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Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey #10)

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  12,246 ratings  ·  448 reviews
The elegant, intelligent amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is one of detective literature's most popular creations. Ian Carmichael is the personification of Dorothy L. Sayers' charming investigator in this BBC Radio full-cast dramatization.

When copywriter Victor Dean falls to his death on the stairs of Pym's Advertising Agency, no one seems to mind. That is, until Lord Pete
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Audio CD, 6 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by BBC Physical Audio (first published 1933)
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Community Reviews

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Kate
An absolute delight. I am increasingly of the opinion that Dorothy Sayers is the finest mystery serial writer of - well, I can't say "all time," having only read two or three of her competitors, but VERY FINE INDEED. Sayers doesn't just write good mysteries, she writes good novels. One might almost mistake Murder Must Advertise for a novel about an ad firm (and brilliantly done at that) that happens to concern a murder, rather than the other way around, and I don't say that at the expense of the ...more
Gail
Mar 13, 2010 Gail rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of mysteries, those interested in advertising or in life in Britain in the 20's and 30's
This is the best Wimsey book. A marvelously venomous send-up of the advertising world, still sickeningly applicable today, it has lots of biting wit and some compassion as well for those caught up in this silly little world. Wimsey's incarnations here...ad man, himself, evil man-about-town, and outstanding cricketer...are fascinating. One is so intrigued with the book that one doesn't notice that Wimsey can be, and sometimes is, soporifically perfect. Nevertheless, for fans of the literate myste ...more
Beth
Murder Must Advertise, rather like Gaudy Night, isn't a mystery novel, but a novel containing a mystery. It's reminiscent of Connie Willis and To Say Nothing of the Dog in that regard, meaning this novel feels much more human than the standard mystery. But while Willis deals with cats and seances and hilarious excursions, Sayers discusses death and lies and hoodwinking the less-well-off masses.

This is a murder mystery, so of course it's darker. Which is not to say it's so dark that I couldn't r
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Jane
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 de
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Sherwood Smith
I had read a great deal about the Bright Young Things by the time I read this, so I recognized them, a buried gem in a treasure of a story. I've always liked work stories where you get the sense the writer actually knows about the complications of minutae that become all-consuming in the workplace, and there comes the opening of the cage. This one satisfies on all levels.
Kim
This novel is as much a satire on the advertising industry and office politics as it is a mystery, and none the worse for it. Witty and entertaining, with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. And Peter Wimsey, of course. (Though, sadly, not as much of Bunter as I would have liked!)
Lightreads
All I really remembered about this book was that it made me laugh; what I didn’t remember was it also has teeth.

A peter Wimsey mystery, wherein Peter goes undercover in an ad agency, and then there are a lot of shenanigans, and also bad puns, and a climactic cricket match that made me snigger to myself for ten minutes straight, much to the consternation of my morning train seatmate.

(This is, incidentally, a pretty good place to start with Peter Wimsey. Not the chronological beginning of the seri
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Kai Coates
This was my first time reading Dorothy L. Sayers and I was mightily impressed. While I generally enjoy mystery thrillers, the genre has always seemed to be a subset of real literature - somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Murder Must Advertise, however, is a good book period. It happens to be also be a mystery, but the investigation at many times takes a backseat to the realistically populated world of an advertising firm in the '30s. The writing is sharp and insightful. I especially liked the sectio ...more
Wealhtheow
The most engaging and best part of Of Human Bondage was the episode in which the hero, previously an entitled young man, is forced to go to work with the lower classes to keep from starving. Similarly, Lord Peter Whimsy is at his best not when dealing with his peers, but with the working class. He goes undercover at an advertising firm, where he experiences a rather different lifestyle than that to which he is accustomed. There are some great scenes about classism, as there always are, and sever ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I listened to this on audiobook, read by the inimitable Ian Carmichael, who played Wimsey in the TV series based on Sayers' books. I was pleased (though not surprised) to discover that Mr Carmichael's vocal talents covered a great range of accents and voices, which added a great deal to the reading.
The story is well-plotted as always and there are several good red herrings. We have two mysteries to sort out: who killed Victor Dean and why and how? And who is funnelling cocaine into London on a
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Laurie
Beautiful language, gloriously ridiculous plots, and the first to bring the emotional life of her characters into the fore of the mystery. (Even though she did insist on apologizing for it.)
Tony
MURDER MUST ADVERTISE. (1933). Dorothy L. Sayers. ****.
I last read this novel about ten years ago, and realized that a re-reading would be worthwhile since I had forgotten most of it. It seems that an employee of Pym’s Publicity, Ltd., died while descending a circular staircase to a lower level. Mr. Pym, the owner, had been told in secret that there was something more than met the eye in the circumstances and hired on a private detective to look into the matter. The detective he hired decided to
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Abbey
#8 Lord Peter, Pyms Advertising, London; classic aristo-detective, still superb story even after many rereads. (note: I don't include the short story compilations in my numbering of series reads)

