enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body? (#2)

I read this book about 13-Jul-2006. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1923. This note was last modified Thursday, 22-May-2014 19:48:49 PDT.

This is book 1 of the "Lord Peter Wimsey" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Sing hey! for the body in the bath! Or, rather:

We both have got a body in a bath,
We both have got a body in a bath—
For in spite of all temptations
To go in for cheap sensations
We insist upon a body in a bath—

I wonder if she was thinking of HMS Pinafore? There could easily be popular songs I don't know using that line—G&S must parody many things are obscure to my generation.

Despite the basic brilliance of the situation, I still think it was a mistake to make the body disposed of on Thipps look like the missing Jewish financier. That would have drawn Lord Peter's attention even if Thipps' hadn't happened to have a social connection to his family. And I do have to wonder if circumcision was common among the general population about that time.

£50 for a fancy convertible lens. On the other hand, 1/4 of Bunter's yearly salary. On the third hand, Bunter's remuneration includes room and board.

I'm not quite clear why Peter goes to consult Freke—it seems like it's actually intended to give him a warning. He's certainly smart not to let Freke inject him (as Freke admits in his written statement at the end), but wouldn't it have been useful for Peter to take possession of the syringe and its contents? I guess they were in a position to convict Freke on the other murder anyway, so perhaps there's no gain in proving his attempt to murder Lord Peter.

There's some excellent writing, when Peter is thinking through the situation and seeing the solution and having his attack; and also later, in the statement by Julian Freke (the name is not, I am sure, an accident). Freke is, I guess, some form of sociopath in modern terms. He clearly considers "conscience" to be a brain malfunction; and by implication, doesn't suffer from it himself.

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David Dyer-Bennet