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Whose Body? (1925)

by Dorothy L. Sayers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lord Peter Wimsey (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,9401942,242 (3.65)501
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:In the debut mystery in Dorothy L. Sayers's acclaimed Lord Peter Wimsey series, the case of a dead bather draws Lord Peter into the 1st of many puzzling mysteries
Lord Peter Wimsey spends his days tracking down rare books, and his nights hunting killers. Though the Great War has left his nerves frayed with shellshock, Wimsey continues to be London's greatest sleuthâ??and he's about to encounter his oddest case yet.

A strange corpse has appeared in a suburban architect's bathroom, stark naked save for an incongruous pince-nez. When Wimsey arrives on the scene, he is confronted with a once-in-a-lifetime puzzle. The police suspect that the bathtub's owner is the murderer, but Wimsey's investigation quickly reveals that the case is much stranger than anyone could have predicted.

Published in 1923, during detective fiction's Golden Age, Whose Body? introduced a character and a series that would make Dorothy L. Sayers famous. To this day, Lord Peter remains 1 of the genre's most beloved and brilliant characters.

Whose Body? is the 1st book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, but you may enjoy the series by reading the books in any order.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton Colle
… (more)
Recently added byAbcdarian, caaleros, Agryphon42, bmmsben, wildlife2006, Maneeesha, DrKJMarshall, Rossfam, NightMarily, private library
Legacy LibrariesArthur Ransome
  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.
  2. 10
    Thank You, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (themulhern)
    themulhern: Lord Peter is pretty obviously inspired by Bertie, as Bunter by Jeeves. This just seems impossible to deny.
  3. 00
    A Test of Wills by Charles Todd (majkia)
    majkia: similar focus on shellshock.
  4. 00
    Long Before Forty by C. S. Forester (themulhern)
    themulhern: The med school student Lord Peter interviewed could just as well have been C. S. Forester himself (before he dropped out of med school and became a novelist).
  5. 01
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (cbl_tn)
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English (187)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
It took me a bit to get into the writing style because I was expecting something similar in tone to Agatha Christie, and the beginning read more like P.G. Wodehouse. The characters gained more depth half-way through the book. Overall, I liked Sayers' detective novel more than what I've read of Christie's, which is an unexpected delight. ( )
  caaleros | May 17, 2024 |
It feels a little unpolished, with serrated edges here and there without the Agatha Christie flair, but I suppose that's to be expected with a debut. It is still a shrewdly conceived plot nevertheless, though the conclusion might easily be surmised early (*potential spoiler) on if you pay close attention to what Sayer's has to leave out about the body's appearance (due to censorship), which indefinitely connects the two cases. I had a rough time getting used to Sayer's attempts at Wodehousian dialogue and her brusque descriptions, and I could not help wincing every time the Peter/Bunter duo fell short of the inimitable Jeeves and Wooster. All in all, an average feat by Miss Sayers. ( )
  TheBooksofWrath | Apr 18, 2024 |
I really didn't care for the book. Lord Peter is an aristocrat who dabbles in mysteries in order to pass the time. The story lost my interest after the first chapter. There was too much superficial "witty" dialogue and not enough character development. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
A dead body shows up in a person’s bathtub, it just so happens that that person has connections including to a second son of a duke that has time on his hands and has taken up sleuthing as a hobby. Whose Body? is the first book of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsy series in which the titular character investigates the mysterious body and later a mysterious disappearance as well.

This was a very engaging mystery from the start especially since Sayers close to the beginning either provides information that someone is either a massive red herring or the obvious culprit, but the astute reader to realizes this feels the need keep going to find out which. The main character, Lord Peter Wimsy, is overall a good protagonist to follow and has some very well characterized supporting characters in his butler Bunter and police detective Charles Parker that help to spread the narrative. While there are some characteristics of Lord Peter that I personally is his speech patterns of the stereotypical snotty Englishman especially when talking with other snotty noblemen of his same age, however I like that Sayers in making him a veteran of the Great War—as it was then known—that suffered recurrent bouts of shell shock—a.k.a. PTSD—which over a century later connects this fictional character to our world today. Frankly, the mystery was good, the main character was good, and Sayers writing was good not only making me enjoy this book but also to look out for more Lord Peter books.

