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In the Teeth of the Evidence (A Lord Peter…

In the Teeth of the Evidence (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery) (original 1939; edition 1983)

by Dorothy L Sayers

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Title:In the Teeth of the Evidence (A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery)
Authors:Dorothy L Sayers
Info:New English Library (1983), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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In the Teeth of the Evidence and Other Stories by Dorothy L. Sayers (1939)



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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Finally got around to reading the entire collection. I had read the two Lord Peter stories before but had not sampled the others. The stories are all well-written with the sort of surprise twist that one expects in a certain type of short story. "Blood Sacrifice" is an interesting psychological study. And at least one tale, I won't reveal which one, has a hint of the supernatural. ( )
  ritaer | Oct 2, 2017 |
I only read the Peter Wimsey stories. Maybe someday I'll go back and read the others. ( )
  Lindoula | Sep 25, 2017 |
In the Teeth of the Evidence contains ~16 stories (there is no table of contents, so counting was done via a quick flick through). Only the first of these is flagged as a Wimsey story, the following five are identified as Montague Egg stories (more on that later), and the remainder were a fruit salad of protagonists and plots, none quite the same. I think my favourite of these, "The Inspiration of Mr Budd" started out as a loving character study on a perfectionist barber and his frustration with the half-assed but much better patronised premises across the street, and then when the plot actually arrives, the reader is presented with a finely sketched drama, in which Mr Budd is presented with the opportunity to turn in a wanted man, but finds himself afraid of the immediate consequences if he were to try and call for the authorities, and how he manages to leverage the situation anyway.

Other than that, I did like the character of Montague Egg, travelling salesman, and the way that the solution to each of the mysteries is framed with a quote from his constant companion, The Salesman Handsbook.

I think that several of the plots have been replicated in other situations, variations on a theme in television crime shows, and so forth. But even when the solution was obvious from previous reading, or from telegraphed details in the text, I still find the unwinding of the solution to be enjoyable - the story and its telling was sufficient, and the suspense of the mystery was not necessary. ( )
  fred_mouse | Aug 16, 2017 |
A great collection of mysteries which kept me intrigued and guessing. Great intelligent fun reading. ( )
  Bookish59 | May 24, 2014 |
A good mystery story is like a magic trick. We all try to find out what the secret is, but we are happy if we are defeated, and a trifle disappointed if we win. The only difference is that the mystery writer reveals her trick at the end, while the magician does not.

If a full length mystery novel is a grand illusion with all the props, the detective short is a parlour trick. The illusion is cumbersome to set up and execute, but when properly done, very effective and hard to see through: the parlour trick, on the other hand, depends entirely on the speed of the magician's hand, and there is a greater chance of failure and embarrassment as the cards come slipping out of the sleeve.

Which is why, I think, that there are very few "great" detective short stories compared to novels by the great authors. Dorothy Sayers is no exception.

The present collection, even though enjoyable, fails to present us with any "great stories" (except one - Suspicion - which is excellently spine-chilling). The first two stories, featuring the famous Lord Peter Wimsey, are only average: in fact, the mystery in the first can be solved by any discerning reader immediately. The next five, featuring the travelling salesman Montague Egg, are only interesting with regard to their unusual sleuth - the stories are rather pedestrian. The remaining tales are all stand-alone stories, with two or three humorous ones where a dire secret is promised only to end in a comic whimper. While this is enjoyable once or twice, it does become stale when repeated too often.

The last two stories do not belong to the conventional mystery canon. The penultimate one straddles reality and fantasy: the last one is an out-and-out horror story. They are interesting, but nothing to write home about.

Overall verdict: a nice book to curl up with at the end of a tiring day. ( )
  Nandakishore_Varma | Sep 28, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dorothy L. Sayersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crowley, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michal,MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Well, old son," said Mr. Lamplough, "and what can we do for you today?" ("In the Teeth of the Evidence")
Lord Peter Wimsey sat with Chief-Inspector Parker, of the C.I.D., and Inspector Henley, of the Baldock police, in the library at "The Lilacs". ("Absolutely Elsewhere")
A workman put in his head at the door of the Saloon Bar. ("A Shot at Goal")
Mr. Montague Egg was startled out of his beauty sleep by the ugly noise next door. ("Dirt Cheap")
"Dash it!" exclaimed Mr. Montague Egg, "there's another perfectly good customer gone west." ("Bitter Almonds")
With Mr. Benton supporting the grisly patient, and Mr. Lamplough manipulating the drill, the filling of one of the molars was speedily drilled out, and Mr. Lamplough said: "Oh, gosh!" - which, as Lord Peter remarked, just showed you what a dentist meant when he said "Ah!"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0450002489, Paperback)

All that was left of the garage was a heap of charred and smouldering beams. In the driving seat of the burnt-out car were the remains of a body ...An accident, said the police. An accident, said the widow. She had been warning her husband about the danger of the car for months. Murder, said the famous detective Lord Peter Wimsey - and proceeded to track down the killer. 'I admire her novels ...she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail' P. D. James

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:22 -0400)

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All that was left of the garage was a heap of charred and smouldering beams. In the driving seat of the burnt-out car were the remains of a body . . . An accident, said the police. An accident, said the widow. She had been warning her husband about the danger of the car for months.… (more)

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