Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8)” as Want to Read:
Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Have His Carcase

(Lord Peter Wimsey #8)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  12,719 ratings  ·  594 reviews
Mystery writer Harriet Vane, recovering from an unhappy love affair and its aftermath, seeks solace on a barren beach -- deserted but for the body of a bearded young man with his throat cut.

From the moment she photographs the corpse, which soon disappears with the tide, she is puzzled by a mystery that might have been suicide, murder or a political plot.

With the appearance
...more
Kindle Edition, 499 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Open Road Media (first published 1932)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Have His Carcase, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sujeetha They are all stand alone books, eventhough sometimes references are made to other prior books. But none of the plot points are given away. I don't…moreThey are all stand alone books, eventhough sometimes references are made to other prior books. But none of the plot points are given away. I don't read them in order. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,719 ratings  ·  594 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Jaline
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2018-completed
Elizabeth George wrote an introduction to this novel upon its reissue in 2003 and I found it very moving. She talks about Dorothy L. Sayers’ willingness to explore so many different and interesting areas of life – from bell ringing to unusual uses of arsenic to architecture, cryptology, vinology, and so many others that we either never hear about any more or hear about only rarely. Then she goes on to say, ”What continues to be remarkable about Sayers’ work, however, is her willingness to explor ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: She was within a few yards of the rock now, gazing up at the sleeper. He lay uncomfortably bunched up on the extreme seaward edge of the rock, his knees drawn high and showing his pale mauve socks. The head, tucked closely down between the shoulders, was invisible.

'What a way to sleep!' said Harriet. 'More like a cat than a human being. It's not natural. His head must almost be hanging over the edge. It's enough to give him apoplexy. Now, if I had any luck, he'd be a corpse, and I shou
...more
Siria
The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think,repose upon a manly bosom...

I think Have His Carcase is the book where Sayers begins to make the transition between a standard Golden Age detective story, and the much more interesting and engaging (I find) novels which make up most of the Wimsey-Vane stories. As much as the earlier novels are fun to read, with some very entertaining secondary characters, I think this is really the point where both Harriet and Peter star
...more
Susan
This is the eighth book featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. We first meet Harriet Vane, crime writer and previously on trial for murder, in, “Strong Poison.” She then vanished in the next novel, “Five Red Herrings,” which I struggled with, and so I was pleased to become re-acquainted with her in this story.

The book opens with Harriet Vane on a walking tour, when she finds the body of a man on a beach. His throat has been cut and, with the tide coming in, Harriet attempts to contact the police – but thi
...more
Jane
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: my bookshelf. Continuing my re-read of the Wimsey books.

The plot: novelist Harriet Vane takes a walking vacation along the south coast of England to work on the plot of her latest murder mystery, but finds the body of a young man instead. Her suitor Lord Peter Wimsey is quickly on the scene, but the investigators are puzzled. All the signs seem to point to a particular perpetrator, but his alibi for the time of death is rock solid. Something is wrong with the picture--but w
...more
kris
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harriet Vane is going on a walking-tour of the coasts when she stumbles across the throat-slit corpse of Paul Alexis Goldschmidt. Realizing the sea is coming in for high tide and threatens the crime scene, she collects evidence and photographs and hikes her way to phone the police—and the press because she's well aware of how the story could be spun if she doesn't get ahead of it.

Her only mistake: the press rat her out to Lord Peter Wimsey who arrives at the coastal village the next day, ready
...more
Lightreads
I would say ‘another Lord Peter mystery,’ but it’s more accurate to say, ‘a Sayers book, marking the transitional point in the series where we stop having Lord Peter mysteries.’ And start having Peter-and-Harriet books, I mean.

Not as enjoyable as I was expecting. Peter and Harriet are, of course, rubbing along very complexly here, with suppressed romantic sentiment (mostly Peter, but not all) and resentment (mostly Harriet, but not all). There is only one real eruption between them; the rest of
...more
Jeanette
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It's good but at times in this the Harriet/ Lord Peter banter just got too, too for me. Come on, I know she keeps him off for years yet, but her push/pull gets a bit arrogant and conceited to say the least.

The case is good but this one for me was just overlong. Bunter is off on his own doing some inquiries too. And travel abounds all around. The part at the beginning when Harriet is just "thinking" on her walk was 5 star.

