"Oh damn!" said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadilly Circus.
Whose Body? is Sayers first mystery novel. It stars Lord Peter Wimsey, a man who enjoys doing detective work as a hobby. In Whose Body? Wimsey becomes fascinated by a curious case. His mother phones him to say that a dead body has been found in Mr. Thipp's bathroom. Though he had plans for the day, he reasons that it's not every day you get to go see a crime scene like this one. The dead man is naked in a bath tub, naked except for a pince-nez. He is able to examine the crime scene thoroughly before Inspector Sugg--the 'official' investigator arrives. Wimsey does NOT get along with Sugg! However, he is quite good friends with Inspector Parker, who has quite an interesting case of his own.
Can both crimes be solved? Are they in any way connected?
I loved Whose Body. I just LOVED it. I think Lord Peter Wimsey is such a great narrator! The writing style is 'just right' for me. It matches my taste exactly. It's funny--witty--and charming. Wimsey has quirks and flaws--which are necessary in my opinion. But he's also very intelligent, very clever.
Some of my favorite lines:
"Sugg's a beautiful, braying ass," said Lord Peter. "He's like a detective in a novel." (18)
"I love trifling circumstances," said Lord Peter. "so many men have been hanged by trifling circumstances." (20)
"Parker, acushla, you're an honour to Scotland Yard. I look at you, and Sugg appears a myth, a fable, an idiot-boy, spawned in a moonlight hour by some fantastic poet's brain. Sugg is too perfect to be possible." (23)
"Look here, Wimsey--you've been reading detective stories; you're talking nonsense." (29)
Assigning a motive for the murder of a person without relations or antecedents or even clothes is like trying to visualize the fourth dimension--admirable exercise for the imagination, but arduous and inconclusive. (82)
"One demands a little originality in these days, even from murderers," said Lady Swaffham. "Like dramatists, you know--so much easier in Shakespeare's time, wasn't it? Always the same girl dressed up as a man, and even that borrowed from Boccaccio or Dante or somebody. I'm sure if I'd been a Shakespeare hero, the very minute I saw a slim-legged young page-boy I'd have said: "Odsbodikins! There's that girl again!" (123)
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews