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Un cadaver para Harriet Vane

por Dorothy L. Sayers

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

Series: Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane (2), Lord Peter Wimsey (8)

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
3,126653,669 (4.02)261
When Harriet Vane finds a dead body on the beach, she and Lord Peter Wimsey must solve a murder when all the evidence has washed out to sea Harriet Vane has gone on vacation to forget her recent murder trial and, more importantly, to forget the man who cleared her name—the dapper, handsome, and maddening Lord Peter Wimsey. She is alone on a beach when she spies a man lying on a rock, surf lapping at his ankles. She tries to wake him, but he doesn’t budge. His throat has been cut, and his blood has drained out onto the sand. As the tide inches forward, Harriet makes what observations she can and photographs the scene. Finally, she goes for the police, but by the time they return the body has gone. Only one person can help her discover how the poor man died at the beach: Lord Peter, the amateur sleuth who won her freedom and her heart in one fell swoop. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.… (más)
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Inglés (60)  Danés (2)  Alemán (1)  Sueco (1)  Todos los idiomas (64)
Mostrando 1-5 de 64 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Many murder mysteries have been given odds titles, but “Have His Carcase” (1932) by Dorothy L. Sayers must be one of the oddest, at least for American readers. Yet for its time and place it is actually a very good title. Under British law, the Have-His-Carcase Act, you cannot hold an inquest into a death until you have a body.

In this clever, always interesting novel, there is photographic evidence of a death, yet the body is swept out to sea by the tide, so for about half the book the sleuths, both professional and amateur, can only speculate.

Mystery writer Harriet Vane, herself a murder suspect until cleared after the intervention of Lord Peter Wimsey in a previous novel, discovers a young man with his throat cut along the coast. She finds fresh blood and a razor, but no footprints in the sand other than hers and the victim's. Realizing the tide is coming in, she takes a few photographs and then leaves to summon help

The body soon disappears, but Wimsey arrives, still trying to get Harriet to marry him. He believes it's a murder case, even through the local police and, eventually, the inquest say it's a suicide.

The victim had supported himself by dancing with wealthy older women at a nearby hotel. One of these women says the man had promised to marry her.

Other than the missing body, the case's other major complication is that two men, including this woman's son, had been behaving suspiciously, but both have ironclad alibis for the time of the murder. But if they didn't murder the man, who did?

When I devoured the Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries back in the late Sixties and early Seventies, I considered “Have His Carcase” my favorite. This rereading doesn't change my opinion. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Jun 23, 2022 |
This is one of the most delightful of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. The story is a bit of a locked-room mystery with a body discovered on a rock on the beach with no extra set of footprints of a potential murderer. Each chapter uncovers new and sometimes contradictory clues. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane tackle this mystery together and their sparkling dialog is very entertaining. ( )
  M_Clark | Jun 23, 2022 |
Another romp of a “Golden Age” detective story, gently poking fun at the complexity of the detective tradition with great good humour. I got lost and skipped parts of the chapter concerning the detailed solving of a cipher, but otherwise the story moved apace with wonderful period detail. I enjoyed references to (now vintage) cars, the (Lyons) Corner House at Piccadilly and the gold standard (published in 1932, the book was written before Britain came off the gold standard in 1931). But I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the hotels, guest houses, Winter Gardens and evening dancing, with professional partners.

Sayers delights in describing her detective hero, Lord Peter Wimsey, and heroine, Harriet Vane:
“Wimsey was lingering lovingly over his bacon and eggs, so as to leave no restless and unfilled moment in his morning. By which it may be seen that his lordship had reached that time of life when a man can draw an Epicurean enjoyment even from his own passions - the halcyon period between the self-tormenting exuberance of youth and the fretful carpe diem of approaching senility.” ( )
  CarltonC | Apr 18, 2022 |
Enjoyed this very much on the first read, lo those many years ago.

Re-read as audio book -- quite disappointing, as it turned out to be a full cast BBC reading instead of the excellent Ian Carmichael, and I'm pretty sure it was also abridged. Still, the mystery is good, and Harriet and Peter relating to each other as humans and sleuths was delightful. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Have His Carcase
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #8
Author: Dorothy Sayers
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 374
Words: 139K

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

During a hiking holiday on the South West coast of England, the detective novelist Harriet Vane discovers the body of a man lying on an isolated rock on the shore, not far from the resort of Wilvercombe; his throat has been cut. Harriet takes photographs and notes that death must have been very recent as the man's blood is still liquid. There are no footprints in the sand other than hers and those of the victim. Unfortunately, the corpse is washed away by the rising tide before she can summon help.

Alerted to the discovery by a friend, Lord Peter Wimsey arrives, and he and Harriet start their investigations. The victim is identified as Paul Alexis, a young man of Russian extraction, employed by a Wilvercombe hotel as a professional dancing partner. The police tend to the view that Alexis's death was suicide and that he had cut his own throat.

Wimsey and Harriet discover that in the period leading up to his death Alexis, an avid reader of Ruritanian romances, had believed himself to be a descendant of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. A series of cipher letters received from an unknown source convinced him that he was being called to return to Russia to take his place as the new rightful Tsar.

