Writerlibrarian's Reviews > Unnatural Death

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers
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Jun 05, 07

bookshelves: read2007, 1920s-1930s, mystery, april-pile
Read in April, 2007

I'm still rationing my reading of Sayers' Lord Peter series but it's hard. I liked this one a lot too. Almost the perfect murder. An very clever villain, Parker and Peter, on the road, staying in pub, kicking themselves under the table to stop the other one from making a mistake. Bunter being just Bunter. So, story, this great old lady died of natural death and left her money to her great niece. The doctor makes a fuss because even if his patient was very ill (cancer) she wasn't on death's door. Lord Peter sends one of his best informer Climpson, an old maid finding a new way to make a difference. Sayers' description of women's conditions in this book is quite varied and balanced. On one hand, we have Miss Climpson, even if she's unmarried and past middle age is still making a difference, very involved and not a shrinking violet. We have the Gotobed sisters. Both young women had a career, improved their conditions, both were married or engaged. Then we have the "couples": Miss Clara Whittaker and Mis Agatha Dawson. Both very unusual for their times. Clara, business woman, living a man's life and Agatha sharing her life. It's not said but it's understood that Clara and Agatha were together. Both very devoted to each other. Clara leaving all her belongings to Agatha, spoiling her brother. The other couple : Mary Whittaker and Verna Findlater is more of a dysfunctional relationship, the infatuation of a young woman with someone very strong willed and cunning. As Clara and Agatha relationship was described as strong and healthy, Mary and Verna's relationship is shown as nefarious and damaging. Balanced views all thru the book. So far, the best of the novels in the series, than again I've only read three. Lots to look forward.
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