Spending a bit of quality time with Lord Peter Wimsey always makes me cheerful. I prefer him in the full-length novel environment where his intelligence, wit, humour and humanity can shine to their fullest extent, but there's nothing wrong with meeting him in the short story format. It's rather like having a friend drop by for a quick visit. You may prefer to have him stay for the weekend so you can catch up properly, but a cup of tea or even a chat on the phone is better than not seeing him at all.
Lord Peter appears in all twelve stories in this collection, which was originally published in 1928. Some of the stories are distinctly better than others. However, all of them are readable and all of them are of interest to a true fan of the sophisticated and urbane amateur detective and his equally fascinating creator. A number of the stories play with themes which are central in Lord Peter Wimsey novels published during the 1930s: for example, how a person found on a beach could have been murdered when there is only one set of footsteps to be found in the sand comes up again in Have His Carcase, which was published in 1932.
This short story collection is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys the novels of Dorothy L Sayers and is a fan of Golden Age British crime fiction. Anyone who hasn't read Sayers would be better advised to start with the novels and casual readers should know the following. The resolution of one of the stories depends on Lord Peter having a superior understanding of the French language and early in that story there is a long section of dialogue in French without translation. In another, the solution to the mystery involves working out a complicated crossword puzzle (which completely lost me!). In another, much is made of various types and vintages of French wine. None of this will come as a surprise to Sayers fans. Other readers have been warned!