Monday, September 2, 2019

Unnatural Death audio novel

Unnatural Death (1927) by Dorothy L. Sayers; read by Ian Carmichael  ★★★★

Forging ahead with my audio "rereads" of the mystery novels of Dorothy L. Sayers, I have finished listening to Ian Carmichael's rendition of the third book in the Lord Peter Wimsey chronicles. As with the other Sayers books I've listened to this year, I will not be doing an in-depth review of the story. Those interested in my thoughts about the plot may click above--it links to the review I posted when I read all the Wimsey novels for the As My Whimsy Takes Me Challenge in 2011. 

I, of course, thoroughly enjoyed listening to Carmichael read to me. His was the first filmed version of Wimsey that I saw and, despite the excellent portrayal by Edward Petherbridge, will always be Wimsey in my mind. The only thing that could have made the Carmichael audio versions better would have been to have Glyn Houston read the Bunter portions. 

I was struck even more so than when I read it myself previously by how Wimsey's crusade to prove the doctor correct--that there really was some kind of hanky-panky in the death of Agatha Daswon--managed to result in several more deaths and the attempted murder of both Lord Peter and his right-hand woman Miss Climpson. It poses a moral dilemma--was it better to bring a murderer to justice or would it have been better to leave well enough alone and save lives? I still feel that even if Lord Peter had curbed his curiosity the killer had such a personality that next person to get in their way (in whatever form) probably would have been dispatched as well. 

I had a particularly good moment of fun this time round when Peter decides to take Charles to meet Miss Climpson. Poor Charles is certain that Peter has chosen this moment (for reasons known best to himself) to introduce his friend to his "kept woman." It proves how very fond Charles is of Peter that he plunges on through his discomfort just so Peter can share this bit of his private life. And, as always, it was a delight to listen to Miss Climpson in action--and Carmichael's interpretation of her exclamatory (!) and underlined reports. Another fun audio romp. 

Deaths: 4 (3 injected with empty hypo; one strangled)

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