My name is Doug Wykstra, and this is some of the stuff I've read and watched.
Lord Peter Views the Body, Dorothy Sayers’s first collection of short fiction featuring her famous noble detective Lord Peter Wimsey, is your standard mystery collection, with a variety of stories that are either easy to solve, or impossible owing to the story structure. The stories all contain descriptive phrases, like “The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question,” or “The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention,” or, my favorite title by far, “The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach,” which is also one of my favorite stories in the collection.
The stories also give a certain amount of insight into some of Sayers’s influences. “The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba” feels like an homage to G.K. Chesterton, specifically The Man Who Was Thursday. “The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question,” with its lengthy French interludes brings Poe’s Inspector Dupin to mind.
The stories also function to flesh out the Wimsey family and the rage of his acquaintance. Some of them are difficult to place canonically, particularly the ones that find Lord Peter taking spy jobs with the War Office or disappearing for two years. But it’s nice to finally get the story about the Duchess of Medway’s diamonds that is referred to in Whose Body? and although Lord Peter’s unfortunately-named nephew Gherkins probably couldn’t support a children’s detective series by himself, “The Learned Adventure of the Dragon’s Head” suggests that there is a good deal of entertainment to be found in putting Lord Peter in charge of children.
Overall, it’s a standard collection, with some good stories and some over too soon. But no one story is so big that it slows your progress through the collection, which is my personal pet peeve with collections like these, so if you want something you can finish a bit of every night before bed, this is a good collection.
Interested in reading this? I’m an Amazon Affiliate, meaning that I link products from Amazon, and if anyone clicks those links to buy the product, they pay me a commission. If you’re interested in purchasing Lord Peter Views the Body, just follow the link below: