Enter the 1920s Golden Age of Detection with this first novel from Dorothy L. Sayers, featuring the debut of a dashing gentleman detective, one of the great characters of mystery fiction - Lord Peter Wimsey. An unidentified corpse is found in a bathtub, and the police are jumping to conclusions about its identity and that of the murderer. Lord Peter Wimsey steps in and, with the help of his friend, Inspector Parker; and his manservant, Bunter, solves the mystery.
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This is the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, and it's definitely worth listening to. It provides an interesting and bizarre mystery with a unique criminal, a brief but poignant examination of shell shock after WW1 (Sayers' husband suffered from this), and a wonderful array of Sayers eccentric supporting characters. These include the incomparable Dowager Duchess of Denver, Mr. Thipps and his fabulous mother Mrs. Thipps, their housemaid Gladys and her boyfriend, the delightfully dim Freddy Arbuthnot, and of course the omnipotent Bunter. Wimsey is a little over the top in this, his first outing, but he settles down as the series goes on so no need to be put off by that.
I also really like David Case as the reader. I know most people probably won't agree with me, but I prefer him to Ian Carmichael even though Carmichael is the ultimate voice of Lord Peter Wimsey for so many of us. I just feel that Carmichael has a tendency to make Wimsey sound angry and irritable too much of the time and misses some of Sayers' wonderful humor that way, and that Case has a more nuanced and accurate reading of the character.
We haven't been able to get audio recordings of Sayers for some years on this side of the Atlantic, but I hope that the fact that we've seen two new ones appear in Audible offerings in the last couple of months indicates that the legal tangles (whatever they were) are over and that we will once again have access to these wonderful audiobooks, I can not wait for "Murder Must Advertise"!!!
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
While I have no doubt that Lord Peter Wimsey is supposed to be a clown town 1920's dandy, the delivery on this book is almost unlistenable. Dorothy Sayers is a great author. It's hard to ruin a book of hers and this makes a very good try of that.
The story is great fun but Peter blithering about the Body in the Bathtub is, in my humble opinion, overdone.
Lord Peter is one of my favorite literary characters. This first book, which I have listened to several times over the years, is excellent both in story line and performance which is spot on. I love it.
David Case is responsible for my lifelong love of listening to books. He was one of the first narrators I fell in love with back when audio books were on cassette tapes. Dorothy Sayers is one of my favorite mystery writers as well. So, when her books recently started to become available on audible, I clicked.
Case's performance in Whose Body does not disappoint. I was immediately inside the book as soon as he started talking. There are some pretty long expositions in this book, and I went right along with them. I don't know if he ever narrated any other books in the Lord Peter series, but if he did, I am hoping to see them show up on Audible.
As for the book itself, no one paints a picture of people, places and things the way Dorothy Sayers did. The setting is England between the wars. She takes the well-known stereotypes of that era--foppish young gentleman, servants of all types, bungling coppers, smart coppers, and grand dames--and gives them personality and life. The mystery itself is odd and convoluted, but no detail leading to the final reveal is left out.
I couldn't get past the first 5 chapters where the vivid imagery of Holmes and Watson were broken down to frail two dimensional artifacts of history. Not for the Holmes fan.
The clues I miss
The real effect of the characters thoughts and feeling
Yes, the surprised ending
Would like to hear entire series, bit and pieces are ok with some reader but once I find a series I truly love I new them...the wait is awful.
Could not understand a word of it. The English accents were too heavy and speaking was too fast!
I love reading the books. Maybe spoken at a slower pace and not so heavy an accent would help.
This is the first book I have ever disliked on audible. I understand the storyline requires a so called upper class British accent, but this was way over the top.
Written in the early part of the last century (boy, doesn't that make it sound OLD?), this mystery reflects its times in many ways. Most importantly, for me, was the presentation of the facts of the story. It is, as we used to say, "long-winded" in the extreme. Exposition is handled using words, not actions. So there is lots and lots of chatting about this, that, and the other. Made me realize that I prefer the more action-packed story-telling that has become popular today. See what I mean? One can go on and on and on...
Having said that, the real crux of the story was really something. I can see how this could be converted to a dynamic video presentation. So if you just persist with wading through the endless dialogue, you shall be rewarded with a rather good story.
"I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way." - Jane Austen
I love this genre, so I was looking forward to bingeing a new series. This isn’t it. The story wasn’t as cleverly crafted as pretty much everything ever written by Agatha Christie. I didn’t relate to Lord Peter nearly in the same way that I immediately fell in love with Poirot, Miss Marple, and other cunning sleuths.
Most of the book is comprised of conversations back and forth. David Case doesn’t do a good enough job of using distinctive voices, and the narration is too fast, yet indolent.
"Narration rather too languid"
This isn't the strongest of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, but it's nonetheless a good place to start as it introduces all the main characters and has an inventive and interesting plot. The narrator does a good job with the upper-class accents, though his take on Wimsey is rather too effete for me - going through life with a permanently raised eyebrow and languid manner. This would have been acceptable if the descriptive portions of the novel had been tackled in a more normal voice, but these too are read with a cut-glass languor which drags the action down and becomes a little tiresome.
Despite these criticisms, I'm hoping this AudioGo title will be the first of a new set of recordings of the whole Wimsey canon. The superb Ian Carmichael recordings (both unabridged and dramatised) seem sadly to have disappeared from Audible, so if you have to pick another narrator for Sayers' clever and amusing tales then David Case just about passes muster.
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