The snappiest of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories, the fast pacing and a rather different setting than usual make it lots of fun. It's my favorite Peter story (except for Gaudy Night and the novella "Ali Babba and the Forty Thieves", heck, almost the entire collection of short stories....!). OK, I admit it,
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Kate
08/2013 It is hard for me to talk about Murder Must Advertise, because I am easily reduced to squeeing and flailing about. It is a neat little mystery, and we see two interesting sides of Wimsey that aren't often apparent. Murder Must Advertise is different because it isn't Lord Peter Wimsey solving mysteries. Well, not exactly. (view spoiler) ...more
Lizzie
I have not re-read this Wimsey in ages; I had forgotten the focused, biting description of life in a 1930s ad agency. From tipping the charwoman to selling corsets and face cream, there is an intriguing mashup of the modern and the Victorian. The three faces of Wimsey here take you places Sayers's books do not normally go- diving off the top of a fountain to amuse Bright Young Things.

I always skimp on this book because there is no true Peter-Harriet action; that said, it is infinitely meatier an
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Kristen
Upgrading to 5 stars based on my own idiosyncratic enjoyment. Some elements may be appealing to most readers, especially the look at working life in the 1930s, which is both very similar and very different from today. Other parts of this book will probably only appeal to serious Wimsey fans, notably an entire, pivotal chapter describing a cricket match.

Also, I believe that Sayers may love butter almost as much as I do, as she's always putting in little details about it's deliciousness. Here's on
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Jane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie
I enjoyed this very much, but these intricately plotted murder mysteries are wasted on me, because I'm not reading the book for the mystery. I'm reading it for the characters, the setting, and particularly in Sayers' case, the wonderful writing. In two weeks I won't be able to remember whodunnit.

The plot has to do with drug running, and I couldn't be less interested in that, but I loved the details about life in the advertising business, and I enjoyed the scenes with Charles and Lady Mary. Peter
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Rita
James and I read most of Sayers' mysteries in the 1970s after seeing BBC's charming dramatizations of them.
Have just reread this one. It's a joy to read. She writes very well, her sentences run smoothly, her word choice is excellent. Parts of the book are just great fun -- it's the dialogues I really love.

Also read an unauthorized biography of Sayers, which says her descriptions of how the aristocracy live are mostly invented. [She grew up strictly middle class.] Somehow this disappointed me ter
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Elizabeth Boyde
4.5 stars.

Very good, though it drag some at the two-thirds mark. That, and one other thing kept this book from being five stars.

(view spoiler)
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Sarah
This was my first Sayers novel, and it probably won't be my last, even though I got rather bored with it sometimes. It certainly is brilliantly written, and the story is quite intricate, but I wonder if it's just me? I simply couldn't get very excited about it all - especially the cricket match at the end!!
Gerry
Death Bredon, aka Lord Peter Wimsey, joins Pym's Publicity at the invitation of the owner when he learns that there are some underhand goings on at the firm.

And unlike many a thriller the plot is a covert one with the reader often wondering what Lord Peter is investigating. But when an accident, or seemingly so, happens and a member of the staff dies, it is obviously there is something sinister going on.

