Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
I’ve always heard great things about Dorothy Sayers’s mystery series, and I read Gaudy Night about 5 years ago and liked it a lot, so I am glad I am finally starting the Lord Peter Wimsey series from the beginning. In Whose Body?, the mystery and its solution are both rather convoluted and strange. A dead body turns up randomly in a bathtub, and in a seeming coincidence, a Jewish banker goes missing the same night. The greatest pleasure in this novel is the way the characters talk. Their witty Britishisms are so fun to read. Lord Peter’s sense of humor makes him a delight as a literary detective. This book also gets into his background and reveals his character. As a former WWI soldier, he dealt with some PTSD (or “shell shock”) in the past, and has a flashback or panic attack during this novel’s timeline. A confrontation with a suspicious doctor draws parallels between his war experience and his sleuthing, showing that he risks triggering his PTSD with every mystery he solves and every dangerous situation he confronts. It really shows how strong, determined and admirable Lord Peter is, underneath all of his sparkly banter. I’d highly recommend these novels to anyone who likes mysteries, especially anyone who likes Agatha Christie or P. G. Wodehouse or anything set in England between the wars.