Steve's Reviews > Whose Body?

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
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Jul 14, 12

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

Thipps goes into his bathroom one morning to find in his bathtub the dead body of a man wearing nothing but a pair of pince nez glasses. That same night, a businessman bearing modest resemblance to the dead body seems to disappear, leaving his clothes behind. Lord Peter Wimsey (yes, that’s spelled correctly), an amateur detective, takes on the second matter, eventually joining forces with Inspector Parker, the police officer assigned to the first matter. They include Wimsey’s man Bunter, an avid photographer besides his working for Wimsey. Sayers sets up the two incidents well. The mysteries mount: whose body is it and how did it get into Thipps’ bathtub? What happened to Levy, the businessman, and why, and is there a crime there? Are the two incidents related somehow? Thus, this 1920s era mystery develops, primarily in London. Wimsey is an interesting and complex man, a second son who doesn’t inherit the Dukedom, and a man with the time and intelligence to work on crime solving. He apparently has some issues that would today probably be identified as post-traumatic stress from Wimsey’s participation in the Great War (now, WWI). Whether this is a murder mystery or not, I will allow you to discover. Well written, this reader found the pace slower than comfortable, but cleverly put together. The disappeared man Levy, being Jewish, provided more than one comment about him that by current standards would seem prejudiced and pejorative, something uncomfortable. The ending seemed unnecessarily prolonged to me. The overall evaluation? This is good, well written and clever, with an appealing protagonist. In this reader’s opinion, those were worth the disconcerting issues mentioned above.
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