Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

Dorothy L. Sayers

  —   6.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Mystery

It begins, naturally enough, with a death: the death of an old man at the club. A natural death, as it seems, but the timing of the death is very important for inheritance purposes, so Lord Peter Wimsey is asked to help out. In the course of his investigations, he determines that the death could not have happened at the time that it ifrst appeared, which meant that someone had interfered with the body. And, of course, as it is a matter of inheritance, the possibility arises that it could be murder.

Of course, there's many people who could have wanted the old man to die at a particular time, and many of them are abrasive enough to seem capable of it. And yet, Peter is sure that a murderer would be far more subtle than that...

This is an interesting book primarily because of the gentleman's club, an institution that has largely vanished from the American landscape. (I have no direct knowledge of its presence or absence from the British landscape.) Another thing that seems to have ebbed is the concept of "doing the right thing" by sacrificing oneself so as to protect another. It is a portrait of a world that no longer exists

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