• Whose Body?

  • The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Narrated by: David Case
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (938 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Enter the 1920s Golden Age of Detection with this first novel from Dorothy L. Sayers, featuring the debut of a dashing gentleman detective, one of the great characters of mystery fiction - Lord Peter Wimsey. An unidentified corpse is found in a bathtub, and the police are jumping to conclusions about its identity and that of the murderer. Lord Peter Wimsey steps in and, with the help of his friend, Inspector Parker; and his manservant, Bunter, solves the mystery.

©2009 AudioGO (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Whose Body?

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Thrilled to see Sayers appearing at Audible USA!!!

This is the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, and it's definitely worth listening to. It provides an interesting and bizarre mystery with a unique criminal, a brief but poignant examination of shell shock after WW1 (Sayers' husband suffered from this), and a wonderful array of Sayers eccentric supporting characters. These include the incomparable Dowager Duchess of Denver, Mr. Thipps and his fabulous mother Mrs. Thipps, their housemaid Gladys and her boyfriend, the delightfully dim Freddy Arbuthnot, and of course the omnipotent Bunter. Wimsey is a little over the top in this, his first outing, but he settles down as the series goes on so no need to be put off by that.
I also really like David Case as the reader. I know most people probably won't agree with me, but I prefer him to Ian Carmichael even though Carmichael is the ultimate voice of Lord Peter Wimsey for so many of us. I just feel that Carmichael has a tendency to make Wimsey sound angry and irritable too much of the time and misses some of Sayers' wonderful humor that way, and that Case has a more nuanced and accurate reading of the character.
We haven't been able to get audio recordings of Sayers for some years on this side of the Atlantic, but I hope that the fact that we've seen two new ones appear in Audible offerings in the last couple of months indicates that the legal tangles (whatever they were) are over and that we will once again have access to these wonderful audiobooks, I can not wait for "Murder Must Advertise"!!!

32 people found this helpful

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I Don’t Get What Some People Don’t Get

I don’t get what some find so annoying about David Case/Frederick Davidson. He is simply superb. And I don’t understand how anyone could pick up one of the seminal works of the Golden Age of crime fiction and call it “wordy” or “boring”. There are plenty of other mysteries out there with car chases and bedroom scenes; their absence is one of the things that makes the Golden Age so golden.

Case is the perfect vehicle for the glib banter and witty persiflage that flow from this first, and most light-hearted, iteration of Lord Peter—second only to Ian Carmichael, who played Wimsey onscreen. To catch some of the quips, you need a grounding in Classical and European literature (something I’m gaining by listening to all the books I blew through so carelessly in college). And if you savor Bertie and Jeeves you're in luck: Lord Peter has some lines that approach the Wodehousian. An amazing feat in a book that also manages to probe so penetratingly the roots of Good and Evil.

12 people found this helpful

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I love David Case (also Dorothy)

Any additional comments?

David Case is responsible for my lifelong love of listening to books. He was one of the first narrators I fell in love with back when audio books were on cassette tapes. Dorothy Sayers is one of my favorite mystery writers as well. So, when her books recently started to become available on audible, I clicked.

Case's performance in Whose Body does not disappoint. I was immediately inside the book as soon as he started talking. There are some pretty long expositions in this book, and I went right along with them. I don't know if he ever narrated any other books in the Lord Peter series, but if he did, I am hoping to see them show up on Audible.

As for the book itself, no one paints a picture of people, places and things the way Dorothy Sayers did. The setting is England between the wars. She takes the well-known stereotypes of that era--foppish young gentleman, servants of all types, bungling coppers, smart coppers, and grand dames--and gives them personality and life. The mystery itself is odd and convoluted, but no detail leading to the final reveal is left out.

9 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story and performance

Lord Peter is one of my favorite literary characters. This first book, which I have listened to several times over the years, is excellent both in story line and performance which is spot on. I love it.

8 people found this helpful

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David Case is the best!

I found this an engrossing story, which was brilliantly read by the master,David Case.

6 people found this helpful

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Hmmmm...the PBS video sent me here

Written in the early part of the last century (boy, doesn't that make it sound OLD?), this mystery reflects its times in many ways. Most importantly, for me, was the presentation of the facts of the story. It is, as we used to say, "long-winded" in the extreme. Exposition is handled using words, not actions. So there is lots and lots of chatting about this, that, and the other. Made me realize that I prefer the more action-packed story-telling that has become popular today. See what I mean? One can go on and on and on...

Having said that, the real crux of the story was really something. I can see how this could be converted to a dynamic video presentation. So if you just persist with wading through the endless dialogue, you shall be rewarded with a rather good story.

5 people found this helpful

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a great story, annoying narrator

The narrator really destroys any enjoyment I have in listening to this book and I love this story. Every time I want to read it again, I find myself cringing at the prospect of listening to this narrator. It may be partially due to loving the Ian Carmichael narrations but mostly I think David Case just does an awful job bringing any character to life. Lord Peter isn't a great character to begin with but ruining Bunter is just unforgivable! I know Case is a veteran of narration but I really struggle with his narration of this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Chilling

Very convoluted (in a good way) English mystery with Lord Peter Wimsey at the helm. The entire book was good, but chapter 13 was so chilling, delving into the mind of the sociopath. ....ugh, there were times during that chapter that I couldn't breathe. The narrator was superb, just a joy to listen to. Slight caution, the narrator's dialect/accent is rather thick and he speaks at a good clip. I turned my speed to 0.9 instead of 1 and that worked out well for me. I've never had to do that before. I will be continuing on with this series.

4 people found this helpful

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perfect

Lord Peter is one of my favorite literary characters and this is one of my favorite stories
Mr Case does a command performance as narrator. Overall a most enjoyable experience


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Too supercillious

While I have no doubt that Lord Peter Wimsey is supposed to be a clown town 1920's dandy, the delivery on this book is almost unlistenable. Dorothy Sayers is a great author. It's hard to ruin a book of hers and this makes a very good try of that.
The story is great fun but Peter blithering about the Body in the Bathtub is, in my humble opinion, overdone.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Knucklebones
  • 10-06-15

Narration rather too languid

This isn't the strongest of Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels, but it's nonetheless a good place to start as it introduces all the main characters and has an inventive and interesting plot. The narrator does a good job with the upper-class accents, though his take on Wimsey is rather too effete for me - going through life with a permanently raised eyebrow and languid manner. This would have been acceptable if the descriptive portions of the novel had been tackled in a more normal voice, but these too are read with a cut-glass languor which drags the action down and becomes a little tiresome.

Despite these criticisms, I'm hoping this AudioGo title will be the first of a new set of recordings of the whole Wimsey canon. The superb Ian Carmichael recordings (both unabridged and dramatised) seem sadly to have disappeared from Audible, so if you have to pick another narrator for Sayers' clever and amusing tales then David Case just about passes muster.

1 person found this helpful

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