This book is a member of the special collection Special Collection: The Works of Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957)
|Publisher:||Victor Gollancz Ltd.|
|Tags:||crime, fiction, Lord Peter Wimsey (Fictional character), mystery|
"Whose Body" is something of an apprentice work. Lord Peter is here more a bundle of characteristics than a character: a collector of rare books and incunabula, facile with quotations, fluent in French and probably in Latin, a skillful and sensitive pianist who never needs to practise, slightly built but possessed of "curious" strength and speed which he maintains without exercise. Over subsequent books, this caricature smooths and deepens into one of the most interesting and attractive detectives in fiction.
In spite of its awkwardness, Whose Body is worth reading. The plot is clever, the villain is believable and sadistic, and most of the supporting characters are a delight. Some of these characters are further developed in later novels: Bunter, Parker, the Dowager Duchess, Freddy Arbuthnot. Others fortunately are not. Sayers is much better with people she might recognise as "like us" then with people from other social groups. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Sayers, Dorothy L.
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was an English writer and playwright. She is best known for her crime fiction but also for her popular plays. Born in Oxford to a family involved in education, she excelled as a student herself and graduated with honours. Eschewing the academic life she moved to London in 1922 where she worked for an advertising agency as a copywriter.
She published her first book in 1923, Whose Body, which featured one of her favourite literary characters - amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Many of her books were based on this character and her carefully researched plots proved very popular with her fans. In 1935 she wrote, Gaudy Night, which culminated the career of Wimsey and proved to be one of her most popular novels. It was at this time that a friend persuaded her to co-write a play called Busman's Honeymoon. Her success with the endeavour led her to start writing plays and she produced eight more in the next 15 years. She also developed an interest in ancient Italian literature and translated Dante's Divine Comedy accompanied by clear and concise annotation. Unfortunately her writing career was cut short unexpectedly in 1957 when she died of a sudden heart attack. (Dorothy L. Sayers Society)
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