Dorothy L. Sayers, 1923 – Lord Peter Wimsey #1
Lord Peter is dashing, self-deprecating, warm, friendly, witty – an all-round nice guy. He dabbles in detective work, solving unusual murders such as this one, in which the body of a naked man weaing a pince-nez is discovered in the bathtub of a mousy architect named Thipps. I say, old chap!
This is a friendly story that bounces along for a bit – for most of the book, actually. It feels like an ok mystery but not a page-turner. Stay with the book though – you will be rewarded with a demonstration of Lord Peter’s ingenious method of helping a young medical student remember what he saw and where he saw it, which is a pure pleasure.
More importantly, you will get a glimpse into what lies behind Peter Wimsey’s carefree exterior. Here’s a hint: it’s not carefree. You will also be intrigued by the role Lord Peter’s “man” Bunter has played in Peter’s life, both now and in the past. This is important; it helps to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series – which I may just re-read!
Update and bonus! This book is in the public domain, which means you can find the print version on Project Gutenberg or two different volunteer-read versions on Librivox. Both versions are completely free.