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Old 01-15-2018, 02:24 PM   #11
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I saw that cover too and got a good chuckle. I was starting to wonder if there was going to be a cover that showed the key evidence visible in the bathtub.

<SNIP>

And most disappointing of all was the disaster of a wrap-up, with the great long confession over-explaining every detail. A real "first book" mistake of not trusting your readers to have kept up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post

This one I think suffers from the criticism that Agatha Christie gets - that the "puzzle" element of the murder is all and that the final solution is overly complicated. Worse than that Sayers indulges in that trope where she has characters say how unbelievable certain aspects of detective novels are.
I gather that the evidence in the bathtub only made it to the initial US edition; it was later purged as too graphic. It does alter the story a bit; it was different if they could say from the very start that the body was not Sir Reuben.

I think the whole business suffered from too much cleverness and self-consciousness. Starting with the names: the whimsical Lord Peter, the nosy-Parker Parker, the freakish patrician Julian Freke, the hybrid Christine Levy. Then between the long conversations and the letter at the end, whatever happened to show, don't tell? The resolution also suffered from being entirely preposterous, mountaineering experience notwithstanding. But the preposterous is par for the course during the Golden Age. It is a bit of a relief that Sayers managed to avoid the trope where Sir Julian was caught before he committed suicide.
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