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Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) by…

Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) (original 1925; edition 1995)

by Dorothy L. Sayers

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Title:Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)
Authors:Dorothy L. Sayers
Info:HarperTorch (1995), Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (1925)

  1. 30
    The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (casvelyn)
    casvelyn: Lord Peter Wimsey and Bertie Wooster are rather similar characters, and they both have loyal and competent valets. Peter, of course, solves mysteries, while Bertie is more of a comic figure.

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Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Overall I enjoyed this first introduction to Lord Peter Wimsey. The plot and the investigation was uneven - and it was slow getting of the ground the first half - the murderer and his last confession although was a real payoff - chilling - brilliantly executed.

I liked the main characters. Rich and whimsical Wimsey and his “brothers in arms”, Mervyn Bunter, the ingenious manservant, and the theology-reading inspector Parker. Looks very promising. It was almost farcical at times the exchange between Wimsey and Bunter - reminding me of Wodehouse’s Jeevies and Wooster.

Also I liked the many literary references (Wimsey with his obsesion with old Dante folios) and his love for good food and wine - and Wimsey’s mother Honoria Delagardie also prove to be a wonderful eccentric character with an old school victorian approach to things.

Don’t you just want to visit Lord Peter Wimsey’s expensive flat in Piccadilly 110A (funny reference to Baker Street 220B):

“Lord Peter’s library was one of the most delightful bachelor rooms in London. Its scheme was black and primrose; its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the houris. In one corner stood a black baby grand, a wood fire leaped on a wide old-fashioned hearth, and the Sèvres vases on the chimneypiece were filled with ruddy and gold chrysanthemums. To the eyes of the young man who was ushered in from the raw November fog it seemed not only rare and unattainable, but friendly and familiar, like a colorful and gilded paradise in a medieval painting”. ( )
2 vote ctpress | May 10, 2016 |
I finished Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers today. This is the first Lord Peter Wimsey novel published. It was very much an "introducing the characters" type of book. The story was first published in 1923 and the 1935 edition, which appears to be the one my 1973 edition is based on, includes a biography of Lord Peter which was supposedly written by Lord Peter's uncle, Paul Austin Delagardie, his mother's brother. I can see that this "biography" was added to support overarching plot lines and to provide back story that supports elements found in later Wimsey tales. Apparently the 1935 edition also incorporated some corrections from the author.

An enjoyable story with quotations from poems in the early chapters of the book that probably have allusions and meaning that I am not aware of, but that is more to do with my being a Philistine when it comes to all things poetry related more than any obscurity of the verses concerned.

The first volume of Sayers's translation of Dante's Inferno was published in 1949, some 26 years after "Whose Body?" However, in "Whose Body?", she demonstrates Lord Peter Wimsey's interest in books, or more correctly, his bibliophilia, by describing how keen he is to purchase a rare edition of Dante's Inferno at an auction for a significant sum of money. I suspect all Sayers's references to rare books in "Whose Body?" are accurate and will stand up to investigation. Rare books would have been something she would have been knowledgeable about and it is interesting to see her inserting some of her personal interests into the novel.

It is an interesting first novel and it is interesting to see how the characters are being introduced and described. It will be interesting to see their development as I read more of the Wimsey books.

The first Bertie Wooster/Jeeves story by P.G. Wodehouse was published in 1915. Sayers was obviously familiar with the character and it would appear she modelled Lord Peter on Bertie but added sufficient intelligence to give her character more gravitas and wisdom while still having flights of whimsy, if you excuse the near-pun. While reading "Whose Body?" it was hard not to hear Lord Peter's words in the voice of Hugh Laurie's depiction of Bertie Wooster in the BBC TV series.

