Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

 

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. SayersWhose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers is the first novel of the Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey series. Lord Peter is financially independent and has a special hobby; he solves murder cases. When an unknown dead body is found in Mr. Thipps’s bathtub, he is on the case. With the help of his butler-friend Bunter, a talented forensic and semi-professional photographer and his friend Charles Parker, who works for Scotland Yard, he sets out to solve this mystery.

Whose Body? was released in 1928 and, like many first novels of a series, the reader is introduced to a number of characters that reappear as the series continues. The protagonist, Lord Peter was born in 1890 and is a World War I veteran. In the series, he ages in real-time making him 28 years old at the time the first book was released.

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers is a procedural-police meets private-inspector investigation story that is told by Lord Peter and Scotland Yard inspector Parker. Therefore, readers have a great overview of all on-going investigations and can solve the crime along the way.

In the first part of the novel, Mr. Thipps, an urban architect, is appalled after finding a dead body in his bathtub. And if this isn’t already scandalous, the naked body is dressed with pince-nez. Of course, all things considered, Mr. Thipps’s situation is very unfavorable and therefore he becomes the prime suspect in the eyes of Inspector Sugg. For Inspector Sugg, the case is clear cut, and without much ado, he arrests Mr. Thipps.

Through the vicar’s wife, the Dowager Duchess of Denver hears of the case and contacts her son Lord Peter to follow up on the investigation. Inspector Sugg is your typical incompetent idiot working on the case. Although on occasion, he does have a rather soft spot for Lord Peter.

Lord Peter, for his part, decides to stick to his friend, Inspector Parker, who is investigating a missing person case. With the help of Parker’s reports of Sir Reuben Levy, an elderly banker, who disappeared overnight without a trace, Lord Peter checks the crime scene. Although Lord Peter recognizes similarities — is the man in the bathtub Sir Reuben Levy? Or is Sir Reuben the killer?

Together with Bunter, Lord Peter follows the leads that he found in Mr. Thipps’s apartment. By powers of observation and deduction, they are able to identify the body and find the killer. Although the killer is rather predictable, Sayers does give readers the psychology of the killer to understand what motivated him.

In Whose Body?, Sayers also illustrates the class differences at the time the novel was released. On the one hand, Bunter, who is not only Lord Peter’s butler but his closest friend, work together as equals, regardless of the class differences — on the other hand, Bunter still addresses Lord Peter with “my lord” in private and “his lordship” while in company.

Throughout the story, Sayers’s characters become multi-layered and she exposes the hidden qualities, interwoven with Bunter’s and Wimsey’s past. The story explains the relationship between “Major Wimsey’s” World War I shellshock and his recurring nightmares, and “Sergeant Bunter” as his caretaker.

Lord Peter is a gentleman detective, which is typical for the Golden Age of detective fiction. Dorothy L. Sayers belongs to the group of famous British Crime Ladies of that period. She was a prominent writer of the Golden Age, but she never reached the level of fame as did Agatha Christie.

Sayer’s Wimsey series is characterized as very British with a fine sense of humor and slightly bizarre. Notwithstanding, the reader will find social criticism in her work. This is emphasized through satire and mocking of the British upper class.

The Wimsey series consists of 11 books. In 1998, Thrones, Dominations was published. It was the unfinished book of the series that was completed by the author Jill Paton Walsh. After the approval of the Sayers Estate, A Presumption of Death (2002), The Attenburg Emeralds (2010) and The Late Scholar (2014) were released by Jill Paton Walsh. The books take place during World War II. According to some of the reviews I’ve read, most Dorothy L. Sayers fans see these books as fan fiction. I’ve never read them though. The books by Jill Paton Walsh belong to the series Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Van Mystery books. 

A number of Dorothy L. Sayers books are available as T.V. mini-series. Check out the database here.

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About Dorothy L. Sayers
For more information about Dorothy L. Sayers visit her website. Check out the reading order of her books and what fans are saying on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @Dorothy L. Sayers Society. There is also a Lord Peter Wimsey page on Facebook. Those that have already read her books, look up the Wimsey Papers, war-time letters and documents of the Wimsey Family.

 

The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp

Publication Date: September 23, 2017

The Desolate Garden by Daniel KempHarry Paterson’s father, Lord Elliot Paterson, is murdered and because he stands to inherit the title, Harry is the #1 suspect. Judith Meadows is assigned to stay with Harry during the investigation to keep him safe and also garner whatever information she can to help solve the case. Together they look into strange messages that Harry received from his father before his death regarding strange transactions at the family bank. Continue reading The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp

Stateline (Dan Reno Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Stanton

Publication Date: January 4, 2014

 

Stateline (Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave SantonIn Stateline (Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Santon, Dan Reno is hired by a powerful man to find his son’s killer. He soon finds cops on the take willing to do anything to stop him. Can Dan find the killer and manage to stay alive? Stateline is the sixth book in the Dan Reno series.

