Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey, #1)Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After my disappointing results of random selection in the fantasy category, I decided to turn back to mystery. I searched the library for a classic whodunit and found this one in my usual audio book format.

I was almost immediately disappointed by several things. First of all there was the reader. His attempt to be theatrical took some getting used to, and while he was ok, this was not my favorite performance.

Second, the author has this odd style of dropping half of the dialogue in a conversation. A character goes off on a monologue, and then starts responding to unheard comments i.e. reactions of others. It's like listening someone talk animatedly on a phone call, where you only hear their side of the conversation. Can you follow along? Yes, with effort. But why do that to your reader?

Yet all of that was justified by one much appreciated feature at the end of the book. This author understands how to wrap up a mystery. In a mystery you drop clues and add twists and turns to keep your reader guessing. At the end of all that you owe it to your reader to explain everything. I mean everything. Every clue, every false trail. This is what bothered me about the last Flavia de Luce book I read--no exhaustive explanation. Well, this book did it right. Was the setup a little cheesy? Yes. There was the stereotypical suicide note that explained everything. But as a reader this is what I want, so this book redeemed itself in the end, and I've already recommended it to others. You will have to get over some odd stylistic habits, but it's worth it in the end.