David Burkam's Reviews > Whose Body?

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
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's review
Jun 19, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: mystery-thriller

While reading Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks this past week, I decided to dip into Dorothy Sayers. Why not start with her first Lord Wimsey?

Let me begin by admitting my prejudice. Christie certainly had her contemporaries (although she outlived most of them), but as far as I'm concerned she had no true literary peer. I've read all her novels at least twice (including one prolonged chronological journey through all her books).

Sayer's first novel seems both overly stylistic and rough, a character (and genre) still in its infancy [two shortcomings that never seemed to plague even Christie's earliest books]. Her skills at laying out a mystery, the balance between dialogue and exposition (and the use of written documents), the plausibility of a solution, and the development of Lord Peter are all not yet truly satisfying.

I can't quite figure out Lord Wimsey's speech pattern ... sometimes he drops the g at the end of "-ing" words and sometimes he doesn't. Seems rather random. And odd for someone of his education and status. A deliberate affectation?

But this first book was certainly enjoyable enough to warrant further reading ... I want to see how she and Lord Wimsey develop.

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