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Lord Peter Views the Body

(Lord Peter Wimsey #4)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  13,026 ratings  ·  329 reviews
In this delightful collection of Wimsey exploits, Dorothy L. Sayers reveals a gruesome, grotesque but absolutely bewitching side rarely shown in Lord Peter's full-length adventures.

Lord Peter views the body in 12 tantalizing and bizarre ways in this outstanding collection. He deals with such marvels as the man with copper fingers, Uncle Meleager's missing will, the cat in

Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1928)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  13,026 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2017-completed
Although titled as the 4th book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, this book is also a standalone. It contains 10 short stories and two small novellas. While I am not a big fan of short stories (always wanting a longer read and more in-depth exploration of a storyline), I found these to be engaging.

I found out much more about Lord Peter as he continued to solve mysteries in his unique fashion. The third short story in the book contains a crossword puzzle laid out by a clever old man in his will.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Me and Lord Peter Wimsey cannot get along. I consider his stories entertaining enough, but only moderately good. Good enough to continue reading them when I am in the right mood. I said it before and I will say it again: a detective can make or break a mystery story.

Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Hercule Poirot can beat Lord Peter Wimsey with their right hands tied behind their backs in terms of being interesting characters. Even Miss Marple can do it. Do not let me get started on noir: Philip
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I am not really a fan of short stories – much preferring novels – I wanted to re-read the Lord Peter Wimsey books and realised that I had never read this collection. The book consists of the following stories:

The Abominable History of the Man with Copper Fingers
The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question
The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager’s Will
The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag
The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker
The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed

I like Peter and Bunter but the stories in this collection were lacking something - either the development of other characters or a hook. I stand by my hypothesis that some authors are great at creating novels but can't quite transfer the same skill to short stories or - without referring to the format - simply shorter stories.

Still, some fun adventures with Peter.

Now on to the next Wimsey novel...
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the back of my copy of this book, there is little indication that these are short stories. As a result, I approached this book innocently assuming I would encounter another full-length Peter Wimsey adventure to delight in. I'm glad it worked out this way, however, because I rarely choose to read short stories voluntarily, and these were just as delightful as Peter's full-length exploits.

I find myself spending each review of a Sayers book comparing her favourably with her more famous
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery
A collection of short Wimsey stories and novelettes. Since all of them are Dorothy Sayers, all of them are of course good, but all of them felt more or less lighter and fluffier than the full-length novels. Sometimes when I'm reading Sayers, she becomes unexpectedly romantic and melodramatic, and I remember that she was writing popular fiction, despite her evident literary skill. I had that sensation a bit more often in this collection than I would normally, but the worst offender was the final ...more
Actual rating: 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 because I just appreciate Dorothy Sayers so much.

I hadn’t realized that this was a book of short stories, but I enjoyed being able to read a little bit, put it down to do something else, and return when I was done, not having to worry that I’d forget some crucial detail in the meanwhile. I also enjoyed the vast range of subjects that Peter Wimsey displayed his knowledge in—as disparate as poker, wine appreciation, jewels, and crossword puzzles.
This book contains 12 mysteries featuring Dorothy Sayers' famous sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey and each was unique in its own right and all were interesting and entertaining. I've grown to like Lord Peter very much as I've begun to explore this series. Short stories can be so hit or miss. It all depends on how quickly the author can get into the story and grab your attention and then come to a satisfying resolution. Dorothy Sayers succeeded with this much to my satisfaction. Lord Peter is such a ...more
Moonlight Reader
I'm not the hugest fan of short stories, although several of these were entertaining. I needed a book with a vest on the cover for a challenge, which is why I selected this to read - I already had it on my kindle from a Peter Wimsey binge buy when the prices dropped to $1.99 each.
Lord Peter Wimsey is my favorite sleuth. From his humorous name and distinctively British upper class mannerisms and speech, to his ‘ugly, beaky appearance’ and passion for books, especially old rare ones, he entertains me like no other detective and few other literary characters. Each time I begin another Dorothy L. Sayers’ mystery I brace myself to be disappointed in case she slips in some quality about him which has to be endured rather than admired.

