September 27, 2016
MarkBernstein.org
 

Have His Carcase

Have His Carcase
Dorothy L. Sayers

(order)

(September 27, 2016)

Though it is a complex golden-age mystery that features Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey, this is still not one of Dorothy Sayers’ best efforts. Early Sayers relied on cardboard for her minor characters and that shows prominently here. Jews are particularly troublesome for Sayers, who couldn’t stay away even if her Jewish characters always give her trouble, but the two gigolos and the conductor who are at the center of this mystery are purely stock foreigners. She spends a lot of work on timetables and misleading clues, and not nearly enough work letting the people be people. By the time she got there – tentatively in Nine Tailors and then splendidly in Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon, she was nearly finished with mysteries.