Whose Body? is an interesting mystery with a good main character and engaging writing by Dorothy L. Sayers that got me hooked into seeing what future adventures Lord Peter Wimsy has. ( )
  mattries37315 | Mar 20, 2024 |
Entertaining but far-fetched story has way too much talk. It's a good thing Sayers knows how to make that talk rather interesting and informative, but the crime at the center of the novel is made unnecessarily complicated, and it is that unnecessary complication that leads to the criminal's undoing. The character of Lord Peter Wimsey is interesting enough, especially his post-WW 1 shell shock. But I'm not sure this is a series that would interest me that much going forward. ( )
  datrappert | Feb 20, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 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
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, EdwardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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)
"There's nothing you can't prove if your outlook is sufficiently limited."
"But when you can really investigate, Mr. Parker, and break up the dead, or for preference the living body with the scalpel, you always find the footmarks---the little train of ruin or disorder left by madness or disease or drink or any other similar pest. But the difficulty is to trace them back, merely by observing the surface symptoms---the hysteria, crime, religion, fear, shyness, conscience, or whatever it may be; just as you observe a theft or a murder and look for the footsteps of the criminal, so I observe a fit of hysterics or an outburst of piety and hunt for the little mechanical irritation which has produced it."
"All these men work with a bias in their minds, one way or another," he said; "they find what they are looking for."
"Yes, yes, I know," said the detective, "but that's because you're thinking about your attitude. You want to be consistent, you want to look pretty, you want to swagger debonairly through a comedy of puppets or else to stalk magnificently through a tragedy of human sorrows and things. But that's childish. If you've any duty to society in the way of finding out the truth about murders, you must do it in any attitude that comes handy. You want to be elegant and detached? That's all right, if you find the truth out that way, but it hasn't any value in itself, you know. You want to look dignified and consistent---what's that got to do with it? You want to hunt down a murderer for the sport of the thing and then shake hands with him and say, 'Well played---hard luck---you shall have your revenge tomorrow!' Well, you can't do it like that. Life's not a football match. You want to be a sportsman. You can't be a sportsman. You're a responsible person."

"I don't think you ought to read so much theology," said Lord Peter. "It has a brutalizing influence."
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Mystery. HTML:In the debut mystery in Dorothy L. Sayers's acclaimed Lord Peter Wimsey series, the case of a dead bather draws Lord Peter into the 1st of many puzzling mysteries
Lord Peter Wimsey spends his days tracking down rare books, and his nights hunting killers. Though the Great War has left his nerves frayed with shellshock, Wimsey continues to be London's greatest sleuthâ??and he's about to encounter his oddest case yet.

A strange corpse has appeared in a suburban architect's bathroom, stark naked save for an incongruous pince-nez. When Wimsey arrives on the scene, he is confronted with a once-in-a-lifetime puzzle. The police suspect that the bathtub's owner is the murderer, but Wimsey's investigation quickly reveals that the case is much stranger than anyone could have predicted.

Published in 1923, during detective fiction's Golden Age, Whose Body? introduced a character and a series that would make Dorothy L. Sayers famous. To this day, Lord Peter remains 1 of the genre's most beloved and brilliant characters.

Whose Body? is the 1st book in the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, but you may enjoy the series by reading the books in any order.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton Colle

No library descriptions found.

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.  

Back cover description, Dover Pub ed.:
There's a corpse in the bathtub, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez spectacles. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth. Urged to investigate by his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, Lord Peter quickly ascertains that the sudden disappearance of a well-known financier is in some way connected to the body in the bathroom. But discovering exactly which way they're related leads the amateur detective on a merry chase.

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