Lord Peter Views the Body is a collection
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Abominable History of the Man with Copper Fingers
Man at club describes warning he got from a mysterious stranger; said mysterious stranger pipes up to offer the rest of the story. Ultimately: Peter likes to make a goddamned entrance, doesn't he? 3 stars.

The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question
Huge sections of this were in French and I speak petit pois (peas, right???). :( Interesting solution, however. 2.5 stars.

The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will
This would have been
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle

Spending a bit of quality time with Lord Peter Wimsey always makes me cheerful. I prefer him in the full-length novel environment where his intelligence, wit, humour and humanity can shine to their fullest extent, but there's nothing wrong with meeting him in the short story format. It's rather like having a friend drop by for a quick visit. You may prefer to have him stay for the weekend so you can catch up properly, but a cup of tea or even a chat on the phone is better than not seeing him at
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
It hurts to give Miss Sayers and Lord Peter only three stars, but I know it's my own fault. I simply don't care for the short story format, particularly when Lord Peter is such a Deus Ex Machina in that form. In this collection, sometimes you don't know if he's a detective or a 007 wannabe. The business about his famous palate for wine, for example, made me roll my eyes. A couple of the stories, while they had some good red herrings, were bordering on the silly, and put a foot over that border ...more
Jan C
This was a re-read for me. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed some of these stories. As I read them, I remembered most of them from previous read (s).

The final story reminded me very much of Patricia Wentworth's Grey Mask in her Miss Silver stories. (grumble, grumble. autocorrect is going to kill me yet.) The story before that looked like a precursor to Sayers' own Have His Carcase. Both the story and the novel start much the same but do take different paths.

I think I first read this in the
Lord Peter Views the Body, is a delightful gathering of stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. The hard copy version has twelve stories while this particular audio version (read by Ian Carmichael) is missing three of the originals--including one of my favorites, "The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head." I have put together a brief note on each of these fun stories. Not a lot of detail, but that's to be expected with short stories. Sayers does manage to pull the reader right in regardless. ...more
Pamela Mclaren
A delightful collection of short stories featuring Dorothy Sayers' wonderful gentleman detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. Like Sherlock Holmes, Wimsey uses what he sees, the actions of the people involved and keen perception and figures out just what happened, why and by whom. A pure delight
Still taking a break from Middlemarch (I'm finding it a bit hard-going). I decided to read some nice classic Golden Age short stories from the hand of one of the queens of British mysteries, Dorothy L Sayers. Her collection, Lord Peter Views the Body, is a delightful gathering of stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. I have put together a brief note on each story. I enjoyed them all, but I will say that my favorites are "The Vindictive Story of the Footsteps that Ran," "The Biblulous Business of ...more
Katherine McCauley
One hundred earth years of pleased sighing as I am welcomed back into the strong and capable arms of my polite aristocratic gentleman sleuth, those of the inimitable LORD PETER WIMSEY—sometimes manacled, always monocled.

Never before have I said this but I found that the introduction printed in my edition (from the ineffably beautifully designed Hodder & Stoughton 2016 printing, which I have obtained through semi-sketch measures but have fortunately not yet been apprehended for importing)
I was looking forward to reading Lord Peter Views the Body and while it was good, it wasn't great. Most of the detective stories were too far-fetched for my taste and Lord Peter does better in a longer setting instead of trying to cram him and his idiosyncrasies into a short story. 2.5 stars rounding down.
Jul 28, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. It's hard to know exactly how to rate these short stories. On the one hand, Sayers is unquestionably a skilled writer and a pleasure to read. The stories themselves, though, are mainly a mixed bag. Not all of them are straight-out detective stories; some are more point-to-point tracing of clues or an exercise in outwitting a wrongdoer, and in the ones where the identity of the culprit is in question, it's not too hard to guess who they are. "The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of ...more
Samir Krishnamurti
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is arguably one of the greatest characters to grace the pages of twentieth century detective fiction. For some reason, he tends to be somewhat overlooked, although most lists should rate him right up there with Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen, Father Brown, and the other great luminaries of early twentieth century detective fiction. He is the quintessential English gentleman detective, the one who set the stereotype for the lordly, amateur sleuth. You know the type. ...more
Alan Teder
The Best of the Wimsey Shorts
Review of the Hodder & Stoughton paperback edition (2017) of the 1928 original
Too much modern crime fiction dwells in degradation and pain. Sayers acknowledges tragedy but has grander schemes in mind - to entertain and enlighten with suspense, subtlety and a sense of humour. - from the Introduction by Christopher Fowler.

