Whose Body? is the first book in Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and a great read for those who like more literary mysteries. Lord Peter Wimsey has come back from the war with what we would call PTSD. In an attempt to recover, he begins helping Mr. Parker, a Scotland Yard detective, with his investigations. By the time this story begins, he has made a name for himself by solving a case involving missing emeralds.
In Whose Body?, the story revolves around a body that mysteriously appears in a bathtub, and the simultaneous disappearance of a powerful and well known man of finance, Mr. Levy. Wimsey looks into the mystery of the body, and Parker is trying to figure out what happened to Mr. Levy. The two men work together, and eventually begin to suspect that there is a connection to the two seemingly unrelated incidents.
The final result is both satisfying and sorrowful.
The mystery is interesting in Whose Body?, but the real appeal for me was in Lord Peter Wimsey, and the small moments when bits of his past and character are revealed. Wimsey loves to portray himself as a shallow dilettante, but the deeper man peeks out at times. The characterization of his mother, friends and assistants is equally satisfying, and these are the reasons I enjoyed this novel.