Whose Body?

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.6 stars; 272 reviews)

The novel begins with a telephone call to Wimsey from his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, saying that her vicar’s architect has just found a dead body in his bath, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez. Whose body is it? Whodunnit? It’s up to Lord Peter to find out. (Summary by Kara and Wikipedia) (6 hr 30 min)


Chapter 01 23:15 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 02 31:43 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 03 23:56 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 04 40:40 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 05 43:33 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 06 51:13 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 07 30:25 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 08 16:59 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 09 24:20 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 10 36:37 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 11 19:11 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)
Chapter 12 14:38 Read by Kara Shallenberg (1969-2023)
Chapter 13 34:18 Read by Kristin Hughes (1974-2021)


A body in a bath wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez . . .

(5 stars)

From Wikipedia: Wimsey's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, telephones to say that Thipps, the architect her vicar has hired to do some work on the church, has just found a dead body in the bath in the flat where he lives: a body wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez. Ignoring the clumsy efforts of the official investigator, Inspector Sugg, who suspects Thipps and his servant, Wimsey starts his own enquiry. Meanwhile, Sir Reuben Levy, a famous financier, has apparently disappeared into thin air in his own bedroom, and there has been an odd little flurry of trading in some mining shares, long believed defunct. Inspector Parker, Wimsey's friend, is investigating this. The corpse in the bath is not Levy, but as matters unfold Wimsey becomes convinced that the two are linked. The trail leads to the prestigious teaching hospital next door to the architect's flat, and to the eminent surgeon and neurologist Sir Julian Freke who is based there. Wimsey finally unravels the gruesome truth: Freke murdered Sir Reuben and staged his 'disappearance' from home, having borne a grudge for years over Lady Levy, who chose to marry Sir Reuben rather than him. He also engineered the trading in mining shares, to lure Sir Reuben to his death. He dismembered Sir Reuben and gave him to his students to dissect, substituting his body for that of a pauper donated to the hospital for that purpose, who bore a superficial resemblance to Sir Reuben. The pauper's body, washed, shaved and manicured, was then carried over the roofs and dumped in Thipps' bath as a joke. Freke's belief that conscience and guilt are inconvenient physiological aberrations, which may be cut out and discarded, are an explanation for his monstrous conduct. He attempts to murder both Parker and Wimsey, and finally tries suicide when his actions are discovered, but is arrested in time. The book establishes many of Wimsey's character traits - for example, his interest in rare books, the nervous problems associated with his wartime shell-shock, and his ambiguous feelings about catching criminals for a hobby - and also introduces many characters who recur in later novels, such as Parker, Bunter, Sugg, and the Dowager Duchess. My Comments: This audiobook brings together two of Librivox's best readers. Kara and Kristen alternate chapters in this twisting murder mystery. Neither of them rely heavily on "character voices", it's a straight read, very well done, that brings Peter Wimsey and this wonderful cast of characters to life.

A wickedly fun story with great reading

(5 stars)

This story was well crafted. Almost as gruesome as some of our mysteries today without all the blood and gore. This story was enjoyable. I loved the line where, I think it was Parker, said "this is absolute sugary," referring to inspector Sug the bumbling man at Scotland Yard. What an insult that must have been to Lord Peter who should really be the one working for Scotland Yard. The readers were both excellent, many many thanks!

More Sayers, please!

(5 stars)

I've loved the TV shows based on the books but this is the 1st book of Sayers for me. I loved it & the characters! I even laughed when Peter was reading a letter from his butler as I found the letter to be hilarious!


(5 stars)

This was my first time with D.L. Sayers. She is marvellous. Her dialogue is fantastic, and it was excellently read by Kara and Kristen!

(4.5 stars)

Hope to see many more of these Lord Peter series,one.of.my favorites. Great.job of reading. Thanks enjoyed it alot

(4 stars)

4 stars ⭐️ I’m so happy that I enjoyed this book. I read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers a month ago, and was really turned off to the Lord Peter Wimsey series. I really wanted to like it, though! I decided to go back to the beginning and give the first book in the series a try. Side note: I know that Gaudy Night is much later in the series, but I read it alongside the Literary Life podcast, and they assured their listeners that you didn’t need to read the previous books in the series to enjoy Gaudy Night. They were wrong ha! I found a LibriVox recording of Whose Body, and was so excited to see how short it was - exactly 6.5 hours! I’ve listened to quite a few 15 hour audiobooks lately, so this was a nice quick read (listen). I highly recommend the LibriVox version of this book! Also it’s free, so that’s a plus! I believe it’s the only version on LibriVox. I loved how straightforward this book was! It was a true detective novel - here’s a problem, bring in the police and Lord Peter, conduct the investigation, let Lord Peter do his detective thing (reminded me very much of Poirot’s methods), and expose the murderer. I am a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie’s novels, and this book felt very similar, which was a nice surprise. I was so surprised at how this murder was accomplished, as well as who the killer was, and impressed at Lord Peter’s methods (and Bunter!) of drawing information out of people. This book was really wonderful, and a nice short introduction to the world of Lord Peter Wimsey. But also very authentic to the style of the detective novel. Now going back to the first novel in the series, I highly recommend starting with the first book, rather than trying to jump into the series at random. I almost did that with a Poirot novel, but decided to start from the beginning to get a feel for the character of Poirot. I think especially in these detective series (Poirot, Miss Marple, Lord Peter, etc) it’s important to read the first book first to understand the character, since that influences the entire series of books. They are the main character and you should probably like them if you’re reading their series. I think I can now say that I’m on the Lord Peter train! Looking forward to the next book in the series!

Brilliant example of the amateur detective genre

(5 stars)

If you're looking for a mix between Wodehouse and Christie, the Lord Peter Wimsey books are definitely for you. Good old clue-solving in old Britain, with some surprisingly deep characterisation of our main character. He's not just one of the idle rich (which he definitely is), but there's more to him. Pleasant narration as well, all of the voices understandable and of good audio quality.

Whose Body

(5 stars)

Excellent reading. Of course, D. L. Sayers is a true master. I'll wager that this will be listened to and read come 2099 and still enjoyed. I have been listening to the Audio for some time now and truly appreciate those reading volunteers. Since I am now on the retired roster, I do believe that I will try my hand at reading for LibriVox and see if I pass muster.