Some aristocrats spend their lives shooting, but Lord Peter Wimsey is a hunter of a different kind: a bloodhound with a nose for murder. Before he became Britain’s most famous detective, Lord Peter contented himself with solving the crimes he came across by chance. In this volume of short stories, he confronts a stolen stomach, a man with copper fingers, and a deadly adventure at Ali Baba’s cave, among other conundrums. These mysteries tax not just his intellect, but his humor, knowledge of metallurgy, and taste for fine wines. It’s not easy being a gentleman sleuth, but Lord Peter is the man for the job. (from Goodreads)
I think I read this book before! I recognize some of the stories, though not all of them. It’s very confusing. I don’t remember reading Lord Peter Views the Body and I can’t find it listed in my various books-read-lists, but it nevertheless seems very familiar.
Tip-top stories: the one with the stolen stomach/intestines was pretty fab, a complicated mystery with some absurd humor bits mixed in. I also really like the one where Lord Peter goes up against an international crime ring; it reminded me of the better Sherlock Holmes stories. Secret evil society! Master criminals! Lord Peter faking his death to go against them! Voice-activated safes! If ever a short story needed to be expanded into a full-length novel, it’s that story.
Most boring story: the one with three Lord Peters (two of them fakes) and what seemed like a million years of talking about various French wines. I liked the pretender angle, but figuring out who’s the real Peter by how well he identifies fancy wines? So boring.
Most confusing story: the crossword puzzle one! Most of the solution is hidden in the crossword clues, and they’re all quotes from books I haven’t read. I didn’t understand half of it, even with the answers spelled out in the back of the book.
Things I really need: an early 20th century slang dictionary. I found one for translating French and Greek and Latin and whatever other languages she sticks in her books, but I have yet to find one for the then-contemporary slang she uses.
Read: January 25-27, 2014