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

by Dorothy L. Sayers

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2,195492,956 (3.86)151
Member:deb80
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
Rating:**
Tags:fiction, crime, mystery, british

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Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers (1927)

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» See also 151 mentions

English (45)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (49)
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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 |
Enjoy these books very much, she is such a great writer. I was a bit turned off by some of the racial language from a couple of the characters in this one, but one has to remember to read the book in the time it was written. Also, I don't believe that this was the views of the author herself, just the character's. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Feb 25, 2016 |
Unnatural Death opens with a bystander overhearing a dinner conversation between Lord Peter and his best friend and colleague (besides Bunter, that is), Charles Parker, an Inspector at Scotland Yard. The bystander is a doctor who had public doubts about an apparent natural death due to cancer that defied his predicted survival timeframe. He paid a high social cost for expressing his concern and wanted to move on. Lord Peter took his doubts seriously enough to figure out the name and location of the decedent and embark on an investigation. This is the book where Charles is introduced to Miss Climpson, Lord Peter's premier confidential agent, hilariously misunderstood to be a love interest in a discreet love nest. Peter sends Miss Climpson to the village to dig up gossip and observe the local characters involved. And Bunter plays a role at appropriate moments, as does Mr. Murbles, Lord Peter’s solicitor. Charles Parker doesn't believe there's anything to investigate for the first half of the story, until additional people associated with the case die of apparent natural causes and a motive is finally uncovered. By the end, there were 3 murders, 3 attempted murders, and 1 suicide, all starting with an old woman supposedly dying of metastatic cancer in the hospice care of the day. The visual aid of a genealogical table at the end helps put the motive in perspective. I think it might be the highest body count of any of the Lord Peter mysteries, and certainly one of the most violent near misses. . The murderer is unrepentant and fighting to the end. This book was very much a contemplation on gender norms and roles and implicit lesbian relationships, as well as Lord Peter questioning whether his activities cause more harm than good ( )
  justchris | Jan 18, 2016 |
probably my least favorite Wimsey. The point of inheritance law involved is interesting --worthy of Cyril Hare or Michael Gilbert, but I have seen the murder method criticized as unreliable, and the ending is depressingly grim. ( )
  antiquary | Jan 4, 2016 |
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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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