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.

 

Reviving the Commander by Nadine Keels

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

 

Reviving the Commander by Nadine C. KeelsIn Reviving the Commander by Nadine C. Keels, Opal, to the outside world, seems to be happy, carefree and content with her spinsterhood. When she meets the Commander Exemplar of Diachona’s Army, a man who longs for his late wife, she feels an undeniable and yet hopeless attraction. The Exemplar is the first man she’s felt a pull within a long time, but he’s the father of the king. Opal has a dark secret. Is she destined to live her life alone?

Continue reading Reviving the Commander by Nadine Keels

Romy: Book I of the 2250 Saga by Nirina Stone

Publication Date: August 14, 2015

Book Review: Romy: Book I of the 2250 Saga by Nirina Stone, science fiction trilogyIt’s 2250 and an apocalyptic event has destroyed civilization which is now divided into three categories and life is a perilous proposition. Romy is 20 years old and aspires to the highest level of society. She’s worked hard and yet seems to come up short. How will she handle the truth of her situation? Continue reading Romy: Book I of the 2250 Saga by Nirina Stone

The Fated Stars by Veronica Scott

Publication date: November 4, 2017

 

The Fated Stars by Veronica ScottIn The Fated Stars by Veronica Scott, Samell is an empathetic priest who was kidnapped and sold to a carnival where he’s forced to tell the fortunes of paying guests. He is resigned to his existence until mercenary, Larissa, steps into his tent and he sees in her a fierce spirit with the potential to keep him alive. When Samell and Larissa attract the attention of dangerous foes, can they get out alive? Continue reading The Fated Stars by Veronica Scott

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

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

Four Horsemen (How to be Dead Book 4) by Dave Turner

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

 

Four Horsemen (How to be Dead Book 4) by Dave Turner

In Four Horsemen (How to be Dead Book 4) by Dave Turner, It’s 1874 and War, Famine, Conquest and Death are called upon to find a little boy from a prominent family. The boy is seen leaving his home with his father, a man who has been dead for three years. In the meantime, Death is doing his day job when he comes across a little girl named Elizabeth that can see him as he’s collecting her aunt and bringing her home. Can the Horseman find out what happened to the boy and the other children who have disappeared and what will they do about Elizabeth?  Continue reading Four Horsemen (How to be Dead Book 4) by Dave Turner

Lady of the Nile by Veronica Scott

Publication Date: October 30, 2017

 

Lady of the Nile by Veronica ScottIn Lady of the Nile by Veronica Scott, Khian, a decorated commander, has been assigned to Thebes to serve out his military career before returning to his farm for planting season. Tuya is one of the most trusted companions of the Pharoah’s wife. When fate throws them together for Khian to act as protector, their attraction grows. When Tuya is kidnapped, Khian is her only hope. Lady of the Nile is the seventh book in the Gods of Egypt series.    Continue reading Lady of the Nile by Veronica Scott

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

Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

 

Book Review Collateral Damage (A Stone Barrington Novel) by Stuart Wood

In Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington and his sometimes lover, CIA Assistant Director Holly Barker, are at it again. Holly brings Stone a case with big risks. Will their lucky streak hold? Can they solve the case or will they be Collateral Damage? Collateral Damage is the 25th book in the Stone Barrington series.    Continue reading Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods