Saturday, April 13, 2019

Whose Body by Dorothy Sayers

Lord Peter Wimsey is about to head out to an auction on rare books when his mother calls.  She wants him to pop around to the home of a man called Thipps who is involved in restoring the local church.  It seems there is a spot of bother in the Thipps household.  When Thipps awoke and went into the bathroom to get ready for the day, he found it already occupied.  There was a nude male body in the bathtub, with only a pair of pinze-nez spectacles.  Thipps had never seen him before but that didn't stop the local police from accusing and then arresting him.

At the same time, a rich Jewish banker has gone missing.  The man controlled entire industries such as oil or railroads.  Wimsey is called into this case as well since his mother, of course, knew the family.  After all, all the best families knew each other and each other's histories by heart. 

Wimsey, who came back from World War I shell-shocked is interested enough to look into the cases.  He is assisted by his butler, who was his Sergeant in the war, and by the local police inspector who Wimsey trusts.  Can the trio solve the mysteries?

Whose Body is the first of the Lord Wimsey mysteries.  The main character is likeable even if he represents a way of life that has faded from the limelight, one in which everyone knew everyone and the rich are just assumed to have the right to a life of idleness and doing whatever pleases them for the moment just because they are born into the right family.  Wimsey himself is self-effacing and the reader is often brought up short by his insights.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

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