Maria Thermann's Reviews > Murder Must Advertise

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
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's review
Apr 18, 12

Perhaps I enjoyed this book so much because, just like Dorothy L Sayers herself, I used to work in the advertising business, albeit in sales not in copywriting like Ms Sayers.

When Lord Peter Wimsey is called into an advertising agency to investigate an incident that may look like an accident at first sight but turns out to be a cleverly disguised murder, he doesn't know what a can of worms he's opening. The characters are all drawn from life - egocentric, not very likeable, self-obsessed copy writers who never see further than the tip of their own nose and their next deadline. The body count rises and our dapper Lord Peter gets drawn into a dark underbelly of creative society.

Amateur detective stories are always a two-edged sword in that their efforts are often hampered by the detective's lack of methodical procedure and actual power to bring villains to justice. With the UK's class system still firmly in place at the time the novel was written (1930s), this amateur sleuth just needs to raise an aristocratic eyebrow and drop his monocle - and hey presto, things get done. His army training comes in useful with regard to disciplined investigations - as does his wonderful man servant, a Kentish man by birth and faithful friend through a bond forged in the Great War.

It's a great detective story, very witty and fiendishly well plotted. A good read on a rainy weekend or on holiday in a deckchair by the beach. You'll never see advertising slogans in quite the same light!

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