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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"!!!
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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 of 1 people found this review helpful