The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club – Dorothy L. Sayers


Refined, quirky, and intelligent are the first words that come to mind when describing this Peter Wimsey mystery, followed by undeniably English with that dry humor that can be delivered with a stiff upper lip, but left me giggling aloud. For example from page 15:

‘Acid man you are,’ said Wimsey. ‘No reverence, no simple faith or anything of that kind. Do lawyers ever go to heaven?’

‘I have no information on that point,’ said Mr. Murbles dryly.

What’s not to love?

The center of the story is the death of two elderly siblings and the question of which one of them died first. This has importance regarding the wills. However, the story is anything but simple and spirals outward from there in an all together organic way. The story takes place in the 1920s and the exquisite storyline is coupled with an intricate portrait of the era. The result is a murder mystery of the highest order. This is one of those few books that I enjoy so much that I want to read it again from a writer’s point of view. The craftmanship is exemplary.

Recommending this novel is fairly easy; readers who enjoy mysteries and/or historical fiction will love it. My caveat would be remembering that this novel was written in the 1920s, do not expect the fast paced action of today’s crime novels. Enjoy.


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