Sunday, May 02, 2010

Unnatural Death

I picked up a Dorothy Sayers' book in South Beach at a fine little book store on Lincoln Road. I'd heard her mentioned reverently on some of the various book blogs I read and I was not! Disappointed! The book I somewhat randomly selected from her series was Unnatural Death, first published in 1927. It features a Lord Peter Wimsey, this wealthy dude who's really great at solving mysteries. He's kind of like Jeeves and Wooster rolled into one person, with a little Sherlock Holmes (He likes comparing himself to Holmes, as a matter of fact.)

The mystery in question is the death of an older woman for whom there is no sign of foul play and yet Peter Wimsey has a suspicion that she was murdered and sets out to solve it. Apparently the book was quite topical when it was published, relating to a change in inheritance laws which caused me to recall Austen and even consider looking up the definition of an "entail." (Just to consider, not to do, ultimately.)

Well, I thought it was absolutely marvelous and I intend to read many many more books by Sayers. It's very British, very funny, very smart and kind of scary! (I got spooked at the end!) Here's a passage that made me laugh:

"Your friend's going to be left behind," said Mrs. Cropper as the train moved out."

"That would be very unlike him," replied Mr. Murbles, calmly unfolding a couple of rugs and exchanging his old-fashioned top-hat for a curious kind of travelling cap with flaps to it. Mrs. Cropper, in the midst of her anxiety, could not help wondering where in the world he had contrived to purchase this Victorian relic. As a matter of fact, Mr. Murbles' caps were specifically made to his own design by an exceedingly expensive West End hatter, who help Mr. Murbles in deep respect as a real gentleman of the old school.

1 comment:

KHM said...

its goin' on my list now that I 've gotten over being envy-green over your escape to South Beach...