Lord Peter Wimsey #1
LibraryThing ; Dorothy L. Sayers Society ; Free ebook edition
‘Oh damn!’ said Lord Peter Wimsey at Piccadily Circus. ‘Hi, driver!’
The body of a stout man is found in a bathroom, naked but for a gold pince-nez. At the same time, a prominent banker goes missing. Is the dead man the missing Mr. Levy? And if so, how did he manage to end up in Mr. Thipps’ bathroom? And was he murdered?
This is the first book Sayers wrote to feature Lord Peter Wimsey. He is the second son of an ancient English house, his elder brother is the Duke of Denver. And his hobby is criminology. Already he has solved the case of some missing emeralds, now he is on two cases at once; to find the missing Levy & to figure out the who, why and where concerning the mystery body.
One of the reasons I picked this up is that Peter Wimsey makes a small cameo in a Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes story. That piqued my interest. And I’ve always wanted to read something by Sayers, she’s such a well regarded author. Plus a certain blogger has been quite enthusiastic about all things Sayers, so clearly it was only a matter of time.
I quite enjoyed this novel. I won’t say I loved it, bits of it, yes, I certainly love parts of it, but as a whole, while good it wasn’t quite great :) Still, there is plenty there to admire. Lord Wimsey himself, a man who plays a role, whether that is to keep people from knowing him, or because he doesn’t want to know himself? Bunter, his butler, and the relationship between the pair. Almost Jeeves & Wooster-ish. Most of all I think I liked some of the smaller moments, Wimsey trying to figure out if he has the “right” to interfere in somebody else’s life, an interference that may possibly end up with that person hanged. And I thought the incidence of shell-shock and its continuing effects in post WWI Britain were very well written.
In short, I’m off to order the next in the series.