Whose Body?, by Dorothy Sayers

I usually make the case for reading an author’s work from the beginning, because so often authors start off strong and then run out of ideas and so the first books are the best. But if I had been introduced to Sayers with Whose Body?… I would probably not ever read another Sayers again. Luckily, I didn’t, and I know that things only get better from here!

My primary problem is with our amateur sleuth himself, Peter Wimsey. He is annoying and full of himself and very very eager to be Sherlock Holmes and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face more than once. This is in stark contrast to how delightful I found him in the otherwise mediocre Five Red Herrings, where he is still full of himself and eager to be Holmes, but far less annoying.

My other problem was that the writing was a bit uneven on listening. There are some weird second-person parts that seemed to come out of nowhere, and there’s an extended confession at the end that make me think that I would rather not have found out whodunnit, and then some bits and pieces that are just a bit off. Maybe it comes across better in writing?

But the murder mystery itself was quite well done. This guy is found dead in a bathtub, with no obvious way for him to have gotten there except through the window (me: “Maybe it was an orangutan!”). Everyone except the dude who owns the bathtub has a good alibi, so the dude is arrested, but of course he totally didn’t do it and so Wimsey, a friend of some sort, is on the case. Wimsey is all, what we need are connections, because the way to get away with things is not to have connections but there always is one and I am going to figure out what it is, and after talking with enough people he finds the connection and then the resulting motives and crime-committing are kind of gruesome. Or really gruesome. Definitely gruesome.

So, good times on the whole, but I’m going to need a really nice Sayers to make up for it. Suggestions?

Recommendation: For mystery lovers, of course!

Rating: 7/10

(Vintage Mystery Challenge)

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