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YMMV / Lord Peter Wimsey

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  • Complete Monster: Mary Whittaker from Unnatural Death cold-bloodedly murders her doting great-aunt; sacks, hunts down and murders her innocent maidservant; seduces and murders a trusting village girl; attempts to drug and murder both Lord Peter and an unsuspecting solicitor; bludgeons and attempts to murder Miss Climpson (who was collecting for charity at the time,) and tries to have her distant cousin, a devoted clergyman, hanged for her crimes. Her only motive was securing an inheritance that she would almost certainly have received anyway.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Unnatural Death has a killer who kills leaving no trace except heart failure. I wonder how he or she does it ...
    • Five Red Herrings is built around public transport timetables, and at one point there's a discussion between several people where each one in turn recommends their preference for getting to Glasgow by train. These days, it reads exactly like the Monty Python "Neville Shunte" sketch.
  • Ho Yay: Peter and Bunter, Peter and Parker, Harriet and Dr. Martin, every female who sets foot in the S.C.R. for more than a few seconds at a time, Whitaker and Findlater, Agatha and goes on. It's rather shocking for the twenties and thirties.
  • Jerkass Woobie: George Fentiman is singularly bad-tempered, and infamous in his family for bullying his devoted wife. He also suffers from severe PTSD and chronic organ dysfunction from being gassed in the War, and suffers frequent self-destructive psychotic episodes.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Doctor Wetherall in "The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey"
  • Nightmare Fuel: The effects of being inside a belfry when the bells are ringing in The Nine Tailors.
  • Retroactive Recognition: In the BBC Radio adaptation of Strong Poison, Nurse Booth is voiced by Joan Hickson. It's faintly incongruous to hear Miss Climpson as the investigative little old lady running rings round Miss Marple herself.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: See Motive Rant on the main page. Earlier in the series, it's hard to know which aspect of Sir Julian Freke's evil is most disturbing. Is it the creepy sexual jealousy, the anti-Semitism, or the "I'm a genius, so I'm above mundane considerations of good and evil"?
  • Values Dissonance: In-story. "Wot this country really needs is a 'Itler." It takes place (and was written) before the war broke out.
    • Also, the part in Murder Must Advertise where they discuss how to get more people to smoke cigarettes.
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    • Many of the academics in Gaudy Night argue in favour of what would now be considered human rights abuses - including forced sterilisations and other eugenics programs, and medical experimentation on prisoners.
    • There's also the casual anti-Semitism and xenophobia/racism re: "foreigners"—very characteristic of the period, but rather especially unattractive coming from such an obviously literate and intelligent author:
    "This gentleman, rather curly in the nose and fleshy about the eyelids, nevertheless came under Mr. Chesterton's definition of a nice Jew, for his name was neither Montagu nor McDonald, but Nathan Abrahams, and he greeted Lord Peter with a hospitality amounting to enthusiasm."
    • And everyone knows the lower classes would have no qualms about stealing a body lying in state. Of course in all justice the body was much disliked in life and the mastermind is a gentleman, and anyway they were doing it so a friend won't be done out of his inheritance. Also they are careful to treat the body as reverently as possible, laying it out in an old chapel with flowers and everything once they've secured it.
    • Then there's Peter's casual line in Have His Carcase that he always drives more mellowly after a pint of beer.
    • The police constable in "The Haunted Policeman", with whom the reader is intended to sympathise, nevertheless is openly racist about a dark-skinned servant on his beat.
  • The Woobie: Poor Bunter...
    • Peter too, particularly when he has WWI flashbacks.
    • Alice Wetherall


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