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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

(Lord Peter Wimsey #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  11,863 Ratings  ·  465 Reviews
Lord Peter Wimsey bent down over General Fentiman and drew the Morning Post gently away from the gnarled old hands. Then, with a quick jerk, he lifted the quiet figure. It came up all of a piece, stiff as a wooden doll . . .
But how did the general die? Who was the mysterious Mr X who fled when he was wanted for questioning? And which of the general's heirs, both members of
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 10th 1995 by HarperTorch (first published 1928)
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Sawako No and Yes. The book before this one is a collection of short stories, not a full mystery novel. So, yes if you didn't count the short stories. And…moreNo and Yes. The book before this one is a collection of short stories, not a full mystery novel. So, yes if you didn't count the short stories. And no, if you did. For more information, please check this link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/4277.... I hope this answer is helpful to you and happy reading. (less)

Community Reviews

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Evgeny
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Two old people died: a woman in her bed and her brother in his club. The way the wills they left interacted with each other a cool sum of £700,000 (a serious pile of money even in the modern times, not to mention the beginning of twentieth century) would go to different people depending on who dies first. While the woman's time of death was fixed right away it was completely unclear in case of her brother. Lord Peter Wimsey was asked by an attorney of one of the interested parties to investigate ...more
Jaline
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is the fifth Dorothy Sayers novel I have read in her Lord Peter Wimsey series, and I continue to enjoy her writing, and Lord Peter’s character development. There is even an updated biography (by Lord Peter’s uncle) at the back of the book so we can continue to fill in the gaps of his life as the author herself discovers more about him.

The plots are growing more refined over time with lots of red herrings – and I especially like the ones that Lord Peter tosses immediately back into the sea.
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Susan
Published in 1928 this Lord Peter Wimsey mystery is set around Remembrance Day. When Wimsey arrives at the Bellona Club he meets up with his friend, George Fentiman, who is a victim of poison gas and shell shock during the war. He admits to Lord Peter that he is struggling financially and is upset that he is dependent upon his wife Sheila going out to work. This novel sees Lord Peter Wimsey, and author Dorothy L. Sayers, in a much more reflective mood. There is an obvious distance between the ge ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'What in the world, Wimsey, are you doing in this Morgue?' demanded Captain Fentiman, flinging aside the Evening Banner with the air of a man released from an irksome duty.

'Oh, I wouldn't call it that,' retorted Wimsey amiably. 'Funeral Parlour at the very least. Look at the marble. Look at the furnishings. Look at the palms and the chaste bronze nude in the corner.'

'Yes, and look at the corpses. Place always reminds me of that old thing in Punch, you know - 'Waiter! Take away Lord Wha
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Siria
As a crime novel, it's not bad; compared to her earlier works, it's a definite improvement in terms of the tightness and plausibility of her plotting. Not the best crime novel you're ever going to read, and lightweight compared to the later books, but it still has a nice few twists and turns in it along the way.

Of course, this being a DLS novel, I'm not actually reading it for the murder mystery. The book's introduction describes Sayers' work is very much a 'tapestry novel', and I'd have to agre
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Kelly
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I should disclaim that I Iistened to the BBC radio dramatization of this on my commutes rather than read it. (For those thinking about doing the same: Each of the stories in the collection is around about three hours to listen to, so time your own commute out accordingly.)

And really, the story is pretty perfect for the medium. Sayers’ stories are generally heavy on talk anyway, and the very few action scenes that are required are amply taken care of by someone banging on the walls, creaking a do
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5

I can't help but be amused by that understatement in the title. I love it.

A Crimean War veteran, General Fentiman, died in his chair at the Bellona Club. Lord Peter Wimsey is there too. Since the general was very old, nobody asks any questions. Well, not until they realize it is very important to know the exact time of the general's death because of a surprising inheritance.
Next thing you know, any other weird things pile up and Lord Wimsey is asked to find out the exact time of the man's de
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Lightreads
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
On the surface, a pleasant puzzle-piecey little murder mystery, with Peter bounding here and there, declaiming and detectiving his way to an answer. But under that . . . yikes. What an uncomfortable book, with people turning and twisting and snagging on each other like brambles on silk. Everyone stuck inside a little box called marriage or poverty or shell shock or police rules. This book is all tight spaces – the badly lit veteran’s club, the body crammed up tight in the phone box, the stifling ...more
Jane
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: my bookshelf. A re-read.

