 10, 2016 |
An Unnatural Death – Dorothy Sayers

Audio performance by Ian Carmichael
4 stars

This is the third book in Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series. Lord Peter stumbles upon a suspicious death. As he and Inspector Parker investigate, several more murders and attempted murders occur. This book is important to the series because it introduces or develops some of the recurring characters, including the chatty, observant spinster, Miss Climpson. Lord Peter also points a self-accusing finger at his involvement in this case during a pivotal discussion in Gaudy Night. Dorothy Sayers will never allow Wimsey to back away from his moral responsibilities. All of the Wimsey books include inventive wordplay with literary quotations and philosophical soul searching about individual accountability. Sayers wrote with the expectation that her characters and her readers would be highly intelligent.

Ian Carmichael played Peter Wimsey in a BBC series during the 70’s. I enjoyed his reading of this book, although at times it seemed a bit rushed. Kindle versions of this series have recently become available and the audio is being offered at a reduced price.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Unnatural Death the novel hadn't stayed in my memory, but this was an enjoyable adaptation. Inspector Parker is certain there was nothing to it with the young doctor whose career suffered a setback when he suspected a patient was murdered, but no evidence was found during the autopsy and screening. Lord Peter is certain it was murder. ( )
  JalenV | Mar 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayer, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bleck, CathieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carmichael, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michal, MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Relander, InkeriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
‘No sign of foul play,’ says Dr Carr after the post-mortem on Agatha Dawson. The case is closed. But Lord Peter Wimsey is not satisfied . . .

With no clues to work on, he begins his own investigation. No clues, that is, until the sudden, senseless murder of Agatha’s maid. What is going on in the mysterious Mrs Forrest’s Mayfair flat? And can Wimsey catch a desperate murderer before he himself becomes one of the victims?
Contains the famous biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061043583, Mass Market Paperback)

The wealthy old woman was dead -- a trifle sooner than expected. The intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful hampshire village to a fashionable London flat and a deliberate test of amour  -- staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

"Here the modern detective story begins to come to its own; and all the historical importance aside, it remains an absorbing and charming story today."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:26 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The wealthy old woman was dead-a trifle sooner than expected. the intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful Hampshire village to a fashionable london flat and a deliberate test of amour-staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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