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Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – May 10, 1995

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Mass Market Paperback, May 10, 1995
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Product Details

  • Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; First edition (May 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061043559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061043550
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

When advertising executive Victor Dean dies from a fall down the stairs at Pym's Publicity, Lord Peter Wimsey is asked to investigate. It seems that, before he died, Dean had begun a letter to Mr. Pym suggesting some very unethical dealings at the posh London ad agency. Wimsey goes undercover and discovers that Dean was part of the fast crowd at Pym's, a group taken to partying and doing drugs. Wimsey and his brother-in-law, Chief-Inspector Parker, rush to discover who is running London's cocaine trade and how Pym's fits into the picture--all before Wimsey's cover is blown.


Her books are English Literature at its best. Her plots are finely tuned and her Lord Peter Wimsey is delightful The Times (letter) She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit P.D. James I admire her novels ... she has a great fertility of invention, ingenuity, and a wonderful eye for detail Ruth Rendell A truly great storyteller Minette Walters Dorothy L Sayers is one of the best detective story writers E.C. Bentley, DAILY TELEGRAPH --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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More About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a playwright, scholar, and acclaimed author of mysteries, best known for her books starring the gentleman sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

Born in Oxford, England, Sayers, whose father was a reverend, grew up in the Bluntisham rectory and won a scholarship to Oxford University where she studied modern languages and worked at the publishing house Blackwell's, which published her first book of poetry in 1916.

Years later, working as an advertising copywriter, Sayers began work on Whose Body?, a mystery novel featuring dapper detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Over the next two decades, Sayers published ten more Wimsey novels and several short stories, crafting a character whose complexity was unusual for the mystery novels of the time.

In 1936, Sayers brought Lord Peter Wimsey to the stage in a production of Busman's Honeymoon, a story which she would publish as a novel the following year. The play was so successful that she gave up mystery writing to focus on the stage, producing a series of religious works culminating in The Man Born to Be King (1941) a radio drama about the life of Jesus.

She also wrote theological essays and criticism during and after World War II, and in 1949 published the first volume of a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (which she considered to be her best work).

Dorothy Sayers died of a heart attack in 1957.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 99 customer reviews
I first read this book some time around 1960.
Noreen Z
The plot is great, there are many interesting characters (e.g., advertising people, drug addicts and dealers), and the writing is clever and humorous.
Karen Ziminski
She really as put a wonderful story together, although the section on Cricket maybe a little tedious, neverless this is a great mystery read.
Andrew Whitby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the best Wimsey book not featuring sometime-fellow-sleuth Harriet Vane which Sayers ever wrote. Not terribly serious, but great entertainment. I've read this book 6 times because it's just so much fun. Written in 1933, IMHO Sayers' prime, Wimsey is far more human and less of a caricature than in the early books, but much less goopy than in her latest books. The dialogue is a treat, even minor characters are exquisitely drawn, and the in-jokes at the advertising biz (Sayers worked as a copywriter herself for a while) are utterly hilarious. Plus, there's a puzzling, neatly-solved mystery. And even though I don't play cricket and don't understand the game, I adored the pivotal cricket game scene: Sayers at her best. My only complaint is the total absence of the delightful Bunter. THis is definitely the book to read first if you'r e interested in Sayers. Then read the Strong Poison-Have His Carcase-Gaudy Night trilogy. These are, IMHO, her four best books, and of the four, Murder Must Advertise is definitely the most charming and light-hearted.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. T. Mikesell on February 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lord Peter has the rare and highly enjoyable (for himself and the reader) opportunity to play a dual role in this book: himself and his "cousin," Death Bredon. This plot device would be perfected decades later when Peter Brady simultaneously kept dates with two girls, but Ms. Sayers acquits herself admirably in this novel.
An author who frequently made her novels deliver more than just a solid whodunit, Sayers gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall view of an advertising agency in this book. Having worked on the production side of several publications I can verify that her descriptions are spot on. Sayers also includes a couple editorial asides (in the guise of internal soliloquies) about rampant consumerism and middle-class aspirations to luxury and first class footwear. They're as true today as they were in 1930's (and probably the 17- and 1830's as well). And if you hated the idea of The Beatles' music being used to hawk cars, you can imagine how consumers of a previous age felt to see the works of Shakespeare or Tennyson used to promote nerve powder. This is all to say that this novel's verisimilitude has weathered the years exceedingly well.
The central mystery - who slew Victor Dean - gets lost occasionally in the goings-on at the ad agency, but Wimsey, er Bredon, er whoever, is always at work, picking up the odd clue here and there as he goes. Even when the depth of the crime grows - to multiple murders and drug trafficking - Sayers keeps bringing it back to Dean's murder. By the end of the cricket match I found myself floored that I almost understood the game, but also by the way Sayers expertly wove in two crucial revelations about the mystery.
I was satisfied with the story's conclusion.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must preface this review by confessing a bias - I'm a huge fan of Dorothy Sayers and consider it a tragedy that she did not write more detective fiction. This is definitely one of the strongest entries in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, both for mystery and entertainment value. An interesting tactic used by Sayers is to point in the direction of the culprit about three-fourths of the way through the book and then lead the reader through the detection process that actually leads to his/her unmasking. We saw this used in "Unnatural Death", also in "Whose Body?" Surprisingly, the resulting lack of suspense at the end does not deter from the mystery at all as it is fascinating to see the patient unraveling of clues and pulling together of threads that lead to evidence against a killer. It is also a better reflection of what usually happens in reality, as opposed to a lot of detective fiction where the most unlikely person did it! While we all find whodunits interesting, the reality is that the police and private eyes are usually smart enough to figure out the most likely candidate fairly early and thus narrow their investigations. In this book, the fun is added to by the setting in an ad agency. Sayers had worked in an ad agency at some point in her career and you can see that she really knows her stuff. The interplay between the various characters is very funny and surprisingly not dated in feel, considering the book was written 70 odd years ago! I found the cricket match scene to be the most fascinating part as well the sense the reader gets that with every page, the hangman's noose is slowly closing around the killer. Richly detailed and very descriptive, this is a book you'll want to go back and re-read many times - there will always be something fresh to see!
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Format: Paperback
When Lord Peter Death Breden Wimsey, privately investigating the "accidental" death of an employee of an advertising firm, takes a copywriting job there, in this 1933 novel, he raises curiosity among the female employees. Known on the job only as "Breden," he is regarded as "a cross between Ray Flynn and Bertie Wooster, " complete with silk socks and expensive shoes, and obviously not from the same background as the rest of the staff. Assigned to advertise Dairyfield's Margarine and "domestic" tea, he occupies the dead man's office, churning out slogans while poking into relationships and possible motivations for murder. He soon discovers that the dead man, with limited resources, actively participated in the drug culture of upperclass parties, though how he became involved is an open question.

Lord Peter, as aristocratic as his title would imply, is adventurous and imaginative, a man of action and intelligence who does not hesitate to get down and dirty if necessary (though he'd prefer not "too" dirty). With a "tongue that runs on ballbearings," he can talk his way into and out of almost any situation, and as an ad agency employee, he provides the reader with some terrific one-liners and quips as he tries to sell products. Author Dorothy Sayers, who worked in an advertising agency herself for seven years, brings the agency to life with all its petty infighting and cynicism, creating a vibrant environment in which Wimsey's familiar wordplay and cleverness can be highlighted during his investigation of the murder--and the gruesome murders which follow in its wake.
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