I have grown to love this Lord Peter Wimsey mystery because of its somberness, although I remember that when I first read it as a teen I found it uninteresting. Amazing how history (and, therefore, literature) becomes more complex and interesting as you age. The mystery LPW is called on to investigate is the time of death of ancient, doddery General Fentiman, which will make a big financial difference to one or more of three potential heirs. Of cours
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Jeanette
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Engaging and SO, SO English of this period. It's the men's club and there's an elder's death. But when did he die. It's pivotal to an inheritance to prove exactly when. Minutes may count as fortune. He was seated there for hours!

This was one of the few I read back in the day. It's just as good now. And so very, very Lord Peter Wimsey in language. Some of the conversations have the cadence of a two or three sided octave refrain chorus plus an accompanied dance.

It displays Sayers in her most disce
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Ken Moten
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very convenient time for me to review my first novel by Dorothy Sayers. During [US] Womens History Month and on International Womens Day.

While this is not my first mystery story I ever read it is the first mystery novel. I had read some Sherlock Holmes stories in school and I was have read the Poe detective stories (which I am procrastinating on reviewing at the moment) but never a detective story in novel form. I have to say that I don't think I could have found a more interesting character th
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Nikki
Featuring Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey, Peter Jones as Bunter, and Gabriel Woolf as Inspector Parker

This has never been my favourite of the books, though it does touch on some of the horrors of war (in the figure of George Fentiman) and there are some interesting moral issues — particularly because this is one of those books in which Peter chooses to offer someone a “gentlemanly way out”. On the one hand, it bothers me because the guy is basically painted into a corner: his guilt has been
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Jan C
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a re-read. Not sure how many times. I couldn't locate my copy so I had .to get it from the library. When all else fails, try the library.

I remembered some of it. But definitely not the culprit.

It does involve some degree of what we now call PTSD, but was then called shell shocked, since almost everyone is a veteran of WWI. One of the suspects has a fair amount of trouble with it, can't earn a proper living for himself and has live off his wife, which kind of compunds his problems. And
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Nikki
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
It’s fortunate for me that these books are so familiar to me by now, because I got distracted by other books in the middle of this. It’s not my favourite of the bunch, which helps to explain why; I do like the conflicts between Parker and Peter that’re brought out by the nature of the story, the awkwardness between them as Peter has to suspect one of his own friends. That’s perhaps the best part of this: the characterisations of those two as they try to balance friendship and duty; Peter’s strug ...more
Nikki
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, mystery
A reread, of course. Not the best of the Wimsey books, but full of Sayers’ usual brains and wit. There’s some excellent character interactions — especially one between Lord Peter and Parker, where Peter is somewhat resenting the fact that he’s working with the police and potentially having to betray friends. There’s some great quotes, like Peter saying that books are kind of like shells that we discard when we grow out of them, but which lie around as a record of people we used to be. Yes!

This i
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Olga Godim
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
3.5 stars
There is a question in my mind regarding this book. It is listed as #5 in Sayers’s famous detective series about Peter Wimsey, an amateur sleuth. But my copy of the book states its year of publication as 1921, which would make it #1 in the series. The quality of this novel seems to support such assessment – it’s not very high. Nonetheless, it’s a solid mystery novel and it raises some interesting moral questions.
In the beginning of this novel, Peter is asked not to investigate a crime b
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Tara
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I've been reading all these Dorothy Sayers books in secret recently, but I can't hide it anymore. I have rigorously avoided mystery novels because my mother refuses to read any book that is not Jane Austen or a mystery penned by a woman. It's a family joke. We get her things outside the box: not interested. It's female flowering dogwoods, power-saws so she can do more home repair, and mystery novels by women. As a young reader I said: I will read theology, history, philosophy; I will n ...more
Cindy Rollins
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, mysteries, reread
This is the book where Sayers starts to hit her stride with Lord Peter. He is suddenly beginning to look like a fully fleshed out man, perceptive, subtly hard-edged, sometimes silly, and thoroughly likable. The mystery gives us a chance to see him puzzle out two different puzzles while watching him measure up people. I like how Sayers throws social commentary around artfully. She never preaches, but I always find myself nodding along, wondering why I didn't think of that. The reason I didn't is ...more
James
Another enjoyable entry in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries canon. This time, with no murder to solve, Wimsey is called in to assist with a slight problem at his club: The Bellona Club. An elderly member of the club, General Fentiman has died in the club, and while the circumstances aren't suspicious, there is a problem. His estranged sister died the same day – the very same morning – and the terms of her will are dependent on which of them expired first. If Lady Dormer went first then the money ...more
Hayden
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The fact that roughly 90% of my assigned reading material this semester is stuff I would be reading for pleasure anyway is truly a wonderful occurrence.
Lynne King
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dorothy Sayers, in my opinion, is one of the major novelists from the golden age of detective authors in the 1920s and 1930s in the US but the best author has to be John Dickson Carr. His "Devil in Velvet" (time travel book regarding a pact with the devil) was sublime as were all of his other books, I believe that there were more than eighty, although the latter ones, in my opinion, were not so good.

