Life is a Mystery: The Busman’s Honeymoon

Busman's Honeymoon Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Confession: I’m not into mystery.

I’m not just talking about handsome, brooding men with a secret past (although I’m not really into that, either. Except maybe the handsome part. Secret pasts and brooding, though: no, thank you). I’m talking about the literary genre.

To be fair, my lack of enthusiasm has more to do with my lack of exposure to the genre. I refused to read science fiction until a coworker forced me to read Ender’s Game, which is now one of my favorite books of all time.

A friend that I know, love, and trust is a huge Dorothy Sayers fan, and she happened to have an extra copy of The Busman’s Honeymoon. Apparently, a “busman’s holiday” is a working vacation, more or less. I’d never heard the term before this book.

Lord Peter Wimsey has just been married and whisks his bride off to her childhood home in the country for a secluded honeymoon. Things take a turn for the worse when the previous owner of the home is found dead in the basement.

The mystery part of this book was decent – I think I’ve been spoiled by too many plot twists, which is de rigeur in both lit and film these days. But the dialog was clever, and the cast of characters is tons of fun.

It did take awfully long to get to the mystery, though. I counted over a hundred pages before the body was finally discovered. If (like me) you haven’t read the series from the beginning, you might find this part a wee bit dull.

The book was a solid train read, but I do kind of wish I’d read the other Lord Peter Wimsey books before reading this one. There’s kind of a huge spoiler in the beginning, which takes away half the fun. But if you’re looking for a gentle introduction to the mystery genre, then I’d say that this series is a solid pick.

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