Alexis had been engaged to a rich widow in her fifties, Mrs Weldon. Her son, Henry Weldon, ten years older than his mother's lover and by all appearances a simple and brutish man, is appalled at the prospect of his mother's remarriage to a gigolo, and at his potential loss of inheritance. He travels to Wilvercombe to monitor the investigation while ostensibly comforting his mother after her loss. Weldon appears to be a likely murder suspect, but he has an unshakeable alibi for the time of Alexis's death – as do a large number of other possible suspects.

Alexis's death, staged to look like suicide, is gradually revealed to be the result of an ingenious murder plot that played upon Alexis's fantasies. He had been lured to the rock by his anonymous correspondent who urged him to be ready to meet a 'Rider from the Sea', a rider who it was said would be carrying instructions for his onward journey to Warsaw. Once at the rock, Alexis met his death at the hand of the murderer who had ridden his horse along the beach through the incoming tide to avoid leaving tracks.

Wimsey and Harriet ultimately realise that Weldon is not the simple character he has been presenting, but a criminal who has been living under two different identities. Weldon was himself the rider, and had been provided with his alibi by two co-conspirators, a friend and his wife. Although his alibi was secure for the believed time of death, the investigators discover that Alexis had died far earlier than had been thought. The still-liquid and unclotted blood noted by Harriet when she found the body had been the result of Alexis's haemophilia. Weldon and his co-conspirators are undone by their unsuccessful attempts to reshuffle their alibis to match the new information about the time of death.

Even as Wimsey and Harriet solve the case, Mrs Weldon has already moved on to another gigolo at the hotel, a sympathetic French dancer named Antoine.

My Thoughts:

I had taken a break from Lord Peter Wimsey after the last book dealt with train schedules in excruciating detail. I do mean excruciating. I read that last August and I figured 5'ish months was probably a good enough of a break, so I dived into this book with fresh vim and vigor.

Only to have all that vim and vigor squashed like so much many sta-puff marshmallows as Lord Peter Wimsey and his beloved Harriet discuss every single way that 2-3 people could get to a specific rock on the coast in time to cut someone's throat at 2pm, using a combination of horses, walking, and possibly bicycles and automobiles. After I skipped pages and pages and had just come up for air, thinking that maybe I had survived it just fine, then the author takes me down a path of code breaking. Once again, in excruciating detail.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have come to the following conclusions, based on my own keen deductive skills.

Mystery readers are not a homogeneous group

Some mystery readers just want to piggyback on the overall story

Some mystery readers want to solve the mystery themselves

Some mystery readers want to solve the mystery BEFORE the detective in the story does

Some mystery readers are dolts who the author panders too, thus making every other mystery reader suffer agonies, probably excruciating agonies

While I have zero issues with the overall plots and characters (I rather like them in fact), I simply can't stand the level of detail that is given. I don't want to solve the mystery. I suspect that Sayers is writing her stories for the Other Kind of mystery readers. I'm going to read one more Wimsey novel and see how it pans out. Should the exacting details continue, I'll be done with her.

One funny thing that happened while reading this was that I had misread the title as Have His Carcass, which made total sense as Harriet finds a dead body. Then partway through I realized it was Carcase and was waiting for an automobile to get involved. When it didn't show up, I went and did a little Grammar Investigating. Turns out “carcase” is an alternate form of “carcass”. I didn't do any more digging so I'm not sure if its an American English vs Kings English thing, or an Old vs New spelling thing. Do you know?

★★★☆☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Jan 26, 2022 |
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» Añade otros autores (12 posibles)

Nombre del autorRolTipo de autor¿Obra?Estado
Sayers, Dorothy L.autor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Bayer, OttoTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Bergvall, SonjaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Bleck, CathieArtista de Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Carmichael, IanNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
George, ElizabethIntroducciónautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Griffini, Grazia MariaTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Juva, KerstiTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Ledwidge, NatachaIlustradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Marber, RomekArtista de Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Michal, MarieArtista de Cubiertaautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
Næsted, HenningTraductorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think, repose upon a manly bosom.
[Author's Note] In 'The Five Herrings', the plot was invented to fit a locality; in this book, the locality has been invented to fit the plot.
[Introduction] I came to the wonderful detective novels of Dorothy L. Sayers in a way that would probably make that distinguished novelist spin in her grave.
Citas
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I have seen unpleasant cases, difficult cases, complicated cases, and even contradictory cases, but a case founded on stark unreason I have never met before.
'You mean,' went on Wimsey, 'that they think in clichés.'

'Eh?'

‘Formulae. “There's nothing like a mother's instinct” “Dogs and children always know.” “Kind hearts are more than coronets." “Suffering refines the character”—that sort of guff, despite all evidence to the contrary.'
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Wikipedia en inglés

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When Harriet Vane finds a dead body on the beach, she and Lord Peter Wimsey must solve a murder when all the evidence has washed out to sea Harriet Vane has gone on vacation to forget her recent murder trial and, more importantly, to forget the man who cleared her name—the dapper, handsome, and maddening Lord Peter Wimsey. She is alone on a beach when she spies a man lying on a rock, surf lapping at his ankles. She tries to wake him, but he doesn’t budge. His throat has been cut, and his blood has drained out onto the sand. As the tide inches forward, Harriet makes what observations she can and photographs the scene. Finally, she goes for the police, but by the time they return the body has gone. Only one person can help her discover how the poor man died at the beach: Lord Peter, the amateur sleuth who won her freedom and her heart in one fell swoop. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dorothy L. Sayers including rare images from the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College.

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