I like these more when they are majority "in company" I think. Having read
...more
Nikki
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, mystery, crime
I really loved rereading this one. I knew I would, when I revisited the opening lines...

The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth. After being acquitted of murdering her lover, and indeed, in consequence of that acquittal, Harriet Vane found all three specifics abundantly at her disposal; and although Lord Peter Wimsey, with a touching faith
...more
Miriam
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After her highly-publicized near-conviction in the murder trial of her former lover (in Strong Poison), mystery writer Harriet Vane decides to get away from it all by taking a solitary walking tour in the countryside. While lunching on the beach, she stumbles upon a corpse. There are no one else's footprints in the sand, but other evidence suggests this was not suicide...

Harriet doesn't want to ask Lord Peter, who cleared her name once before, to do it a second time, but he shows up anyway. As t
...more
Madeline
After reading Gaudy Night and hearing Peter and Harriet refer to "the Wilvercombe affair", I was intrigued and naturally wanted to read more about these two crazy kids solving another mystery. Rather misleadingly, the book that details this case is not called "The Wilvercombe Affair", and doesn't even have the word Wilvercombe in the title. It's called "Have His Carcase", because Dorothy Sayers wants to make us work for our fun, dammit.

Anyway, the mystery in a nutshell: Harriet Vane, a couple y
...more
Abigail Bok
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this entry in the Lord Peter Wimsey series of detective novels, we find the woman he loves, Harriet Vane, back on the scene. In fact, the story opens with her on a solitary walking tour in Cornwall, discovering a body on the shore. Lord Peter, guessing that this may mean trouble for her (since she has previously been mixed up in murder), flies heroically to her rescue.

Not that his heroism—or their romance—is portrayed in the sort of terms that are recognizable to most present-day readers. He
...more
Nikki
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, crime, mystery
Another of the BBC's fantastic radioplays. I can't think why I didn't feel like listening to them for a while -- they're great, and very good company when I'm crocheting. I'm going to blame essay deadlines and such.

Everyone's very well cast, of course, and the plot is easy to follow; maybe easier than when I read it, though I'm not sure if that's the audio or the fact that I have read it before, albeit the novel, not the radioplay adaptation. It suffers from a sad lack of Bunter and Parker, thou
...more
Suzannah
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery
I appreciated this one much better this time around. Unlike with most detective stories, I remembered the twist/solution to this one so very well that I thought it must have come a lot earlier in the book than it did!

There's a little setup for GAUDY NIGHT in this one, but it doesn't really get into the juicy discussions that make GAUDY NIGHT such an excellent book. It's still an extremely clever and enjoyable mystery about how fact and fiction sometimes affect each other. I'll be writing a full
...more
Pamela Shropshire
This one has so much of my catnip! Harriet Vane, on a walking tour of the West Country. English country village life. A beach. Witty banter and sexual tension between the principal players. And it has a terrific opening sentence:

The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth.


Harriet, while on her walking tour, spies a lovely deserted beach whereo
...more
Marquise
I enjoyed this installment of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries as much as the previous ones, and was quite glad that it had Harriet Vane for the first time as Lord Peter's detective companion of sorts, after she discovers a corpse bleeding to death in a beach she's gone to walk in. The build-up of the police investigation is cleverer and less predictable than in the previous volumes, which I liked very much. Also, the partnership between the characters is started here, and promises to be a worthy ...more
Andree
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2016, re-read, 2019
2019 Reread

Continue to prefer this one to Strong Poison, mostly because Peter and Harriet can interact in less constrained circumstances. Also there is more Bunter. These are also good reading on the train.

2019 Reading Challenge - A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover

2017 Reread
I may have liked this one better than Strong Poison this time around. That may mostly be due to the fight (which is still spectacular), but I also find that I enjoy Harriet as narrator, and as fellow s
...more
Nikki
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery, crime
I’ve always loved this book, particularly for the first lines:

"The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth."

The rest of it continues as delightful, and while the BBC radioplay version doesn’t include the narrative stuff like that, it does include a lot of the delightful back and forth between Harriet and Peter — and, beautifully, the wrenching convers
...more
Liz Mc2
Can’t be bothered to figure out a rating for this reread. I have read/listened to all the books with Peter and Harriet, all out of order, in the last several months. I enjoyed this, but I think it is the weakest, at least in terms of the two of them being interesting characters (there’s a little development of their relationship here, but nothing like the depth of Gaudy Night).

