Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #1)

Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #1)

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The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder-especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath. First published in 1923, Whose Body? established the disarmingly debonair-and somewhat foppish-Wimsey as one of the most enduring characters in English literature. It remains one of the most significant (and most charming) of the Golden Age mysteries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400161300
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2009
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Series , #1
Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957), one of Britain's premier crime writers, is the author of fourteen novels and short story collections featuring amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey as well as four other novels in collaboration and two serial stories for broadcasting.

Roe Kendall is an acclaimed audiobook narrator whose titles include Peter Pan by James M. Barrie and Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie.

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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Whose Body 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This first novel that introduces Lord Peter Wimsey is a corker! If you like a good mystery, especially a good British mystery, and have not read Dorothy L Sayers, go for it. Only one of her Wimsey novels as ebook (so far).
wbray123 More than 1 year ago
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for those who like British mystery stories without the contemporary penchant for excessive violence and foul language. It features Lord Peter Wimsey in his first appearance. These stories were adapted for TV in the British Mystery series. Those are also enjoyable. This e-book is fine-I did not notice distracting misspellings or other artifacts from conversion to electronic format. If Agatha Christie is the foremost British mystery novelist of the 20th century, having created both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, then Dorothy Sayers runs a close second. I deduct a star only because this type of writing may be considered dull by those who grew up on Hannibal Lecter and other more adrenaline producing contemporary crime novels. This is a book the whole family can enjoy and introduces the detective Lord Peter Wimsey whose further exploits can be followed in print and on the screen.
barzac More than 1 year ago
LOVE Dorothy L. Sayers! SO very glad that her books are now in Nook format! Now can "collect" all of her books and keep on Nook for reading again later! I had all of her books in paperback but had to move and get rid of them all! Now won't have to worry! Dorothy L. Sayers is one of the first "ladies" of mystery! We mystery lovers would have no lady writers without Sayers! If you have never read a Sayers book do so and fall in love with the genteel British mystery!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very English mystery, solvable if you are paying attention to the clues. Maybe a little too sedate for todays tastes but an entertaining novel none the less.
77roses More than 1 year ago
The story line and plot have more twists and turns than a country road. The "villian" is a bit creepy and the author goes a little far into the twisted thinking of the villian, so I didn't suggest this book to my daughters, but I liked it. The end is satisfying and complete. I ended wanting to read the next in the series the same day! I enjoyed it even more!!!! Clouds of Witness is the title.
JJDTX More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the witty British Mystery. Sayers is one of my favorite genre, and I wish I had more of her works in my library.
Vaoldster More than 1 year ago
I was delighted to find this early Lord Peter Wimsey book available for Nook. Though brief, it is well-plotted and keeps the reader fascinated.
Mrs60pato More than 1 year ago
Dorothy L. Sayers is always a good,light read. This one was just as entertaining as the others and keeps you guessing where she is going next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sayers was one of the really good writers of her time as well as a master chef of mysteries. This is one of her earlier works, & is fun for the perspective of how bodies were ID'd before DNA testing was even dreamed of. Always a satisfying read.
