Book Review: Whose Body? (Lord Peter Whimsey #1) by Dorothy Sayers
“It’s a wonderful the ideas these rich men with nothing to do get into their heads.”
First published in 1923, this is a dated but enjoyable detective fiction by the sole female associated with the Inklings. Storytelling is tedious with frequent repetition and long narrative exposition, the tone is light and enjoyable.
“The franker you are with people, the more likely you are to deceive them; so unused is the modern world to the open hand and guileless heart, what?”
The central premise of this tale: whose body is which of a pair–one missing and one found, but clearly not the same person–is justified so poorly in the end, but the reader will have been hooked by then and won’t care.
“I love trifling circumstances; so many men have been hanged by trifling circumstances.”
Beneath the breezy English nobility send up is a darker backstory of “shell shock” (as they called post-traumatic stress after World War One) and changing cultural mores. Sly references to how real investigation differs from fictional, especially Holmesian.
“There’s nothing you can’t prove if your outlook is only sufficiently limited.”