I actually read all of these 12 stories earlier this year in Lord Peter Wimsey: The Complete Short Stories (2018) which also collects all of the
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Most of these are silly and not worth it, although I did enjoy the one with the crossword will featuring Lord Peter's sister (#3), the one with a deep-rooted sibling rivalry and nice village atmosphere (#5), the weird one with the stomach and diamonds (#10) and the one with the portraitist and guy with no face (#11). Apparently The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba (#12) is essential for getting the overall Lord Peter Wimsey plot, but it's one of the absurdest things I've ever read and ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one came in the form of short stories, which I normally don’t like. But she writes them so well, changing her style from one story to the next and mastering them all, not to mention the wonderfully written characters. It had to have 5 stars!
Sayers joins Christie and Doyle in knocking out a collection of short stories for her detective character, Lord Peter Wimsey. The short-story form appears to have been very popular with authors 'of the day', presumably the stories were generally published individually in magazines before being collected. Again, Lord Peter Views the Body , took me by surprise as I hadn't read any of the reviews of blurb before starting; I was assuming another full-length novel. A pleasant surprise nonetheless, ...more
LORD PETER VIEWS THE BODY, 1928, Lord Peter short stories, nicely twisted; latest reread was from the 1985 audio edition, Chivers Audio Books, read by Ian Carmichael - this contains most, but not all, of the stories from this early edition. Short story collection, excellent; narration perfect.

NOTE: The 1928 edition was also printed at some point titled LORD PETER, but there is also a larger compilation with that name from the 1970s that includes ALL the stories written by Sayers about him, not
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars. These are entertaining, but nothing spectacular. Easily the best is the one with ten year old Saint George Wimsey (Lord Peter is a sort of fabulous uncle). I enjoyed them. I would have gone four stars, but someone is going to have to explain to me exactly when Lord Peter had time to fake his death for two years...

It seems a random sort of a thing to chuck in a short story is all I'm saying. Perhaps his timeline takes it into account, but it threw me a bit. I was all for having him
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A jumble of Lord Peter short stories. A few of them were quite contrived but then that's kind of the point, I guess?
Pamela Shropshire
Lord Peter Views the Body is a collection of short stories. Most of them are rather ho-hum, but a few are real gems, IMO. I particularly enjoyed the one titled The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question about the jewel thief masquerading as a housemaid for the Dowager Duchess of Medway. After the denouement, Her Grace takes Lord Peter to task: "Peter, do you mean to say you knew about this, and that for the last three weeks you have allowed me to be dressed and undressed and put to bed ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“Built noticin’--improved with practice.”

This anthology of early Wimsey shorts reminds me why I hate anthologies. Authors (or, more likely, publishers) sweep up all the bits and pieces of a successful author or authors and foist it on the public as great literature. The resulting collection is often--as in this case--mediocre at best.
“Nobody minds coarseness, but one must draw the line at cruelty.”

Especially avoid the novelette: “The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention.” Dreadful. “
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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

Other books in the series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey, #3)
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
  • 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)
“And upon his return, Gherkins, who had always considered his uncle as a very top-hatted sort of person, actually saw him take from his handkerchief-drawer an undeniable automatic pistol.
It was at this point that Lord Peter was apotheosed from the state of Quite Decent Uncle to that of Glorified Uncle”
“Nobody minds coarseness, but one must draw the line at cruelty

-Lord Peter Wimsey”
More quotes…