The strangest thing happened when I was trying to put together this post. I realised that although I read the first book of the series last year, I did not note it anywhere! It is not on my total tally, nor is it on Goodreads. Which is strange because I usually double-check. Now I am wondering how many others are hidden that way, although I do not have the patience or time to look up others.
I was not so impressed with book #1:here
I am torn between my opinion of the covers. The symmetry is pleasing but at the same time can be seen as bland and too similar. Maybe I will make up my mind on it the further I go into the series.
Although I was not impressed by the first book in the series, when I discovered two consecutive things, I decided to continue with the series regardless of my first impressions. The two things were as follows:
- I did not try to check correctly, and all this time, I have had access to some ebooks(unfortunately no audio) through my Libby app for the HK public library system!
- The number of titles available online was few, but then I saw this entire series was available.
It seemed like a done deal when this happened, and I jumped right into the series. Once I started reading this book, I knew I will see it all the way through. I felt like I was reading a more realistic, serious version of PG Wodehouse with all the humour intact. Peter Wimsey is an endearing character once you get to know him. He is annoying in the best way, to his friends a little more than his enemies. This case is personal, his brother has been accused of murder and will be tried by his peers since he is not a ‘common’ person. The dead body was found in a very odd location with tons of clues strewn about which do not add up.
The class distinction and the commentary on it were very naturally but satirically presented so we can see how things stood at the time. The process of detection itself is slower than some others, but the dialogues and the banter that fill the spaces of painstakingly systematic detection is worth the read. I did not guess the ending but the secret reason why his brother would not defend his position seemed quite obvious while not affecting any other part of my opinion.
There is a biography written by Peter Wimsey’s uncle at the start of the edition I read. Although it was an entertaining few pages, it revealed things about the characters which I am yet to learn. This was a little sad since I had no inkling about what was to happen to the people I encountered in the previous story (I had no prior knowledge whatsoever about this author or series’ content).
The plot itself was quite convoluted. It begins with a chance meeting where a doctor talks of a case he had where the circumstances of death were odd. He was the only one who cried murder and was not rewarded for his vigilance with any form of proof. Peter Wimsey immediately tries to put things together, starting with who the doctor was since he declined to give his name. Then he sets off on an almost futile quest. He has a new assistant now, a diligent woman Miss Climpson. She is a singularly compelling character who writes letters which seem to be all in italics, I wonder if everyone voiced it the way I did in my head!
The case is almost non-existent until Peter dregs it up, his faithful friend and official man Parker continue to chide him while secretly agreeing with him. This was a pleasure to read albeit a little long (or it felt like that), and I had to make a few stops before getting back to it. I intend to complete this series while I am still enjoying the narrative style. Wish me luck.
I added both to my#BritishCrimeClassicsChallenge