It was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance. The body wore nothing else.
Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps' Battersea bathroom.
©1923 The Trustees of Anthony Fleming (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
"She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit." (P. D. James)
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"More work on pronunciation please"
I have been waiting for a reading of the Lord Peter Wimsey books for a long time and down loaded this with glee. It is the first of the series so it seems that the originators are doing it the right way and starting from the beginning.
The narrator seems to think that the characters all gabble. They are all done in funny voices, at odd pitches and even odder speeds. Yes - Lord Peter's speech is affected and speedy but she really gets him wrong I think.
The worst thing is the lapses in pronunciation. Lord Peters college is Balliol. His time at Oxford is fundamental to the man, the stories and so much of what is to come. It is pronounced Bail - e - ol. The narrator says Bal i ol.
I really worry when she gets to Magdalen, not wanting to be maudlin about it but my expectations are low.
Another is when Lord Peter is looking around the roof of the mansion flats and checks what the narrator calls 'the leeds'. She means 'the leads'; the word comes from the lead used to make the channels and downpipes in traditional buildings, now often stolen.
The lady has a lovely voice. When just narrating it resonates and could do Harriet Vane well later. Meanwhile PLEASE stop gabbling and research the words before launching into the next one?
Her accents are awful, Lord Wimsey sounds like a cockney half the time. She speaks too fast and all the voices sound the same. her voice is also shrill in parts and makes for a very uncomfortable listen. Such a shame as the story was quite good, and should have been funny in parts. I couldn't finish the book. Dreadful
"Great story, bad reader"
Have enjoyed the shorter Whimsy stories on radio and the longer version is better. Darker with more misery and intrigue but still witty. But I did not enjoy the narrows voice, high pitched and difficult to distinguish the characters, possibly appeared worse in comparison to the full cast stories I have heard befor, but the plot keeps me listening.
Sadly, I have no idea if the story is any good because I only lasted about 10 minutes before turning it off. The narrator is absolutely awful. Her voices were all screechy, which grated on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. I also found it very difficult to follow which character was talking as many of her voices sounded so similar.
"Love the story but wrong narrator"
This is a great story but using a female narrator for a novel where the lead character and most of the supporting characters are male doesn't make sense. She's clearly a good narrator but not for these stories. It spoils the experience.
This is a humorous introduction to Lord Peter Wimsey and the characters that appear in this excellent series.
I enjoyed all the characterisations - and the reason I entitled the review 'pleasantly surprised' was because of negative reviews from others. To my ears, Jane McDowell captured the capricious nature of Lord Peter nicely, and it is worth remembering that, in the printed copy (and TV adaptions), like so many aristo's of his day, Lord Peter dropped the 'g' from pretty much anything ending in 'ing', and also used 'ain't' more times than one can shake a stick at which is probably why some people thought he sounded like a cockney!! I especially enjoyed how Jane read the Dowager Duchess! I also didn't think she read too fast, although I tried slowing it down as had been suggested, but was quite happy with the standard speed.
I'm always a little bit sorry when I guess the murderer early on in the book (I'd really rather not be able to guess at all!), and this was the case here, but it is an enjoyable romp, and I would say well worth a credit! I will collect the entire Lord Peter series, and look forward to hearing Jane MacDowell reading them.
This was very good and it was clear and easy to follow I enjoy it very much
The plot was great, but the whole thing was just too wordy and explanation at the end was overlong, as if the author assumed the reader would never work the plot out!
Too much explanation.
Not really, she wasn't bad but not good either. She was also too shrill at times.
I'm not sure whether to try another of Sayer's audio books. At least with a book it's easier to skip the boring bits.
"Brilliant novel, read beautifully..."
I disagree with the other reviews here, Jane McDowell does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. I really enjoyed her telling of the story and did not feel she detracted from the experience at all. Comments that Wimsey sounds cockney or odd stem from the original novel and Jane puts across his affected speech which made him such a novelty to his upper class contemporaries. But you can take a listen to the sample and make up your own mind!
As for the book, I've read the Wimseys out of order and this is a good opener to what I know to be a fantastically written series of novels. I liked meeting young peter, and watching him solve his first murder. It was simpler than later ones, but still very enjoyable with some laugh out loud moments.
NOt got there yet...
Tried this after hearing a program about Dorothy L Sayers on BBC Radio 4. Quite disappointed by how IRRITATING I find the characters. It's not my usual kind of book, but DLS is a classic writer. AH well. Live and Learn!
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