I’ve been reading this while walking my dog. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me until 67% of the way in. I think I’ve read at least a dozen graphic novels while plodding my way through this. I reached the point where I couldn’t put it down when it shifted from a mystery with no obvious solution to a cat and mouse game between Lord Peter and the murderer. This was the passage that finally grabbed me.
There is a game in which one is presented with a jumble of letters and is required to make a word out of them, as thus:
C O S S S S R I
The slow way of solving the problem is to try out all the permutations and combinations in turn, throwing away impossible conjunctions of letters, as:
S S S I R C…
Another way is to stare at the incoördinate elements until, by no logical process that the conscious mind can detect, or under some adventitious external stimulus, the combination
S C I S S O R S
presents itself with calm certainty. After that, one does not even need to arrange the letters in order. The thing is done.
Of course, because Lord Peter Wimsey is an aristocrat and most of the people he deals with are at least gentlemen, it’s a polite game, and not the blood soaked action packed game it would be in a modern mystery.
Dorothy L. Sayers wrote “detective fiction” between the wars, set in her contemporary time. For me this is an historical read. The attitudes, methodologies and understanding of mental health are dated, but you can see the transition to the modern era happening. Though still well established, the class lines are blurring. The murderer’s motivation is more psychological than financial. Lord Wimsey’s understanding of himself would not be out of place today.
Reading Whose Body? reminded me that there is at least one Lord Peter Wimsey tv series, and I would like to watch it. Since it wasn’t readily available, I ended up watching Shetland, which is only distantly related to Wimsey’s location and subject. Still, look at that scenery.