Still Dorothy Sayers definitely deserves her place in history.
Madeline
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
A pretty well-done mystery, with lots of good twists and turns, but not quite up to the standard of Sayers' later novels. All the regulars are here: Mr. Murbles, Bunter, Charles Parker, and most delightfully, the man known as Waffles. As in her other early novels, the big theme of this one is post-World-War-I trauma, and the mystery centers on this concept. The body that Peter investigates was found on Armistice Day, which ends up being an important factor in the case.

Lord Peter is delightful a
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Uncle
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
'What in the world, Wimsey, are you doing in this Morgue?" demanded Captain Fentiman.

Old General Fentiman is found dead in his favorite armchair at London's Bellona Club, still clutching his morning newspaper. Only the previous day he had finally made up with his ailing sister Lady Dormer on her deathbed. The deaths of two very elderly people, only hours apart, though strange, do not seem unnatural. Or do they? So begins The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928) by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Lady D
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Abigail Bok
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An old man’s body is found sitting in an armchair before the fire at the Bellona Club, a gathering place for veterans. When did he die, and how did he come to die without anyone noticing? These questions become unexpectedly significant when it turns out that a very large inheritance depends on the answers. Lord Peter Wimsey is on the scene and asked to make private inquiries.

The answer to the first question is pretty clear from the start; but just as the reader is indulging in self-congratulatio
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Kim
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, mystery
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club is a 1928 mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, her fourth featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. This book was given a very good name for in the very first chapter of the book a dead body is found, and is found at the Bellona Club, and that makes things rather unpleasant for the club and the people in the club. We start with Lord Peter in the Club waiting to have dinner with Colonel Marchbanks, it says in the book that Colonel Marchbanks is the father of young Marchba ...more
Emily
Η 5η ιστορία του Λόρδου Peter Wimsey κυκλοφορεί από τις εκδόσεις Ωκεανίδα με τον τίτλο "Δυσάρεστα επεισόδια στη Λέσχη Bellona" και έχει μεταφερθεί σε audio book με αφηγήτρια τη Μαίρη Πάντου.

Ο εκλεπτυσμένος Λόρδος καλείται να εξιχνιάσει ένα ακόμα μυστήριο.
Η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται στο Λονδίνο, στη Λέσχη Bellona, στην οποία τυχαίνει να συχνάζει συχνά πυκνά ο Λόρδος προκειμένου να σκοτώσει την ανία του. Ατμόσφαιρα εγγλέζικου πούρου και ανώτερης κοινωνικής τάξης, υπηρετών που περιφέρονται στις μύτε
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Katie
Part of the problem with this book is I set it down for a week or so. Not a good idea for a book with a somewhat complicated plot! But also . . . there were several times when the plot felt like it was winding down and then PLOT TWIST happened to keep it going. I can like plot twists like that, but the ones here just felt so last minute. And it was all pretty convoluted.

Didn't really like the end either. (view spoiler)
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Clara Benson
An entertaining period piece. I like most of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, but I have mixed feelings about Lord Peter himself. We're obviously meant to find him a sympathetic character, and as long as I'm wearing my Suspension-Of-Disbelief Hat I do like him, but sometimes he catches me by surprise when I'm feeling awkwardly 21st-century and then I'm strongly tempted to take a shovel to him. As the series continues his more irritating mannerisms wear off, and he reveals himself in all his glor ...more
Susan in NC
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Golden Age British mystery reread. I love Lord Peter Wimsey and read all of his mysteries years ago - a review of one of my GR friends prompted me to go on a reread binge this year, and Sayers has held up well, and I'm enjoying revisiting old friends.
Ron
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, if formulaic, Lord Peter Wimsey who-dun-it.

Unfortunately, I've lost my notes and therefore can not entertain you with representative quotes and my analysis.
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1,576 followers
Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herself considered her translation of Dante's Divina Co
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Other books in the series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey, #4)
  • Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey, #6)
  • The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7)
  • Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8)
  • Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries (Lord Peter Wimsey, #9)
  • Murder Must Advertise  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10)
  • The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey, #11)

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“Books... are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.” 223 likes
“Yes, and look at the corpses. Place always reminds me of that old thing in Punch, you know—‘Waiter, take away Lord Whatsisname, he’s been dead two days.’ Look at Old Ormsby there, snoring” 2 likes
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