A Detective’s Self-Awareness

“Sugg’s a beautiful braying ass,” said Lord Peter. “He’s like a detective in a novel” (Sayers 13)

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009.

Within a small set of lines, we are given a self-aware and nearly parodic atmosphere to the novel, in which Lord Peters is acting as a detective within a detective novel claiming that someone else is a detective in a novel. This was also present when Sherlock Holmes was mentioned, in the first chapter. This gives the impression that the story is not about someone who happens to be interested in being a detective. Instead, Lord Peters is inspired, as Sayers most likely was, by detective novels and they were what encouraged him to go solve these mysteries, even though he has no occupational connection with the authorities. The fact that he is not aware that he is, in fact, a detective in a novel adds to the humor of the passage.