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Sayer's first Wimsey novel which is not as good as those she does next
on October 25, 2016
In this first Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novel, Sayers is far from displaying the fine skill she showed in later Wimsey novels. Wimsey is not simply whimsical; he is so whimsical that he seems borderline eccentric. In fact, the humor, which is subtler in later novels, seems overdone. Additionally, the tale drags in many places and she makes references to many arcane subjects, as if she wants to show up her knowledge, and therefore the annotated edition, that seems to explain something said on each page, is a better buy. Both are only ninety-nine cents on amazon because of these failures.
Wimsey is portrayed as forever needing to investigate crime. He wears a monocle that is actually a magnifier. He carries a staff that is both a yard-stick for measuring items and a sword for protection.
When he hears that a naked body has been found in a vicar's house he rushes to investigate. A police officer, Suggs, hates him and tries to push him away. But Peter asked his mom to use her influence with Suggs' boss to force Suggs to allow him to investigate. In contrast to Suggs, Peter is friendly with another cop, Parker, who likes him and enjoys eating at his house, and the two join in the investigation.
Soon, Peter hears that a Jewish man has disappeared and turns to investigate this case as well. Sayers makes some comments that were unfortunately common in the 1920s when the novel was written, that some Jews might find insensitive.