Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers

A classic author from the golden era of mysteries, Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her series featuring nobleman-detective Lord Peter Wimsey.

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Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers


Features

  • Paperback: 285 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (paper); Reissue edition (March 1987)
  • ASIN: 0060550341


    Reader Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful: One of Sayers Best, July 15, 2002 Reviewer: Barbara Weber from Portland Documents in the Case is unlike Sayers' other mysteries. It is in the form, first of all, of documents: letters, newspaper clippings, etc. Secondly, it does not feature Lord Peter Wimsey. It is, however, an intensely interesting book. The characters, with the exception of the femme fatale (who is convincing but entirely unlikable), are portrayed sympathetically and the reader comes away with a sense of the complexity of human nature in general and of the novel's characters specifically. No one is all good or all bad or all anything. The victim--a fussy, middle-class, conservative husband--is drawn with great insight and compassion. Equally so, the murderer, for all the cruelty of the murder, is not unlikable and even pitiable. The main narrator has many of the same personality quirks as Lord Peter Wimsey--a reluctance to get involved, oversensitivity and feelings of self-doubt--but his motives are, I think, more convincing. His quirks are less mannerisms and more part and parcel of his character (as eventually happens with Wimsey). Like all the other characters, he is flawed but comprehensible. In fact, the book is a most unpretentious novel. I enjoy Sayers very much and consider myself a Wimsey fan, but Documents in the Case is, to my mind, a far more realistic and thoughtful mystery than some of Sayers' better known works. The mileau is middle-class. The victim's son (who is collecting the documents) is noble-minded but imperfect: hard to like even when you want him to "win". And the characters are truly impacted by the murder. The murder itself is interesting enough but much more interesting is the theme that runs alongside the murder: the "lop-sidedness" of life in general, the idea that living things can never achieve the cookie-cutter perfection of synthetic creations. Recommendation: Give it a try if you are interested in Sayers' work beyond Wimsey (and if you don't mind reading books in letter or document form). --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition

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