The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #4)

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #4)

by Dorothy L. Sayers


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From Dorothy L. Sayers, the mistress of the Golden Age mystery, the fourth whodunnit featuring the dashing and brilliant Lord Peter Wimsey

On November 11, ninety-year-old General Fentiman is found dead in an armchair at the Bellona Club. No one knows exactly when his death occurred—information essential in determining the recipient of a substantial inheritance. But that is only one of the mysteries vexing Lord Peter Wimsey. The aristocratic sleuth needs every bit of his amazing skills to discover why the proud officer's lapel was missing the requisite red poppy on Armistice Day, how the Bellona Club's telephone was fixed without a repairman, and, most puzzling of all, why the great man's knee swung freely when the rest of him was stiff with rigor mortis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062311917
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Series , #4
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 120,902
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers was born in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, and later she became a copywriter at an ad agency. In 1923 she published her first novel featuring the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who became one of the world's most popular fictional heroes. She died in 1957.

Date of Birth:

June 13, 1893

Date of Death:

December 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Oxford University, 1915; M.A., B.C.L., 1920

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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: Lord Peter Wimsey Series, Book 5 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think I would have been in love with Lord Peter. So glad to have them on my Nook.
reader_DD More than 1 year ago
I an in the process of rereading these books. I am finding them to be even better then they were when read 40 years ago.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
The club is so muted and quiet it’s not hard to believe someone could die there unobserved. But then those nagging doubts creep in—those details Lord Peter Wimsey is so good at noticing. And then there are all those questions, because perhaps something far more unpleasant than old age caused this man’s demise. Evocative of time and place, polite with just the right touch of acid, and well-flavored with red herrings, Bellona Club is a fun book in the series, a nice characterization of the rich and less well-favored, and a cool blend of mystery and old-fashioned English manners. Disclosure: I love the series and am working my way slowly through rereading them all. (Very slowly—I savor the anticipation as well the read.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nohablo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very clever and very sharp.
JaneSteen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where I got the book: my bookshelf. A re-read.I have grown to love this Lord Peter Wimsey mystery because of its somberness, although I remember that when I first read it as a teen I found it uninteresting. Amazing how history (and, therefore, literature) becomes more complex and interesting as you age. The mystery LPW is called on to investigate is the time of death of ancient, doddery General Fentiman, which will make a big financial difference to one or more of three potential heirs. Of course things turn out to be way more complicated than the natural death of a very old soldier...This novel is set against the background of the aftermath of World War I, hence its more realistic, sober tone than the earlier novels. LPW comes very well out of this book, with far fewer fantastic speeches or superhuman feats of everything than some of the Wimsey novels are prone to. I feel, though, that the writing's a little rougher than usual, as if Sayers were on a short deadline. Another thing that struck me this time round (and I may be completely wrong) is that Ann Dorland, one of the heirs and thus a potential suspect, was a prototype of Harriet Vane, who will turn up in the next novel as LPW's love interest. Ann is an unhappy woman because she's been crossed in love, is a murder suspect but underneath it all (as LPW tells her) is a fine person with good taste. Does that sound familiar, Wimsey fans? Can't help thinking that at some point Sayers thought "hey, there's a little spark there. I could develop it for the next novel".A good mystery, of course: Sayers is nothing if not ingenious (although this is two times in quick succession that the victim has been an elderly person who would soon die anyway...) But it's the brooding, foggy feel of the book that really gives it its worth. Even Parker (inside whose head we dwell rather disconcertingly at times) seems to be permanently depressed, and the end of the book sort of drifts off into the mist. One to read by a cheerful log fire with a glass of old brandy...
dknippling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A reread. I love this book as a mystery - all kinds of classic stuff - but by the time you figure out the first mystery, you're thrown into a second. A small problem - When did the dead gent at the club die? - becomes gradually more and more complex, until it all collapses into a solution at the end of the book. It's a lovely piece of music :)
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve been meaning to read more Dorothy Sayers for a while; but when Susan hill mentioned it in Howards End is on the Landing, I knew that this had to be the next to read.In the years just after WWI, an old military man (a veteran of the Crimea) dies in his club. Although it would seem that he died of natural causes, Lord Peter Wimsey determines that he was murdered; and he sets out to prove not only the time of death but the manner in which the General died. At stake is money, and who will inherit it.Of her early Lord Peter mysteries, this one is undoubtedly Sayers¿s best. She seems to have gotten better and better with each book she wrote, and she really perfected her art with this book. She deals with not only the petty stuff, but the larger things that were going on in he world at the time; in this novel, although WWI is ten years past, it¿s still very much on people¿s minds. George and Robert Fentiman, grandsons of the General, are perfect examples of this; George has been extremely affected by experiences in the trenches, while Robert escaped untouched.Dorothy Sayers has a very subtle sense of wit; what I love about Lord Peter is his dryness. You almost have to be looking in order to find the humor in this book, but it¿s well-worth it when you do. We learn more about Lord Peter¿s experience during WWI and his relationship with Bunter, too¿surely one of the most patient butlers in fiction.
JulesJones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fourth Lord Peter Wimsey book. It's Armistice Day, and ninety-year-old General Fentiman is found dead in his favourite armchair at his club. Unsurprising for a man of his age, but it turns out that the exact time of death determines who inherits a very large sum of money, for his sister died on the same day. Lord Peter happens to be on the scene, and thus gets involved when it seems merely a matter of sorting out the inheritance, but the case gradually takes on a more sinister aspect as Lord Peter realises that he may be investigating a murder.That the case begins on Armistice Day is directly relevant to the plot, because Lord Peter isn't the only shell-shock victim amongst the cast. The book was written and set in 1928, the tenth anniversary of the end of the war. As with the first book of the series, there is a fine and chilling description of what the Great War did to some of the survivors, but here it's not just one scene. The whole book is suffused with the after-effects of the war, not just on the soldiers who served in the trenches, but on their whole society. There's an entertaining mystery to be had here, but it's wrapped in a superb portrait of 1928 England. The book is by turns heart-breaking and heart-warming, as Sayers turns in a virtuoso display of showing rather than telling what has happened to even the characters who on the surface seem unscathed.
kellyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ninety-year old General Fendman is found dead in his favorite chair at the Bellana Club. The time of his death will determine who will receive a half-million-pound inheritance. Lord Peter takes up the investigation and, of course, solves the mystery. I read this twice in the summer of 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed the story both times.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice combination of a complex scenario and believability. The female characters are a bit two-dimensional. Someday I may have to go back and read all the Lord Peter books in a row and see how his character develops over time.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's unpleasant enough when members of the Bellona Club discover that the elderly General Fentiman has apparently passed away in front of the fire. But unpleasantness continues when, due to some complications of inheritance, it becomes necessary to acertain when exactly the good general passed on -- and Lord Peter finds it may have been earlier, and in different circumstances, than anyone previously thought. This is a great puzzler, which takes the conventions of the detective genre and uses them to great advantage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Complex, intelligent, and fun.
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