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Murder Must Advertise

 

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Murder Must Advertise, Dorothy L. Sayers

Every so often, as they say, life takes a tumble. However, when advertising executive Victor Dean trips and falls down a spiral staircase is it a simple and tragic accident or a sinister case of murder?

Mr. Pym, the owner of Pym's Publicity, enlists the Society Sleuth, aka Lord Peter Wimsey, to work incognito at Pym's advertising and PR agency. Pym needs Lord Peter to investigate Victor Dean's mysterious death and determine if it was an accident or murder.

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Posing as a newly hired copywriter, Lord Peter begins to unravel clues and innuendo that take him on a journey far afield from the upper crust society circles that he's used to traveling in. Part of the fun in Sayer's novel is discovering how the often snobbish Lord Peter handles the commonplace world of office gossip, overt social climbing, employee rivalries and the dog-eat-dog world of advertising. In order to convince his coworkers that he is 'one of the gang', Wimsey even agrees to take part in the company's cricket match. What? Lord Peter a team player. My word!

Surprisingly, while hot on the trail of a killer, Lord Peter (whose wit is more than considerable) seems to truly relish writing headlines and copy for the Dairyfield Margarine account. It's interesting to note that Dorothy Sayers' career (before gaining fame as a mystery writer) was working as a copywriter at an advertising agency herself.

Working the case while pretending to work for a living (something Lord Peter is certainly not used to doing) proves to be both enlightening and disheartening for the aristocratic amateur detective. Adding to his discovery of the very real and very dark side of life on the mean streets of London, is Lord Peter's uncovering a hidden world of cocaine addiction, drug smuggling, blackmail and murderous intent that lies hidden beneath the office banter. Murder Must Advertise is one of Sayers' finest mysteries - both complex and simply fun to read.

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Read our biography of Dorothy L. Sayers.