It was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance. The body wore nothing else.
Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps' Battersea bathroom.
©1923 The Trustees of Anthony Fleming (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
"She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit." (P. D. James)
"I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail." (Ruth Rendell)
"She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller." (Minette Walters)
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"More work on pronunciation please"
I have been waiting for a reading of the Lord Peter Wimsey books for a long time and down loaded this with glee. It is the first of the series so it seems that the originators are doing it the right way and starting from the beginning.
The narrator seems to think that the characters all gabble. They are all done in funny voices, at odd pitches and even odder speeds. Yes - Lord Peter's speech is affected and speedy but she really gets him wrong I think.
The worst thing is the lapses in pronunciation. Lord Peters college is Balliol. His time at Oxford is fundamental to the man, the stories and so much of what is to come. It is pronounced Bail - e - ol. The narrator says Bal i ol.
I really worry when she gets to Magdalen, not wanting to be maudlin about it but my expectations are low.
Another is when Lord Peter is looking around the roof of the mansion flats and checks what the narrator calls 'the leeds'. She means 'the leads'; the word comes from the lead used to make the channels and downpipes in traditional buildings, now often stolen.
The lady has a lovely voice. When just narrating it resonates and could do Harriet Vane well later. Meanwhile PLEASE stop gabbling and research the words before launching into the next one?
Her accents are awful, Lord Wimsey sounds like a cockney half the time. She speaks too fast and all the voices sound the same. her voice is also shrill in parts and makes for a very uncomfortable listen. Such a shame as the story was quite good, and should have been funny in parts. I couldn't finish the book. Dreadful
"Great story, bad reader"
Have enjoyed the shorter Whimsy stories on radio and the longer version is better. Darker with more misery and intrigue but still witty. But I did not enjoy the narrows voice, high pitched and difficult to distinguish the characters, possibly appeared worse in comparison to the full cast stories I have heard befor, but the plot keeps me listening.
Sadly, I have no idea if the story is any good because I only lasted about 10 minutes before turning it off. The narrator is absolutely awful. Her voices were all screechy, which grated on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. I also found it very difficult to follow which character was talking as many of her voices sounded so similar.
"Love the story but wrong narrator"
This is a great story but using a female narrator for a novel where the lead character and most of the supporting characters are male doesn't make sense. She's clearly a good narrator but not for these stories. It spoils the experience.
This is a humorous introduction to Lord Peter Wimsey and the characters that appear in this excellent series.
I enjoyed all the characterisations - and the reason I entitled the review 'pleasantly surprised' was because of negative reviews from others. To my ears, Jane McDowell captured the capricious nature of Lord Peter nicely, and it is worth remembering that, in the printed copy (and TV adaptions), like so many aristo's of his day, Lord Peter dropped the 'g' from pretty much anything ending in 'ing', and also used 'ain't' more times than one can shake a stick at which is probably why some people thought he sounded like a cockney!! I especially enjoyed how Jane read the Dowager Duchess! I also didn't think she read too fast, although I tried slowing it down as had been suggested, but was quite happy with the standard speed.
I'm always a little bit sorry when I guess the murderer early on in the book (I'd really rather not be able to guess at all!), and this was the case here, but it is an enjoyable romp, and I would say well worth a credit! I will collect the entire Lord Peter series, and look forward to hearing Jane MacDowell reading them.
"Brilliant novel, read beautifully..."
I disagree with the other reviews here, Jane McDowell does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. I really enjoyed her telling of the story and did not feel she detracted from the experience at all. Comments that Wimsey sounds cockney or odd stem from the original novel and Jane puts across his affected speech which made him such a novelty to his upper class contemporaries. But you can take a listen to the sample and make up your own mind!
As for the book, I've read the Wimseys out of order and this is a good opener to what I know to be a fantastically written series of novels. I liked meeting young peter, and watching him solve his first murder. It was simpler than later ones, but still very enjoyable with some laugh out loud moments.
"Disappointing narrative after BBC dramatisations"
I enjoy this story, but this narrator's voice soon began to grate. I believe Ian Carmichael whether reading The Lord Peter Whimsey books or playing the role in the radio dramatisations, but I didn't really believe this narrator. I've read and listened to many Sayers stories, but won't be purchasing any narrated by McDowell.
Nothing in particular.
Grating voice in a role where Ian Carmichael is already the default voice for Whimsey stories.
Difficult, given that for my generation at least, the late Ian Carmichael best fits the bill.
I have always enjoyed Sayers' work and her eye for detail both in plot and characters. However the narrator of this story is truly awful, employing high pitched unbelievable voices and at times screeching lines pivotal to the plot. This simply detracts from the brilliance and indulgence if Sayers.
I would avoid any further novels by this narrator.
"Great writer, bad narrator"
If you can't offer the Ian Carmichael narrations which were practically perfect in every way, please can you record a narrator who performs the books instead of just reading them?
Worth listening to because the books survive the narration but it does NOT do them justice.
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