Background: A book jar is a pretty, positive way of gathering together all the titles you want to read or have on your To Be Read pile onto slips of coloured paper so you can add an element of surprise into your reading and do away with long, ever changing lists. I made mine back in March and it seems to have inspired quite a few people to have a go making their own. :)
After my last book jar pick (Arthur C Clarke as a wildcard choice) it’s time to draw the first choice of 2014. I’ve decided to go for one of the green slips – these are the ones with titles from 1900-1950 on them. I’m hoping for something not quite so out of my comfort zone as sci-fi!
My fifth pick is: Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
Hmm. Well mystery novels are less out of my comfort zone than sci-fi or Henry James but I read almost no mystery titles these days which is how this ended up in the book jar; it will be my first ever novel by Sayers.
In fact, odd as it sounds, I’m more familiar with Sayers as a translator: I’m a fan of her version of Dante’s Divine Comedy which tries to keep the complicated rhyme scheme of the original poem (most modern versions go for blank verse or adapt it in some way, including Clive James’ latest translation.)
However, that was written in the 1950s and Whose Body?, her debut novel, was first published in 1923. It’s the book that introduced her famous detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, to the world and he proved so popular a sleuth that Sayers went on to feature him in a dozen novels and many short stories.
Unlike other famous long-running characters or sleuths from the era (like Jeeves or Poirot for example) I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen a TV or radio adaptation of a Wimsey mystery so all this really will be brand new to me and I’m rather excited.
Perhaps I’ll discover a whole new series to dig into…? Or perhaps I’ll find myself unable to shake memories of W Somerset Maugham’s problem with fictional sleuths?
Since I don’t have a copy of this one I’ve reserved it from the library, expect my thoughts in a week or two. :)