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Publisher's Summary

The best of the golden age crime writers, praised by all the top modern writers in the field including P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers created the immortal Lord Peter Wimsey.

His third appearance is a story of murder in a most respectable seaside resort. 'No sign of foul play,' says Dr Carr after the post-mortem on Agatha Dawson. The case is closed. But Lord Peter Wimsey is not satisfied . . .

With no clues to work on, he begins his own investigation. No clues, that is, until the sudden, senseless murder of Agatha's maid. What is going on in the mysterious Mrs Forrest's Mayfair flat? And can Wimsey catch a desperate murderer before he himself becomes one of the victims?

©1927 Trustees of Anthony Fleming (deceased) (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

"She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit." (P. D. James)
"I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail" (Ruth Rendell)
"D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers." (E. C. Bentley, Daily Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Claire
  • 12-07-14

Spoilt by performance

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would use a different narrator to read this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lord Peter is the most interesting character.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator's tendency to make her voice go high and shouty especially when being Miss Climpson was a major turn off.

Was Unnatural Death worth the listening time?

I persevered and listened to the end.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 05-13-15

Great story, shame about narration

Where does Unnatural Death rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

near the bottom

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peter Wimsey of course, though his mother is a close second - they're delightfully eccentric.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Jane McDowell?

Certainly not a Peter Wimsey book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The narration of this audiobook made me cringe.

Any additional comments?

Please find another narrator for the Peter Wimsey books! Jane MacDowell just doesn't seem to really find the correct pace of the narrative - quite often she seemed only to realise the meaning of a sentence when she was half-way through it; and I really didn't like the voice she gave Charles Parker. I love the books, and kept trying with this one, but I gave up in the end as it was just annoying me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-16

Unfortunate choice of reader

This excellent example of the clever detective novels of Dorothy Sayers is tarnished by the unfortunate choice of reader. This narrator is a pleasant enough reader but is not up to the stylised turn of phrase that Sayers employs, to her characterisation or to the sometimes quirky or dated phrases that are typical of Wimsey novels.
These novels are now only available read by the present narrator, and I have now tried two of them but won't be purchasing any more, much as I love them. I find it impossible to 'get into' them when the narrative halts or grinds due to faulty reading of characters, slips or mispronunciation. Even Lord Peter's name is mispronounced.
A sad disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grandma Moses
  • 05-21-16

Awful narrator

What would have made Unnatural Death better?

I enjoy the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, although this has very dated attitudes, but the narrator is stilted and unsympathetic.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Terrible speech patterns! Quite an unnatural reading and not a patch on Ian Carmichel or Patrick Malahide's wonderful "Five Red Herrings".

Any additional comments?

I would like more unabridged DLS books, but at the moment you only seem to offer this narrator and I shall certainly not get any of those.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rogayah
  • 12-29-15

A deathly swathe

Initially I found the narrator's female voice uncomfortable as I have always felt these stories should be read by a man, there are so many more male characters than female ones. However it was soon over looked as the story progressed and became stronger and more ridiculous and curious. It was the kiss of the spider woman; characters were dying off like flies.

Although it seems like an early story - Whimsey, Bunter and Parker are not drawn with the assured hand, I felt from other stories, it is still a gripping who dunnit or rather a why and how dunnit tale.

A little bit of a time warp in that it is almost a golden age of innocence in crime writing compared to the brutal and graphic tales of the modern detective and policing. It make a pleasant change to leave some of the blood, gore and bad language unsaid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R
  • 06-21-15

Good plot but too many coincidences

This has a great plot. Story slightly undermined by one or two far fetched 'coincidences' which allowed the problem to be solved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Rm Walters
  • 03-07-15

Terrible Book

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

A better narrator, and an editing out of a certain word.

What was most disappointing about Dorothy L. Sayers’s story?

I know this book was written in the 1920's, a time when racist remarks were probably considered the norm. However, this is not the case in the 21st century. I can understand that this is an unabridged recording, but It would have made no difference to the plot had the 'N' word been removed.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jane McDowell’s performances?

Definitely not. I was dubious to begin with having been spoilt on a diet of Ian Carmichael, but really, the narration was dreadful.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Unnatural Death?

All I would remove is the overuse of the 'N' word. Once was bad enough, but it is used several times, and to absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Tamar L Cavie
  • 07-19-15

terrible narrator

The narrator of this story had no idea of the characters she was speaking for and generally spoilt the whole story for me. her voice and characterisation were at complete odds with the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • forester
  • 03-10-16

Great book

A good story well read, who can ask for more. Takes you back to a long gone world. Highly recommended

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  • LHENWaJaBF
  • 01-18-15

Lord Peter Whimsey's Savoire

Lord Peter Whimsey's ability to empathise crown the young aristocrat's piercing powers of deduction making him sharper, wittier than ever.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful