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Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
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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
3,7371352,058 (3.7)364
Recently added byWapil, lizaandpaul, Croselan, private library, kohenkatz, firstpres, tifftoffee, Jane888, WimberlyFamily
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. 00
    A Test of Wills by Charles Todd (majkia)
    majkia: similar focus on shellshock.
  3. 01
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (cbl_tn)
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» See also 364 mentions

English (129)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
[Whose Body?] is a clever whodunit written in the early 1920s by a respected student of classical and modern languages named Dorothy L. Sayers. The book introduced a British amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Sayers would go on to write 10 more novels and many short stories featuring him. According to Wikipedia, Sayers imagined her creation as a mix of Fred Astaire and Bertie Wooster. Yeah, I can see that. About this book:

A naked corpse is discovered in his bathtub by a meek and mild architect. He, Mr. Alfred Thipps by name, has no idea who the dead man is or how his corpse got into his tub. Wimsey gets involved at the behest of his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, who had work—now interrupted—being done by Thipps. The cop assigned to the case, Inspector Sugg, is of course an uncooperative dolt, ill-disposed to Lord Peter, intent upon pinning the crime on Thipps or his housemaid Gladys Horrocks. An investigator named Parker drops by Wimsey's home to compare notes, as he's assigned to look into the disappearance of Sir Reuben Levy, a respected financier. The body in the tub, Parker has established, is not Levy. Working together, Wimsey and Parker work out the puzzle.

One facet of Lord Peter's personality that I liked was his candor and openness to guidance and even correction. When Wimsey talks to Parker about someone he suspects, the detective asks: "Look here, Wimsey—do you think he has murdered Levy?"

  "Well, he may have."
  "But do you think he has?"
  "I don't want to think so."
  "Because he has taken a fancy to you?"
  "Well, that biases me, of course—"
...
  "But perhaps I'm wrong and he did do it."
  "Then why let your vainglorious conceit in your own power of estimating character stand in the way of unmasking the singularly cold-blooded murder of an innocent and lovable man?"
  "I know—but I don't feel I'm playing the game somehow."
  "Look here, Peter," said the other 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's 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."

No Hercule Poirot is Lord Peter Wimsey. Refreshing. I'ma gonna read more of him.
  weird_O | Jan 22, 2019 |
Enjoyable formative Lord Peter mystery, in which we meet Lord Peter and his man Mervyn Bunter, and learn something of why Bunter is so indispensable and more than a mere servant. We also make a first acquaintance with the policeman Charles Parker and the Dowager Duchess of Denver. This is the first time I have read this gentle introduction to one of the classic crime series, and would happily recommend it to those coming to Lord Peter for the first time as preparation for the delights to come.
( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
Enjoyable formative Lord Peter mystery, in which we meet Lord Peter and his man Mervyn Bunter, and learn something of why Bunter is so indispensable and more than a mere servant. We also make a first acquaintance with the policeman Charles Parker and the Dowager Duchess of Denver. This is the first time I have read this gentle introduction to one of the classic crime series, and would happily recommend it to those coming to Lord Peter for the first time as preparation for the delights to come.
( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
The first in the classic Lord Peter Wimsey series of detective novels. As the first, it's harder to get through than some of the others, but the ending really gets into it with Peter's war PTSD, which makes it 150% worth reading, imo. Also, the scene where Sayers establishes for the reader what happened to the other, missing body is totally meta and fascinating from a structural standpoint, and yet, from an audience standpoint, still absolutely fucking chilling. It's pretty neat. REC: READ, but not 1st. ( )
  epaulettes | Jan 3, 2019 |
Lord Peter Wimsey is on his way to a rare book auction when his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, calls him with an emergency. It seems the architect who is working on the church roof has found a body in his bath! As Lord Peter sets out to solve this mystery, his friend, Inspector Parker, is confronted with the mysterious disappearance of a prominent financier. Can the two be connected? And what of the prominent nerve specialist who, in their youth, had hoped to marry the financier's wife?

The first Lord Peter Wimsey novel. Good, but the best was yet to come.
  lilithcat | Oct 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (42 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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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)
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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.  
Haiku summary

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.

» see all 20 descriptions

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101646, 1400111307

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