Bunter, Lord Peter's "Man", appears to be as wise and reliable as Jeeves but much more sombre and serious. ( )
  pgmcc | May 6, 2016 |
I read her Lord Peter Wimsey short stories and hated their snobbery, but I decided to give them one more go. I'm so glad I did! I got sucked in about a 100 pages in, and am now desperate for more. Sure, there are no women (though I hear there's a very nicely characterized one in a few books) at *all*, but LPW is feminine enough for me. He's a character in the Scarlet Pimpernel vein--an English aristocrat who uses his reputation as fop and dilettant to get involved in deadly games of cat and also cat. And yet, despite his excellent taste, his riches, his perfect pedigree and his clever brain, he has his moments of weakness. If not for those, his books would be unreadable. Thanks to them, I can enjoy a whole new series of murder mysteries.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This was a so-so murder mystery to be solved by Lord Peter Wimsey. The book was very juvenile. I found their speaking affectations contrived (reely). The ending was thrust upon the reader by means of a letter. I will not be reading any other books in this series. This was a free Kindle book and I see why! ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Feb 15, 2016 |
My first and still one of my favorite Lord Peter mysteries. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayer, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berg, DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bleck, CathieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kendall, RoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michal,MarieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, EdwardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To M. J. Dear Jim: This book is your fault. If it had not been for your brutal insistence, Lord Peter would never have staggered through to the end of the enquiry. Pray consider that he thanks you with his accustomed suavity. Yours ever, D. L. S.
First words
'Oh damn!' said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Circus.
"Look here, Peter," said the other [Parker] with some earnestness, "Suppose you get this playing-fields-of-Eton complex out of your system once and for all. There doesn't seem to be much doubt that something unpleasant has happened to Sir Reuben Levy. Call it murder, to strengthen the argument. If Sir Reuben has been murdered, is it a game? and is it fair to treat it as a game?"
"That is what I'm ashamed of, really," said Lord Peter. "It IS a game to me, to begin with, and I go on cheerfully, and then I suddenly see that somebody is going to be hurt, and I want to get out of it." (Chapter VII, Leipzig: The Albatross 1938, p. 176)
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Book description
Lord Peter's erster Fall: Der biedere Mr. Thipps, dem man sicher kein Unrecht tut, wenn man ihn einen Spießer nennt, überrascht eines unschönen Morgens in seiner Badewanne einen sehr toten und sehr unbekleideten Mann. Mr. Thipps beteuert, mit der Sache nicht das geringste zu tun zu haben. Doch hat man nicht schon oft in stillen Wassern Abgründiges entdeckt.

Cover description (1938): This is a Lord Peter Wimsey story. Need we say more? For Lord Peter Wimsey is one of the most attractive detectives of fiction. Nor is it necessary to say (since Dorothy L. Sayers is the author) that while you will enjoy this book as a detective story, you will enjoy it equally for its delightful touches of humour, its clever characterization and attractive style.  

This title is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online.  

GUTENBERG.org is the origin for most of the human and well-edited FREE kindle editions online in various languages. Scam sites will ask for money for the hard work and titles which Gutenberg volunteers provide free. ARCHIVE.org provides a huge selection of FREE e-pub & PDF public domain titles in various languages also. (easily readable with the Free CALIBRE-ebook.com app]. Project Gutenberg is a great organization. They will never ask you for money before allowing you to download their books (though voluntary donations are welcome).   

Only SCAM SITES & CON ARTISTS will ask for money for the hard work and e-book titles which the Gutenberg volunteers provide free. Their latest bs? "You're paying for the ability to wi-fi your download." Really? So these con artists who steal Gutenberg's hard work then re-post what should be FREE e-books for sale .... rationalize it because they provide wi-fi downloads? Now that is a load of nonsense. Do you think these scammers are donating all the money back to the non-profit Gutenberg? I don't think so. Please don't patronize e-thieves or con artists. And don't let them gull you. How hard is it to plug your e-reader into your computer and do a manual download? Pretty damn easy. If you don't know how to do this, ask one of your grandkids to show you how.   

There are lots of free pre-1923 public domain kindle books on Amazon.com. [Type in 'free' and 'public domain' in the search bar.] Some current authors make their copyrighted e-books available free on Amazon and other sites also. [I would assume as a form of advertising and/or as a loss leader for a book series. Make sure to review their books as a thank you.]   

ManyBooks.net offers Gutenberg's books in a different formatting. If the book you downloaded from them doesn't work for you, maybe you can get a different copy of the same book there.   

FeedBooks.com/publicdomain offers Gutenberg's books in a different formatting. It also offers ebooks for sale. If the book you downloaded from Gutenberg doesn't work for you, maybe you can get a different copy of the same book there.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061043575, Mass Market Paperback)

The stark naked body was lying in the tub.Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially witha pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:36 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Lord Peter Wimsey encounters his first murder case when the body of a prominent financier is discovered in a bathtub, and Wimsey finds clues in the body's post-murder facial shave and a pair of gold pince-nez.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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