Unnatural Death is the third in the Lord Peter Whimsey series. Themes dealt with: How many murders occur that no one knows about; Lord Peter’s meddling causes more deaths than if he had minded his own business; and there is also a surprising number of lesbians in it for such an old book. I’m becoming more and more convinced that WWII pushed the cultural revolution back from the 1940s to the 1960s. I’ve always wondered why there was such a long period of time between the thinkers of the revolution and when it happened. Anyway, everyone is very NTTAWWT about the lesbians. It reminds me very much of the running gag in Sherlock when everyone assumes that Sherlock and John are gay.
So, the basic plot is that Whimsey and Parker have a chance meeting with a doctor that is convinced that a elderly, cancerous patient of his shouldn’t have died. Naturally, the doctor can’t convince anyone else of this and is more or less run out of town for pushing the issue. The old woman had a phobia about her death (understandable, I think) and therefore could not bear to think about making up a will. Given that there is no direct descendent, a will would have been particularly helpful. Whimsey begins to investigate and there are several very strange encounters, a kidnapping and a couple more murders. Ms. Climpson makes her debut, much to Parker’s consternation. And in the end it has to do with a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo.
This was different in tone from the previous two novels. Dark and introspective with flashes of humor and ridiculousness that I liked.