Whose Body? Dorothy L. Sayers


Whose Body?

Wikipedia Commons

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers 

First Edition: 1923, T. Fisher Unwin

Original language: English


A man wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez is found dead in a bathtub; a rich businessman disappears.  Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, amateur sleuth and thus begins Sayers’ classic mystery.  Through old-fashioned detective work and a little observation, Wimsey solves the case, all in time to drink his Napoleon brandy.


I should wish to add, as a tribute to the great merits of your lordship’s cellar, that, although I was obliged to drink a somewhat large quantity both of the Cockburn ’68 and the 1800 Napoleon I felt no headache or other ill effects in the morning.”



While I liked this book because it was a quick read, it was not a very sophisticated kind of murder mystery.  Of course, you do have to take into account that it was written in 1923.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of Dorothy Sayers and Peter Wimsey fans, I kept thinking of Archer when Wimsey appeared.  The butler, Bunter, also reminded me a lot of Archer’s butler, Woodhouse.  Wimsey spoke to Bunter just like Archer speaks to Woodhouse.  I just couldn’t get the association out of my head, so it felt like a weird reading, like I couldn’t really take it seriously…

Finally, the language also contributed to my being unable to take it seriously.  Maybe I’ve been in a silly mood for the past week, but every time Wimsey finished a sentence with “what?,” a little voice in my head kept saying “say whaaaat?!”

And finally, finally, that Plumbers and Glaziers’ Ball at the “Black Faced Ram” sounds like fun…