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

by Dorothy L. Sayers

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2,100433,135 (3.85)144
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 (Author) (1927)

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» See also 144 mentions

English (39)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Pgchuis's review Jun 29, 15 · edit
4 of 5 stars
Read from June 27 to 29, 2015

By means of a chance encounter in a coffee shop, Sir Peter hears of the possibly suspicious death of Miss Dawson. She was dying of cancer, but in the end died far sooner than her doctor had expected. He was allowed to perform a post-mortem but could find nothing to explain her death. For the first third of the novel, Peter Parker, Lord Peter's policeman-side kick, is not entirely convinced there is a crime to solve.

There is a lot going on in this story. I enjoyed the finer legal distinctions of the Law of Property Act 1925, which held the answer to the central puzzle, and I loved Miss Climpson, a sort of high church Miss Marple, whose letters were superb. On the other hand, the body count got a bit ridiculous, and I worked out who Mrs Forrest was very early on. The scene with Mr Trigg going to the dark house with the dying woman was far-fetched by any standards and the discovery of the "preparatory notes for confession" was extraordinarily convenient. On the other hand, I did love the bit where Sir Peter is suspicious of Mrs Forrest because she didn't enjoy kissing him.

More Bunter needed, though. ( )
  pgchuis | Jun 30, 2015 |
Another comforting reread. Less comforting here, in that the villain is a young woman who some people read as a lesbian or asexual, with that behaviour being part of what makes her a character to be suspicious of, and in that Sayers has a rare character of colour here, the Reverend Hallelujah, who she doesn't handle particularly well.

It also doesn't help that once the medical part of the mystery is solved, a lot of the tension -- e.g. is Wimsey wrong? what on earth is happening here? -- goes out of it. I already solved the mystery the first time, through unfortunately having watched an NCIS episode with that exact cause of death just before I read it, and since then I've also listened to the radio play... The tension is, consequently, quite low for me.

Still, it's Sayers, which means it's otherwise well-written, and it involves Lord Peter, Bunter, Parker and Miss Climpson quite prominently, which is entertaining. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 28, 2013 |
Lord Peter Wimsey can be a lot of fun. I love the way he takes lines from poetry and mangles them for his own purposes. The relationship between Wimsey and the grumbling copper Parker is always amusing. The mystery itself is entertaining, and there are a few twists. The most difficult thing in this book is the racism of all the characters, in this Britain of the 20s. ( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
Still not seeing much of Lord Peter as a character, to date. In fact, looking back over it, this book didn't really spend much time with him at all, at least not much time of any consequence -- even less than in Clouds of Witness, though there was, of course, a family connection there. It doesn't seem strongly tied to the other books: there's little reference to Peter Wimsey's family, or Parker's interest in Lady Mary, or such things. I could have wished for more of Bunter, too. I'm not sure if it's my interest in the characters making me expect them to be included more, or whether there's genuinely less of them.

It's an interesting little mystery, anyway, and I probably wouldn't have figured out the cause of death if I hadn't seen a similar scenario in NCIS a couple of days ago. A lot of the mystery in this is in figuring out how it was done. Again, there was a nice sense of me being able to figure things out, with enough mystery left behind that I needed to keep reading.

Fun to read, like the others. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This is another good one, the one that introduces the delightful Miss Climpson, Wimsey's version of the Baker Street Irregulars. ( )
  veracite | Apr 5, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.Authorprimary 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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