The action in Pym's Publicity is beautifully described and keeps the reader interested even w
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Alina
This book now rivals Gaudy Night for the first place in my affections among Sayers mysteries. The life of the advertisement agency is as well portraid and is as colorful, as the life of the Oxford dons and students in Gaudy Night, and the plot has a nice psychological twist to it.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones
This was my first Dorothy L Sayers...and it won't be my last.

When ad man Victor Dean falls down the stairs in the offices of a respectable London advertising agency, it looks like an accident.

But then the head of the agency receives a letter intimating that all is not as it should be.

Lord Peter Wimsey is called in, and he soon discovers there's more to writing advertising copy than meets the eye.

A bit of cocaine here, a hint of blackmail there, and some wanton women muddy the investigative wate
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Brendan Hodge
This is one of the best Lord Peter mysteries, which is saying a great deal as so many of them are good. Lord Peter goes under cover in an advertising agency in order to investigate a suspicious death. The characters of the copy writers and the typists are all delightful, and it features both the most brilliant example of a fictional advertising campaign you'll ever read (The great Whifflets campaign! Doubtless you have Whiffled yourself.) and an extended cricket match which actually makes the ga ...more
Kaethe
As an example of the times (1933) it's unbeatable. While the details of advertising have changed over the years, the general feel remains much the same, I think. So, there's the delight of Wimsey observing a normal workplace and, of course, doing a marvelous job. Then there's the whole series of scenes with Dian, the fast woman and addict, which are rather trippy. But the most fascinating part was the class issues. Sayers shows an oblivious privileged person (Wimsey) complaining about a less pri ...more
Nikki
Another reread. I liked this one more this time round, actually, though I can't quite put my finger on why. I'm not sure why I thought the solutions were all so obvious, the first time I read it; they were reasonably obvious now, but then I've read it once before and listened to the BBC radioplay, so of course they were. Couple of winces from me with several of the female characters -- Dian de Momerie, mostly, and also Tallboy's mistress. They were plot devices, not people; Dian could almost be ...more
Madeline
After a brief fling with Miss Marple, I'm back with Lord Peter Wimsey - the most delightful detective who ever delighted whilst detecting. This book is one of two Dorothy Sayers mysteries featured on The List, and while I didn't enjoy it as much as Strong Poison, it was still very good.

The majority of the action takes place at Pym's Publicity, an advertising firm in London. One of their employees recently and mysteriously died after falling down an iron staircase in the office, and it's suspect
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Kristel
Ms Sayers wrote detective novels but later shifted to theological dramas. This book is one in a series of detective novels featuring the hero, Lord Peter Wimsey and is set in an advertising agency. Wimsey is undercover, hired to investigate the death of one of the copy writer’s, Dean. Wimsey uncovers a cocaine dealing ring. It is an enjoyable mystery but the main reason the book made the list is because of Ms Sayers portrayal of the advertising world. Ms Sayers worked as a copywriter in the adve ...more
Nikki
This wasn't my favourite of the series when I was reading it in print, I think. It has a decent ratio of Peter Wimsey and Parker, but argh, I hate that Parker has a different voice actor to the earlier episodes. That guy was perfect. Anyway, the problem is the total lack of either Harriet or references to her, and I don't think Bunter shows up, either. Peter's going it alone, undercover, so it makes sense, but...

The plot itself is reasonably interest, and the part with Tallboy at the end was wel
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English Mysteries...: October 2014 - Murder Must Advertise 84 137 Dec 01, 2014 04:13AM  
  • A Presumption of Death (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #2)
  • The Shortest Way to Hades (Hilary Tamar, #2)
  • Miss Pym Disposes
  • Night at the Vulcan (Roderick Alleyn, #16)
  • Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mystery #5)
  • The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3)
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Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist.

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. However, Sayers herse
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More about Dorothy L. Sayers...

Other Books in the Series

Lord Peter Wimsey (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)
  • Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2)
  • Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #4)
  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
  • Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6)
  • Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #7)
  • Have His Carcase  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #8)
  • Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #9)
  • The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #11)
Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6) Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3) Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #12) Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)

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