Tag Archives: formula

If this were a detective story…

“Of course, if this was a detective story, there’d have been a convenient shower exactly an hour before the crime and a beautiful set of marks which could only have come there between two and three in the morning, but this being real life in a London November, you might well as expect footprints in Niagra” Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? New York: Dover Publications Inc., 2009. Page 29.
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“It’s only in Sherlock Holmes and stories like that,that people think things out logically” (82).

In several instances Sayers makes a point of commenting on the formula of detectives stories and how simply cases are solved, how clues fall in the detective’s lap, making it very easy to solve a case. Yet Sayers uses several of those detective story formulas herself. There is the rich and emotionally troubled man who solves crimes for fun. He has a foil and an aid in his butler. There is a bumbling inspector who dislikes the interference of an amateur in his cases.

I have to say that I enjoy Lord Peter’s sarcastic and droll wit. I especially like his comment to Mrs. Appledore: “Otherwise you might be findin’ your Christian feelin’s gettin’ the better of you some fine day, and there’s nothin’ like Christian feelin’s for upsettin’ a man’s domestic comfort”(25). This dig at Mrs. Appledore points out her hypocrisy and perhaps the hypocrisy of Christianity which is interesting considering there are prejudicial comments from characters about the Jewish faith.