MysteryChristieluv More than 1 year ago
Brilliant and awe inspiring knowing Agatha Christie used to read her books
MysteryChristieluv More than 1 year ago
Excellent read/classy and enjoyable
LisasGeode More than 1 year ago
Thipps goes into his bathroom one morning to find in his bathtub the dead body of a man wearing nothing but a pair of pince nez glasses. That same night, a businessman bearing modest resemblance to the dead body seems to disappear, leaving his clothes behind. Lord Peter Wimsey (yes, that’s spelled correctly), an amateur detective, takes on the second matter, eventually joining forces with Inspector Parker, the police officer assigned to the first matter. They include Wimsey’s man Bunter, an avid photographer besides his working for Wimsey. Sayers sets up the two incidents well. The mysteries mount: whose body is it and how did it get into Thipps’ bathtub? What happened to Levy, the businessman, and why, and is there a crime there? Are the two incidents related somehow? Thus, this 1920s era mystery develops, primarily in London. Wimsey is an interesting and complex man, a second son who doesn’t inherit the Dukedom, and a man with the time and intelligence to work on crime solving. He apparently has some issues that would today probably be identified as post-traumatic stress from Wimsey’s participation in the Great War (now, WWI). Whether this is a murder mystery or not, I will allow you to discover. Well written, this reader found the pace slower than comfortable, but cleverly put together. The disappeared man Levy, being Jewish, provided more than one comment about him that by current standards would seem prejudiced and pejorative, something uncomfortable. The ending seemed unnecessarily prolonged to me. The overall evaluation? This is good, well written and clever, with an appealing protagonist. In this reader’s opinion, those were worth the disconcerting issues mentioned above.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first of the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. It was originally published before the depression and has a distinct style that still stands up by today's standards.Lord Peter, an unemployed aristocrat, enjoys his hobby of investigating crimes and uses his social situation ( the son and brother of a duke) to help Scotland Yard inspectors solve some unusual crimes. In this story a naked man is found dead in the bathtub and the Dowager Duchess (Peter's mother) asks him to search for the killer. Peter's friend Inspector Parker is searching for a missing businessman and the two decide to swap cases. Little do they know what lies ahead.I have heard of this series, mainly through the PBS series (which I've never seen) and decided that this was the right time to try it out. The style is sharp and amusing. Even though the story is set nearly 100 years ago, it still held my interest and entertained.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whose Body? was Dorothy Sayers' first Lord Peter novel and was published in 1923. I am reading the Lord Peter books very much out of order, so it was fun to go back and see where it all started. Somehow I had the impression that the Lord Peter books started off a bit weak and gathered steam and depth as they went. Well, I was wrong. Whose Body? is right up there with any of Sayers' other novels, with a well-plotted mystery and fascinating yet believable characters. Sayers hit the ground running when she wrote this book.A dead man has been found reposing in the bathtub of an inoffensive little man named Mr. Thipps. What is even more ridiculous is that the dead man is wearing nothing but a pair of gold-rimmed pince-nez ¿ which, as Lord Peter observes, are not exactly enough to satisfy the demands of modesty. Lord Peter confers with his friend Inspector Parker, who is investigating the sudden disappearance of a wealthy Jewish financier. As the story progresses, it becomes evident that the two cases are connected somehow. But how?In this story Sayers explores at length the rising idea that conscience is a physical aberration that can be surgically removed like the appendix. I like a mystery that actually has some theory behind it, some idea that needs working out. Agatha Christie does this sometimes, only hers are psychological hypotheses rather than academic ideas. Wikipedia informs me of a fascinating little nugget, that Sayers originally intended the man's nakedness to be a clue that he was not the missing financier; Lord Peter would have deduced this from the man's not being circumcised. But this was a little too much for the publisher at the time, and the deduction that the bathtub body is not Sir Reuben Levy is made from his calloused workman's hands. Oh, the characters. I think they are unsurpassed in the murder mystery genre. Lord Peter is like a brainy Bertie Wooster, if such a thing can be imagined. He plays the fool the whole time right up to the end when his madness suddenly shows a highly intelligent method. Readers quickly learn that he is a character to be reckoned with (and enjoy watching other characters in the story misjudge him). And yet Lord Peter also has a vulnerability about him that makes him both human and appealing; he has "attacks," terrible memories of his experiences during World War I. The other characters are great too. Bunter is the perfect manservant, an incarnation of Jeeves with his own flavor; Peter's mother, the Dowager Duchess, is so much fun; Mr. Thipps and his beautifully deaf mother are very well drawn and believable, right down to correcting dropped h's; and Inspector Sugg provides the requisite stupid foil for Lord Peter's brilliance. And the villain in this one is particularly chilling. Sayers' irrepressible sense of humor is evident everywhere, both in the characters' dialogue and the wry narrative voice. I love how she describes Alfred Thipps, as a "small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny." At one point Lord Peter sympathizes with the unhelpful neighbors, saying how Christian feelings really can break up one's domestic peace. Often the humor is highbrow; that is, it relies on adapted quotations from literary works or involves clever puns. The dialogue is perfect ¿ believable and (depending on the speaker) often very witty, peppered with those Britishisms that Anglophiles like myself so enjoy. I feel compelled to mention that there are some anti-semitic sentiments expressed in the story; at one point someone says that "one can be a Jew and still be a good man." Eep! Though perhaps that was considered a progressive statement at the time? From what I've heard, Sayers herself was not anti-semitic, but wrote her characters and settings to accurately reflect their times. It isn't overly pervasive and did not worry me overmuch, but some readers may have a problem with it.I listened to this on audiobook, read by David Case
