Lord Peter Wimsey
Lord Peter Wimsey was the second son of the Duke of Denver. After his father died, his brother assumed the title. Lord Wimsey is a bachelor in his thirties and independently wealthy. He basically can do whatever he wants and today would be considered a "jetsetter". He is popular and well connected. During his service in World War I, Wimsey met Sergeant Bunter who later becomes his butler and assistant. He also becomes acquainted with Inspector Parker at Scotland Yard who will eventually become his brother-in-law.
After being present at the scene of a crime, Lord Wimsey becomes an amateur detective who after a time gains a reputation as a very good detective. Teaming up with Bunter and Inspector Parker, he solves the mysteries surrounding certain crimes. The mysteries are set primarily in the 1920s and early 1930s in England.
This series initially starred Ian Carmichael in the 1970s and later Edward Petherbridge in the 1980s. The productions were filmed in parts and were aired over several nights. Some of the programs almost have the feel of a play. I enjoyed them.
1st Series - 1972
"Clouds of Witness"
Lord Peter Wimsey turns from Europe when he is notified that his brother, the Duke of Denver, is being held for the murder of their sister's fiancé. Peter’s brother was found leaning over the body in the garden and he will not explain what he was doing there at 3 A.M. in the morning. In addition, every time his sister is asked about the events of that night she has a different story. Lord Wimsey teams up with Inspector Parker to discover the real events of that night. His investigation takes him to Paris and New York.
2nd Series - 1973
"The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club"
While Lord Wimsey is having a drink with friends at the Bellona Club, a member is found dead in the lounge. He was over ninety years old and apparently died while reading the newspaper in front of the fireplace. However, Lord Wimsey noticed that the the victim's body showed signs that the victim has been died for some time. Later Wimsey finds out that the old man's sister died the same day. The sister was very wealth and who benefits from her will depends on whether her brother is died or alive at the time of her death. Lord Wimsey investigates the timing and cause of death of the elderly man.
3rd Series - 1973
"Murder Must Advertise"
A young copywriter at an advertising agency is killed by a fall down a staircase. It appears to be an accident; however, a note is found that indicates that he was about to expose a scandal at the firm. Lord Wimsey goes undercover as a new copywriter replacing the victim. As he learns more about the young man, his friends and other employees at the agency he suspects that there is some connection between the agency and a drug case his brother-in-law, Inspector Parker, has been investigating.
4th Series - 1974
"The Nine Tailors"
As a young man, Lord Wimsey stands in at a wedding for his brother the Duke of Denver. The evening of the wedding a guest’s jewels are stolen. With Wimsey’s help, the thieves are arrested. One of the thieves was the butler at the manor. The jewels were never found.
Time passes and Lord Wimsey is now a major on the western front. His aid is a sergeant named Bunter. During artillery shelling, Wimsey is hurt and bunter saves his life. About the same time in England, the butler escapes from prison.
Time passes and Lord Wimsey and his butler, Bunter, are on a road trip when they have a car accident in the snow. They find themselves near the small village that was close to the manor where the jewels were stolen many years before. It is New Years. A mutilated body in found and Lord Wimsey offers to help investigate the crime. Does this murder have something to do with the missing jewels?
5th Series - 1975
"Five Red Herrings"
Lord Wimsey and his butler, Buntner, retreat to a small hamlet in Scotland to relax. The village has a number of artists in residence because the breathtaking landscapes. One artist in particular does not get along with the others. He is prone to drinking too much and fighting. The morning following one evening when he fought with almost everyone, he is found dead in what appears to be an accident. Lord Wimsey is not convinced it was an accident. He believes one of six other artist is a murderer and all six seemed to have behaved suspiciously the night the victim died.
6th Series - 1987
Lord Wimsey attends the murder trial of mystery writer Harriet Vane who is accused of poisoning her long time lover. Wimsey finds himself immediately attracted to her. When a mistrial is declared and a new trial is scheduled, Lord Wimsey decides he will prove her innocence. He has one month. The evidence against her is very strong. Wimsey discovers that there is another person who had a strong motive to kill Miss Vane's former boyfriend. He enlists the help of a number of friends to help him discover the truth.
7th Series - 1987
"Have His Carcase"
After being cleared of murder charges, Harriet Vane, a mystery writer, goes to the coast to relax. While at the beach she discovers the body of man. The man's throat had been cut. Lord Wimsey hears about the incident. Fearing that Harriet may become a suspect because of her history and also because he has fallen in love with her, he goes to be with her. After reviewing the facts, Lord Wimsey suspects that a murder has be committed even though most suspect suicide. The man was a Russian immigrant working as a dance host who had recently become engaged to an older wealthy woman. Lord Wimsey, Harriet and Buntner team up to solve the mystery.
8th Series - 1987
Harriet Vane's alma mater, a woman's college at Oxford, is being terrorized by someone who has grudge against the staff. It started with nasty letters and has slowly been escalating. When Miss Vane goes to the college to attend a reunion, the head of the college asks her if she would find out who is behind the mischief. The head mistress does not want to call in the police because it could hurt the schools reputation. She feels that since Harriet is a mystery writer she can solve this mystery. By taking on this assignment, Miss Vane may now also be a target.
While Harriet is at the college, Lord Peter is off on a diplomatic assignment. Miss Vane re-examines her feels toward Lord Wimsey. Lord Peter fines an excuse to return from Europe and go to the college where Miss Vane shares the facts of the mystery. Also, they confront their true feeling toward each other.
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Based on characters created by
Dorothy L. Sayers