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The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928)

de Dorothy L. Sayers

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Lord Peter Wimsey (5)

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2,620744,059 (3.85)237
The elegant, intelligent amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is one of detective literature's most popular creations. Ian Carmichael is the personification of Dorothy L. Sayers' charming investigator in this BBC Radio full-cast dramatization. The dignified calm of the Bellona Club is shattered when Lord Wimsey finds General Fentiman dead in his favorite chair. A straighforward death by natural causes? Perhaps, but why can no one remember seeing the general the day he died? And who is the mysterious Mr. Oliver? Lord Peter moves between London and Paris, salon and suburbs, to unfold the intriguing case.… (mais)
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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey #4
Author: Dorothy Sayers
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 208
Words: 76K

Synopsis:


From Wikipedia

On the afternoon of 10 November, ninety-year-old General Fentiman is called to the deathbed of his estranged sister, Lady Dormer, and learns that under the terms of her will he stands to inherit most of her substantial fortune – money sorely needed by his grandsons Robert and George Fentiman. However, should the General die first, nearly everything will go to Lady Dormer's companion, Ann Dorland.

Lady Dormer dies the next morning, Armistice Day, and that afternoon the General is found dead in his armchair at the Bellona Club. Dr Penberthy, a Club member and the General's personal physician, certifies death by natural causes but is unable to state the exact time of death. As the estate would amply provide for all three claimants, and as it is unknown whether the General or his sister died first, the Fentiman brothers suggest a negotiated settlement with Ann Dorland, but she surprisingly and vehemently refuses. Wimsey is asked to investigate.

Unusually, nobody saw the General arrive at the Club at his usual time of 10 am. His manservant reports that the General did not return home after visiting his sister the day before. An unknown man by the name of Oliver telephoned to say that the General would be spending the night with him. Robert Fentiman says that he knows of Oliver, and much time is spent chasing the elusive individual though several countries before Robert admits that he does not actually exist.

Wimsey discovers that after seeing his sister the General had felt ill and had consulted Dr Penberthy. He then travelled to the Club, meeting George Fentiman en route. There he informed Robert of the terms of the will and very shortly afterwards was found dead in the library, apparently of natural causes. Piqued at losing his inheritance, Robert concealed the body overnight, and invented Oliver to cover up the death. The next day, while the Club members had stepped outside to observe the usual two minutes' silence at 11 am, Robert moved the body to an armchair to be found later.

Wimsey is still unsatisfied as to the cause of death, and has the body exhumed and re-examined. The General had been poisoned with an overdose of the heart medication digitalis. When this becomes known, Ann Dorland, who has an obvious motive, suddenly and suspiciously agrees to the proposed compromise with the Fentimans.

Wimsey finds Ann Dorland distressed by the callous and humiliating behaviour of Dr Penberthy, to whom she had been secretly engaged. It was he, with an eye on her expected inheritance, who had insisted she should refuse the compromise and fight for the whole estate. However, as soon as it became known that the General had been poisoned he broke the engagement off, ensuring Ann's embarrassed silence by giving highly insulting reasons.

Wimsey works out what had happened. When the General had consulted Dr Penberthy after seeing his sister, he had mentioned the will, and Penberthy realised that if the General did not die at once his fiancée would not inherit. He gave the General a massive dose of digitalis, to be taken later that evening when Penberthy would not be in attendance. He was however present next day when the body was discovered and, in spite of Robert's intervention which confused the time, was able without raising suspicions to certify a natural death.

Penberthy writes a confession publicly exonerating Ann Dorland, then shoots himself in the Club library. In an epilogue, it is revealed that the three original claimants to the estate have divided it equitably, and that Robert is now dating Ann.

My Thoughts:

Another good entry, hurray!

This was a great murder(or was it?) mystery and the obvious suspects were so obvious that I had to dismiss them even while having no way to figure out who actually did. That type of thing was annoying to me when Poirot would do that to the readers, but here, we're getting things from Wimsey's view so of course our knowledge is limited. So for whatever reason, not knowing or being able to figure stuff out didn't bother me. Probably helps that Wimsey isn't a self-righteous, arrogant, piece of crap like Poirot. Detective Parker is a good foil to Wimsey and I have to admit I wish he'd been a little more involved

I don't have a lot to say about this even while thoroughly enjoying the story. While not a palate cleanser (mainly because I was looking and my SFF reading, while still a majority, has taken a steep nosedive in terms of percentages) it was just a nice, undemanding, relaxing and generally pleasant read. Wimsey's ego doesn't impinge in my own, so we're going to get along famously.

And I suspect I will be able to copy/paste that previous paragraph for all the books, unless more french letters and lawyers get involved!

★★★✬☆ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Mar 7, 2021 |
Sort of a high 3, rounded up. I prefer #3 (in Goodread's list, #4 is linked short stories, #3 was the last novel) to #5 as the characters were more engaging, especially the delightful Miss Climpson. This one's good, just not quite as good. Worth reading! (Or in my case, re-reading).

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
Another thoroughly entertaining and fascinating Wimsey mystery. ( )
  JBD1 | Oct 5, 2020 |
Old General Fentiman and his sister Lady Dormer die within hours of each other, throwing their combined million-pound fortune in limbo, with three grasping, desperate heirs. Lord Peter is called in to determine when the General actually died and thus, to settle who inherits the bulk of the estate.

The first half of the book was a lot of fun, as Peter & co try to hammer out the timeline of the General's last day. When they discover that he was actually murdered, and it becomes a criminal investigation, things start to drag down a bit. The whodunit was bittersweet; the ending quite sad. I think if the story had ended after the first half, it would've been much better.

All of the Fentimans were assholes. It was hard to read about Robert being an unrepentant fraud; George being crazy, mean, spiteful, and downright cruel to his poor wife; Ann Dorland being an ugly, unwanted, friendless spinster. How Lord Peter put up with any of them is beyond me, though I understood his sympathy for Ann. I didn't care for him not confiding in his BFF (and soon to be Chief Detective Inspector) Charles Parker because he didn't want to betray his fellow soldier. C'mon, Peter, that's not the hill you want to die on. ( )
  eurohackie | Aug 7, 2020 |
I kinda disliked the last third/final twist of this novel, and found the first half a bit predictable, but I continue to enjoy the characters and the writing tremendously, so this may just be my general dislike of mysteries. ( )
  _rixx_ | May 24, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Sayers, Dorothy L.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bayer, OttoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bergvall, SonjaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bleck, CathieArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Carmichael, IanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Casas, FloraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
George, ElizabethIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Griffini, Grazia MariaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lohse, GudrunTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Luho, HelenaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Martens, Hilda MariaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Palmiste, EndelKujundaja.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Torim, MilviKujundaja.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"What in the world, Wimsey, are you doing in this morgue?" demanded Captain Fentiman, flinging aside the "Evening Banner" with the air of a man released from an irksome duty.
[Afterword] The year 1920 is the generally accepted dawn of the Golden Age of detective fiction.
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This is the main work for The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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The elegant, intelligent amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is one of detective literature's most popular creations. Ian Carmichael is the personification of Dorothy L. Sayers' charming investigator in this BBC Radio full-cast dramatization. The dignified calm of the Bellona Club is shattered when Lord Wimsey finds General Fentiman dead in his favorite chair. A straighforward death by natural causes? Perhaps, but why can no one remember seeing the general the day he died? And who is the mysterious Mr. Oliver? Lord Peter moves between London and Paris, salon and suburbs, to unfold the intriguing case.

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