Murder Must Advertise, Paperback Book

Murder Must Advertise Paperback

Part of the Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries series

4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


A must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries, Lord Peter Wimsey is the immortal amateur sleuth created by Dorothy L Sayers. Victor Dean fell to his death on the stairs of Pym's Advertising Agency, but no one seems to be sorry.

Until an inquisitive new copywriter joins the firm and asks some awkward questions...Disguised as his disreputable cousin Death Bredon, Lord Peter Wimsey takes a job - one that soon draws him into a vicious network of blackmailers and drug pedlars.

Five people will die before Wimsey unravels a sinister and deadly plot.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780450002427

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

This is easily the Lord Peter Wimsy story that is most close to Dorothy Sayers' heart - she spent time before becoming the chronicler of Lord Peter as a copywriter in the advertising world and I suspect that the character of Miss Meteyard is this book is Ms Sayers' alter ego. The story cuts between the action and frustrations of the investigation and the relatively trivial doings of office politics though the two do twine together on the way to a climax that may cause modern readers to raise an eyebrow in surprise.

Review by

One of my favourite Wimsey's. Love the colour of the advertising agency and the bright young things. And the human sympathy to the murderer - Sayers is no snob.

Review by

One of the best of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, as Lord Peter goes undercover at an ad agency to investigate the mystery of why one of the copywriters fell to his death on a spiral iron staircase. Dorothy L. Sayers has a lot of fun with her subject and her setting, one she would have known well from her own career in advertising, as she contrasts this with the empty world of the bright young things. Superb.

Review by

Where I got the book: purchased from The Book Depository. I'm absolutely sure I had the 70s NEL edition once upon a time, but you know how it is with really good books. They grow legs and walk away.Quickie story roundup: Lord Peter Wimsey, for the first time in his life, is pulling in a salary (of £4 a week). Adopting the persona of Mr. Death Bredon, he becomes a copywriter in the advertising firm Pym's Publicity to investigate the mysterious death of one Victor Dean, and discovers that Dean's death is the tip of an iceberg which affects thousands of lives all over London.Dorothy L. Sayers worked in an advertising firm for seven years, and engineering Lord Peter into a job in the environment she knew so well was a gold-plated stroke of genius. By the time she wrote <i>Murder Must Advertise</i>, her copywriting days were three or four years behind her but clearly still burned into her memory and affections. During those years she had been through heartbreak and the carefully concealed birth of an illegitimate child, and there is an edge to her descriptions of Pym's despite the resolutely jolly tone of many of the scenes, although she is careful to direct her cynicism at the practice of advertising in general. It is my theory that the lanky, clever, university-educated Miss Meteyard--cool and sardonic yet knowing--is a self-portrait, DLS in her earlier days, even as Harriet Vane is the embittered post-heartbreak self.I have said before that every Wimsey novel has a tone quite unlike the others. What strikes me about this one is that the chorus of London voices almost makes Lord Peter take second place. From society cocktail parties to cricket to Covent Garden, this is a loving portrait of Sayers' real world wrapped around an ingeniously plotted mystery with plenty of twists and reveals. It paves the way for the realism Sayers achieves in <i>Gaudy Night</i> whereas <i>The Nine Tailors</i>, her next novel, is a throwback to an earlier style (but none the worse for that).I've heard many people say that <i>Murder Must Advertise</i> is their favorite Sayers novel, and I can see why. The drawbacks for me were the cricket match (I never did learn the game, despite having grown up in England) and Lady Mary Parker's dreary domesticity when she'd been such a promising character. And I believe I stumbled across a terrific mistake in chapter 18 (see my updates). But hey, DLS almost certainly spotted it too at some point in her life, and no doubt laughed it off. She was one of the most human of writers, and her fans love her for it.

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