From Sun Journal: Ken Gruebel: Mystery novels from England and Canada
Something old and something new this morning. This stems from the
reprinting of the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Harper Collins in soft
cover. This novel was first copyright in 1932 when I was in the first
grade reading the adventures of Dick, Jane and Sally.
The full title to this Lord Peter Wimsey story adds “with Harriet
Vane.” It may be Wimsey that solves most of the mystery but it is
Harriet Vane, a mystery writer in her own right, who discovers the body
and sounds the alarm. The story is written in the first person by
Harriet. The setting is the beautiful but rugged coast of England,
peopled with farmers, barbers and, of course, policemen.
When Harriet finds a body on a rock at the water’s edge she tries to
“assist the police in their enquiries,” as the saying goes. It is only
with the arrival of Wimsey that the case outlines begin to clear and the
actions of the many suspects can be grouped into possible or impossible
capabilities and time lines.
A good read but of course rather dated. When have you last heard
someone talk about getting “a new frock for the afternoon tea dance,” or
a woman who wore a hat that “was absolutely disappointing.” Dorothy
Sayers is full of these rather dated remarks. But a good read,
non-the-less. Guessing the culprit becomes very difficult. I was way off
the mark. I guess that’s one reason I’m not a detective.