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Monday, September 18, 2006

cover of Lord Peter

Read in less than a week. Lord Peter is quite an enjoyable character. Certainly a lord with noble bearing -- but also a man who can be down to earth and enjoys using his logic, which is better than that of most men. He and his butler, Bunter, make quite the pair. One who can figure out any mystery that is set before him, and one that can do almost any practical (or impractical) task that is set before him. The butler reminds me of Jeeves, as they have many of the same qualities, as presumably did most spectacular butlers during this time period. Sayers does not make every mystery end in finding and condemning the criminal, which is quite nice -- sometimes difficult decisions must be made that will affect many. And sometimes the truth is quite unbelievable.

A couple different places in the stories, Wimsey is asked how he does it. His answer is that he observes and his brain goes on making connections and asking questions of what he saw. That things are slightly out of place - something is not right. He doesn't worry about it, but simply goes on observing and comes back to it when his brain has already figured out the answers. For instance, a pearl necklace is stolen and it must be in one of two rooms. Everyone does a thorough search and it cannot be found anywhere. Wimsey does his own search with the master of the house and finds a pin. He doesn't actually see the pearls but he sees a reflection in the floor of things that look remarkably like pearls -- and that's enough to go on. He knows where they are and how to reveal who stole them in the first place. I like the idea that our brains work overtime. It's true!! But -- perhaps mine works on different things or notices different details. And I'm very glad that some people have brains that actually work rather like Wimsey's and put them to good use to find criminals, discover cures, seek possibilities.

Title:The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Date published:1972
Genre:Mystery Short Stories
Series: Lord Peter
Number of pages: 481
Notes:Borrowed from mom


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