Dorothy Sayers is the master of the English mystery story and Sir Peter Wimsey is at his best in this story of ninety-year-old General Fentiman, found dead at the exclusive Bellona Club for no apparent reason.
Delos - reviewed The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, Bk 5) on
It is the perfect little English murder mystery, as far as the formula goes. I would think it would make a good introduction to the Lord Peter series, since the other ones might be too long and easy to lose interest. This one is pretty short, comparatively, with a plot that moves along fairly quickly. Few characters and lots of twists.
Old General Fentiman spends his days at the Bellona Club. His only descendants are his 2 grandsons Robert and George. While the General does not have a lot of money to pass on to them, his sister Felicity is very rich indeed and made a curious last will: If the General dies before her, the bulk of her estate goes to her companion, a young "artiste": Ms. Dorland. If she should die before the General, he will inherit the estate.
Of course, one morning finds both the General and his sister dead. But who died first? Felicity's death is due to pneumonia, but the General's is another matter. Lord Peter Wimsey who just happened to be in the Bellona Club at the time when the General was found dead in his favorite armchair suspects that the General has been dead a lot longer than it appears. This would spell good news for Ms. Dorland, but why is she insisting on a thorough examination of the body?