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Book Review: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Book Review: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

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"We can hardly suppose that; I'm afraid this man possessed what most criminals lack -- a sense of humour."

I have been wanting to read more mysteries and was excited to hear about the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers. Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy has recommended this series on her podcast, What Should I Read Next?, and her blog. So I downloaded the Kindle version of Whose Body? and was excited to start it. I love all things British, so I figured a British mystery would be right up my alley. However, in hindsight, maybe I should have read more about the background of this series. I knew the series surrounds a Lord who fancies himself a kind of Sherlock Holmes after World War I. But I did not know that it was originally written in 1923. I thought it was written in the 1950s. So I was very confused for probably the first 30 pages or so, due to the vernacular and dialogue. The first half of the book was very dialogue heavy and made for lots of rereading passages.

Lord Peter Wimsey is called to Mr. Thipps’ home after Thipps finds a dead body in the bathroom. The dead man is wearing nothing but a pince-nez (think Teddy Roosevelt’s glasses). Lord Peter works with Mr. Parker, who actually works for Scotland Yard, to find out who the dead man is and if there is any correlation to a missing Jewish gentleman. Wimsey has an interesting perspective on crime and employs his valet, Bunter, to assist in the investigations, when he is not out tracking down rare books.

Honestly, I struggled to read Whose Body? because of how much dialogue there was in the first part of the book. The monologues were also difficult to follow as there were several breaks in sentences. I am sure part of that was supposed to convey the characters' stream of consciousness of thoughts, but it was very tedious to a fast reader like me. I really enjoyed the actual mystery plot line, but found the writing to be grating. I may give the next book in the series a try later, but am not convinced to follow through with the whole series. I give it 3 stars.

Let me know if I should continue with the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

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