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first foray into the world of audio books and I found it hugely enjoyable. The narrator provided unique characters, and the story unfolded under her voice very nicely. And yet, I had no pages to mark, no notes to take; I am undone! This is a book that I've seen recommended over and again through LT, so I was anxious to give it a try. Though written in the 1920s and set in England, a setting and era not familiar to me, I enjoyed the story very much. A murder mystery well written and narrated. (3.4 stars)
stefferoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and decided to try something different for a change. I asked around for recommendations of some classic mystery, and Dorothy L. Sayers was suggested to me. Hence Whose Body? was my first exposure to Lord Peter Wimsey.Anyway, the book starts out with a naked dead body found in a bathtub. You just know there's going to be a good story there.My first observation was that this book was written in the early 1920s, and it really showed in the writing as well as in the language and mannerisms of her characters. Dorothy L. Sayers is in no way a bad writer, but I couldn't help but notice some very awkward sections where the author attempts to tell the story from another point of view in the form of letters, and you just gotta think to yourself, Surely no one ever speaks or writes like that!Still, I took it all in stride, and didn't even mind too much the overly verbose nature of Lord Peter Wimsey. Having mistakenly thought he would be a stuffy old lord, what I didn't expect was his dry sense of humor ("Well, if he only murdered me you could still hang him--what's the good of wasting a sound, marriageable young male like yourself?") and I liked him right away.I later realized that Whose Body? was not only the first Lord Peter Wimsey book, but also Sayers' first detective novel. It is no wonder that I found some of the "mystery" aspects of the story amateurish. I guessed who the murderer was very early on, and later his explanation didn't even really make a lot of sense to me. In a few sections, I felt the author was a bit unsure of which direction to take, and some of the clues and explanations came through feeling a tad forced. Like one reviewer said, at times the novel felt like a parody of a detective story, complete with a few satirical touches.I am not going to judge the rest of the Wimsey books by this one alone, however, as I know how "rough" first novels usually are, and no doubt Sayers goes on to polish her writing because of how successful her detective works became. Furthermore, even though Whose Body? didn't really do it for me as a mystery, as a novel I found it to be a very pleasant and fun read.
timothyl33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall interesting, though a bit on the bland side at first.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lord Peter helps the police solve the murder of a dead body (wearing only a pince-nez) in the bathtub of an architect friend of his mother's. Silly, bored aristocracy humor of the time.
mauveberry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a quick read, and I thought it was okay. I didn't really like the poems/songs that were randomly in there.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gentlemen of Lord Peter Wimsey's class aren't expected to take up employment, and some view his involvement with crime of bad taste, but he can't help getting wrapped up in a good case of murder. This one is a doozy: a man is found laying in the bath at an architect's home completely naked, save for the presence of a pince-nez perched on his nose. The architect can't have committed the murder and the body strangely resembles Sir Reuben Levy, a powerful banker who has disappeared overnight. I liked the ongoing construction of the Lord Wimsey character and the many incongruous elements of the story that Sayers weaved in for us were very entertaining.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lord Peter Wimsey, sometimes sleuth, and constant man-about-town, began his sleuthing career here. Lord Peter is called in when an unassuming man finds an unidentified dead body in his bathtub. Police suspect that the body might be that of a missing businessman, but Lord Peter is not so sure. The body's attributes don't seem to match those of the missing. According to police the prime suspect is the owner of the bath. Again, Lord Peter is not convinced, and it becomes his job to clear the innocent man's name. Lord Peter's aristocratic eccentricity is on full display in this novel, more so that in some of the later books in the series. There were definitely times when I started to get annoyed at the preponderance of "What Hos," and similar. Still, Lord Peter solves the mystery quite admirably.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to my first sampling of Dorothy L. Sayers. Whose Body?, the first book in her Lord Peter Wimsey series was published in 1923 and this series went on to establish her as on of the greatest mystery writers of her time. The book started off well with the discovery of a unknown naked man in a bathtub, at the same time a well known financier went suddenly missing, could these two cases be connected?I had a little trouble warming to Lord Peter Wimsey, at first I found him to be very brittle and supercilious. Then at the end of Chapter 8 an event happens which explained a lot about the inner workings of this man.However, I totally fell in love with his admirable valet/sidekick Bunter. How I would love to have such a competent, caring man overseeing every detail of my life! The other character introduced in this book that is worth her weight in gold is Wimsey¿s mother, the Dowager Duchess.I found this book an enjoyable read, the mystery was good, although I did figure it out quickly. I enjoyed the setting of 1920¿s London and the glimpses of fashion, food and pastimes. The characters are interesting and I am looking forward to seeing what they get up to in future books.
