booklady's Reviews > Whose Body?

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
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's review
Apr 23, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2004, mystery, classic, crime, fiction, favorites

I discovered Dorothy L. Sayers through home-schooling as the author of The Lost Tools of Learning. It was only after I read that, and learned she was a contemporary and friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, that I stumbled on her original claim to fame—Lord Peter Wimsey.

Whose Body? is the first of the eleven Lord Peter mysteries she wrote in her lifetime. Each one gets progressively better. I'm stretching it to give this four stars—it's not so good as her later ones, but I don't want to put anyone off from trying it and you really need to read them in order. If you are at all literary, you need to make friends with Lord Peter who is a literary sleuth. He collects antique manuscripts for a hobby, has his own personal manservant (named Bunter) who reminds one of Jeeves and indeed DLS says LP is modeled after a cross between Bertie Wooster and Fred Astaire. Lord Peter is no perfectionist Hercule Poirot. He's nobody's fool, and he's quite intelligent, but he's humorous, makes mistakes and is very good at laughing at himself. He's one of the most likable fictional characters I've run across, with the possible exception of Bertie Wooster.

Oh and the mystery isn't bad either! But I'd say the characters, comedy, dialogue, quotes and shenanigans are really more the thing with LP. He has a rather wacky upper crust family who you get to know better and better with each successive novel. They figure more prominently in the second story, Clouds of Witness.
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Quotes booklady Liked

Dorothy L. Sayers
“Even idiots ocasionally speak the truth accidentally.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?

Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 1, 2004 – Finished Reading
April 23, 2008 – Shelved
April 23, 2008 – Shelved as: 2004
April 23, 2008 – Shelved as: mystery
July 26, 2013 – Shelved as: classic
July 26, 2013 – Shelved as: crime
July 26, 2013 – Shelved as: fiction
July 26, 2013 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Lori (new)

Lori Thanks for the review. I love mysteries, and am always looking for a good one. I've read D. Sayers before, and think it was one with Lord Peter. I remember him because he would say "what?" at the end of a sentence, as though to say "isn't it?" At first I was taken aback by it, but since then I've read Bertie Wooster say it too. I remember enjoying Dorothy Sayer's writing, so I think I'll do the whole series, like you recommend. I admit, too, that I love Hercule Poirot--he tickles me with his fastidiousness, but also gives me a sense of security as the story progresses. He's rarely taken by surprise.

Love a good murder mystery!

booklady You will certainly enjoy Lord Peter then! He's quite a character--got lotsa personality. I like that he's very much a gentleman and yet he's not so perfect of a sleuth that he doesn't make mistakes ... but of course they always come right in the end.

Homeschoolmama Great review! I'll have to check these out now!

booklady These are FUN mysteries, especially if you are anything of an Anglophile! ☺ And the film series of them, plus audio versions are also quite good.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Booklady. I bought this book about a month ago. I have been wanting to read the Wimsey mysteries for a very long time, and it seemed sensible to start at the beginning, though Sayer's fans say that this is not the best in the series. Nonetheless they prevailed on me to start here. I also read and was influenced by The Lost Tools of Learning when I was formulating a philosophy and pedagogy for homeschooling.

message 6: by booklady (last edited Sep 25, 2013 05:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

booklady It isn't the best, but if you keep that in mind as/when you read it and take it as an introduction to further enjoyment with reading and getting to know new friends (Lord Peter, Bunter and the whole Wimsey clan) your efforts will pay off in the long run.

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