The puzzle is interesting but I found that because I remembered the key to the solution, though not a lot of details, i
...more
Kelly
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so prepared to give this book a 5 star rating. I liked it so much more than Strong Poison. However, two things got in the way: the chapter about the cipher was difficult to follow, and I didn't feel that how they cracked the code or the specifics of the code were necessary to the plot. And, the ending was very abrupt.

Other than that, I loved the complexity of the story and the way all of these different characters and aliases were introduced and intertwined. I found it very entertaining an
...more
Beth
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is my least favorite of the Harriet books - the mystery feels almost needlessly complex, and Harriet and Peter don't interact enough (though the few interactions, especially the fight, are fabulously done).
Nikki
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

As ever, a beloved reread. Okay, the cypher bits can be kind of annoying unless you’re really interested in figuring out, but this time I paid close attention so I could use the Playfair cypher to write a daft message to my wife, so there’s that. I love the care Peter takes to try and be fair to Harriet, not to push her, and to do his best by her. I do think sometimes he’s rather self-pitying, but mostly his sense of humour about it alleviates that.

The mystery itse
...more
Jan C
I've read this several times over the years. One of my favorites of the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

I have always remembered how Harriet Vane finds the victim on her walking tour. Someone coming across a body on a rock/boulder on the beach with a sliced throat is kind of memorable. But I apparently totally forgot about the ending.

This was probably my third or fourth (maybe more) reading.
Andrea
The Peter Wimsey novels are one of the better known golden age mystery series, and the one which gets probably the most literary approval, as well as being known as one of THE great love stories in mysteries.

And yet, while it falls well into re-read territory for me (because I like Peter) and I enjoy aspects of the romance (because Peter and Harriet are obviously so well suited to each other), I also at times thoroughly dislike the stories (because Peter is so ridiculously smothered in abilities
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Read by the inimitable Ian Carmichael, this is one of the Wimsey mysteries that tends to get the most raves. It wasn't until near the very end that I realised that yes, I actually had read it at some point decades ago. Probably back in the mid-80s when the local British Institute had a library that was open to all who cared to pay the modest membership fee.

If you like ciphers and cryptic crosswords, you'll enjoy this story. Personally, I was reminded of The Nine Tailors with its bell-ringing cip
...more
Tig
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries tend to fall in one of two camps: cleverly plotted mysteries without any unwelcome material, like Busman's Honeymoon, or mysteries so encumbered with sermonizing, lecturing or philosophizing that the reader loses sight of the clever plot, as in Gaudy Night, which almost made me give up on the franchise.

Have His Carcase falls more in the former camp than the latter. While Sayers includes a few too many dead ends, which slow down the action, readers w
...more
Rob
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first of Sayers's Wimsey novels I've read. As far as detective novels go, it's interesting, not in the least when the crime being investigated becomes impossible to have been committed.

However, what I find more interesting is Sayer's explorations of Wimsey as a person. I don't know about earlier novels, of course, but none of the short stories I've read do this. In each of them, Sayers holds the reader at length from Wimsey. He's always a distant figure, almost remote. But, using Har
...more
Thekelburrows
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An overly contrived murder-mystery but the banter between Wimsey and Harriet Vane is pure gold.
Ron
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I can believe a thing without understanding it.” “Your explanations are more incredible than the problem.”

Perhaps the best Lord Peter mystery yet. Opening the book in the point of view of a female mystery writer gives the story a verisimilitude wanting in previous Lord Peter works, even those featuring Harriet Vane. Her reflections on how this “real” mystery compares with her fictional ones gives the story extra substance. Her critique of detectives in general and Lord Peter in particular enter
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brat Farrar
  • The Shortest Way to Hades (Hilary Tamar, #2)
  • The Attenbury Emeralds (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #3)
  • Traitor's Purse (Albert Campion Mystery #11)
  • Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn #8)
1,682 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
...more

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)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey, #4)
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
  • Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey, #6)
  • The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7)
  • 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)
“I always have a quotation for everything--it saves original thinking.” 24 likes
“The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth.” 19 likes
More quotes…