Continue reading Stateline (Dan Reno Detective Noir Mystery Series) by Dave Stanton

Dog Gone by Mike Faricy

Publication Date: July 1, 2015

 

IDog Gone by Mike Faricy n Dog Gone by Mike Faricy, P.I. Dev Haskell finds himself pet-sitting his new girlfriend’s dog, a golden retriever named Morton when she has to leave town for a family emergency. Through Morton, Dev meets Princess Anastasia, a standard poodle show dog looking to take top honors. When it becomes clear that someone is angling to keep Princess out of the contest, Dev goes to work to keep his canine friend’s love interest safe and healthy for her bid to win the crown. Dog Gone is the twelfth book in the Dev Haskell Private Inspector series.    Continue reading Dog Gone by Mike Faricy

Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno

Publication Date: March 30, 2012

Now available in audiobook format narrated by the fabulous Travis Henry Carter who fully embodies the douchy but likable Brett Cornell. Click here to check it out on Audible. Seriously, these books are funny and a call back to the kind of guy you don’t see much anymore. Give the Brett Cornell series a shot.

Review originally posted on June 9, 2012

 

Brett Always Wins by David D’AguannoIn Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno, private investigator and “Charter Member of Unscrupulous Bastards R Us” (Kindle location 1974), Brett Cornell, is a prime piece of all-American beef who has deemed instant gratification a way of life. He’s irresistible; just ask him; he’ll tell you. When a one-night stand calls to say that her husband is trying to kill her, Brett knows the real reason, she’s back for round two. Brett takes her case and finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery. Nothing the great Brett Cornell can’t handle.

Continue reading Brett Always Wins by David D’Aguanno

Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn

Publication Date: November 10, 2017

 

Pocketful of Bones by Julie FraynBetter World Book Challenge 2 – An Independently Published Book

Pocketful of Bones

In Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn, while trying to hide evidence, Finnegan MacGillivray finds a burial ground in the garden of the home he shares with his mother. He becomes obsessed with finding the secrets behind the bones and is forced to move away when his compulsion crosses several lines. When he returns many years later will Finnegan discover that he was living with a killer?   Continue reading Pocketful of Bones by Julie Frayn

Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno

Publication Date: February 6, 2012 (Audible version was released on December 12, 2017)

 

Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D'AguannoIn Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno, private investigator Brett Cornell is back and once again on the hot seat. A man with whom he had a very public punch-up is found dead and the bullet that killed him came from Brett’s gun. Can he find out who is setting him up before he’s locked up for good? Brett Aerobicizes is the second book in the Brett Cornell series.

Continue reading Brett Aerobicizes (Brett Cornell Mysteries) by David D’Aguanno

Need More Road by Stephen Jared

Publication Date: November 27, 2016

 

Need More Road by Stephen JaredIn Need More Road by Stephen Jared, Eddie is a 52-year-old loner living in Barstow, California in the 1950s. He spends the free time away from he has at his job in the bank watching movies. When Mary Rose comes into the bank looking like a movie star, Eddie finds her irresistible. He discovers that she and her father moved to the area after experiencing a windfall. As enchanted as he is by Mary Rose, when her father presents the idea of a bank heist, Eddie knows he needs to walk away. But can he just leave?   Continue reading Need More Road by Stephen Jared

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie

Publication Date: October 25, 2011

 

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha ChristieWhat are the ingredients for an enjoyable murder mystery? Take Agatha Christie, add a famous, Belgian detective, a dash of a humorous butler, an unexpected guest, complex, well-developed characters and you have Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie is a seasonal book that was originally published in 1939. It is the nineteenth book in the Hercule Poirot Mystery Series and is Christie’s response to the criticism of her brother-in-law. He told her that her murders were getting too refined. Therefore, Christie dedicated this book to her brother-in-law, James with “You yearned for a good violent murder with lots of blood … so this is your special story.”    Continue reading Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie

Zenka by Alison Brodie

Publication Date: November 6, 2017

 

Zenka by Alison BrodieIn Zenka by Alison Brodie, Zenka is a Hungarian pole dancer that mob boss Jack Murray saved from certain death. When he discovers that he has a son and finds that he’s not everything he could have hoped for, Jack asks Zenka to transform his warm-hearted and weak-spirited son. Will Jack and his son, Nicholas, turn out to be cut from the same cloth?    Continue reading Zenka by Alison Brodie