orange_suspense on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having just finished reading the first Lord Peter Wimsey novel ¿Whose Body?¿ by Dorothy L. Sayers, I reached a first cornerstone of my literature journey through the beginnings and the Golden Age of crime fiction: Hoffmann¿s Fräulein von Scudery, Poe¿s Dupin, Doyle¿s Sherlock Holmes, Christie¿s Poirot and Marple, Allingham¿s Campion, Marsh¿s Alleyn and finally Sayer¿s Wimsey. With those I think I created a good basis for further reading and deepening the subject. The next classic detective fiction novels will be by Collins and Van Dine (starting to look over the pond a little bit) together with other novels by the listed authors as well as modern classic detective fiction writers such as Penny or James. I¿m highly curious where this journey will lead me to.Back to Whose Body? The plot is classically: there was a murder and now the culprit has to be found. Only this time nobody knows who actually got murdered for nobody knows who the dead peron is that¿s found naked in the bath tub of the worker Mr. Thipps.Informed by his mother, Lord Peter Wimsey, his funny and never resting servant Bunter and Wimsey¿s friend and Scotland Yard inspector Parker have to dig deep for clues revealing a dark and ingenious plot at the end by establishing the missing link between one of Parker¿s cases and the case of the dead body in Thipps¿ bathtub.In creating the characters of Wimsey and Bunter Sayers showed her craftsmanship to produce remarkable persons with highly individual characteristics. Especially Wimsey with his loose tounge and his sharp intellect is always a pleasure to follow through his dialogs and deductions. Maybe Wimsey is a bit to unprepossessing at times and Bunter could have been a little bit more Wimsey¿s sidekick than Parker. But I don¿t think that this bears anything negative to the novel. The plot and its turns, Sayers highly variable language and her skill creating atmospheres (and not just dialogs) is just striking (I highly advice you to read chapter XII twice just for the greatness of it). This said I start to understand why Christie, Marsh and Sayers are called the queens of British detective fiction (although I hope the next Campion novels by Allington will turn out better than the really bad first Campion mystery, so I can rightfully include Allingham in the list as well). But for now I just know that I¿ll keep on reading this Wimsey series for damn sure.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remember adoring Sayers and her Lord Wimsey, but I admit upon reacquaintance I found his aristocratic manner irksome at first, and I was put off with his attitude that this was a hobby and puzzle. It's akin to an attitude you see in Sherlock Holmes, but somehow seemed more callous in a wealthy aristocrat who seems equally as diverted by collecting rare books. However, more and more as I read the novel it came back to me why I did love Sayers' Wimsey novels, and I got glints of why eventually Wimsey is more than a dilettante, yet a charmer. The mystery plot hangs together well, but what's most striking is that there's a lightness, a deft humor and wordplay that sets Sayers apart from Christie or Doyle. I should mention there are anti-semitic views expressed by characters in this book--but given the positive depiction of the Jewish character in the book, I think that's meant to reflect on those characters and the times, and not the views of the author. And there's something wonderful to look forward to in the later novels when his love, Harriet Vane, comes upon the scene.