“The Duchess was always of the greatest assistance to his hobby of criminal investigation, though she never alluded to it, and maintained a polite fiction of its non-existence.”
Sayers, Dorothy L. Mineola: Dover Publications, 1923. Print
Note: Refers to his own mother as “the duchess” distanced relationship, doesn’t really care about it/him? What is she really thinking? Is she just a busy-body or does she have ulterior motives?
“Ten to one he will overlook my trousers and mistake me for the undertaker. A grey suit, I fancy, neat but not gaudy, with a hat to tone, suits my other better self. Exit the amateur of first editions; new motive introduced by solo bassoon; enter Sherlock Holmes, disguised as a walking gentleman. There goes Bunter. Invaluable fellow— never offers to do his job when you’ve told him to do somethin’ else. Hope he doesn’t miss the ‘Four Sons of Aymon.’ Still, there is another copy of that— in the Vatican. It might become available, you never know—if the Church of Rome went to pot or Switzerland invaded Italy—whereas a strange corpse doesn’t turn up in a suburban bathroom more than once in a lifetime —at least, I should think not—at any rate, the number of times it’s happened, with a pince-nez, might be counted on the fingers of one hand, I imagine. Dear me! it’s a dreadful mistake to ride two hobbies at once” (4).
Sayers, Dorothy L. Whose Body? Mineola: Dover Publications, 1923. Print
“Lord Peter’s library was one of the most delightful bachelor rooms in London. Its scheme was black and primrose; its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the houris. In one corner stood a black baby grand, a wood fire leaped on a wide old-fashioned hearth, and the Sevres vases on the chimneypiece were filled with ruddy and gold chrysanthemums. (11)
Notes: This passage caught my attention particularly because of the details. Through the description that Sayers provides, it’s evident that Lord Peter is of the upper class and has very good taste. He seems to be an admirer of old fashioned things judging from the rare editions of books in his bookcases.
“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.
“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.