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Published in 1933, much of this novel is set within a world that author, Dorothy L. Sayers, knew well – that of an advertising agency, in which she herself worked. Lord Peter Wimsey is masquerading as plain Death (pronounced ‘Deeth’) Bredon at Pym’s Publicity; having been called in my Mr Pym after the suspicious death of Mr Victor Dean, who broke his neck after falling down a staircase.

Mr Bredon finds himself occupying Mr Dean’s room and, before long, is heavily involved in all aspects of office gossip. I have to admit that the parts of this novel I enjoyed most are set within Pym’s Publicity, but the story also features a group of Bright Young Things that Mr Dean was attracted by. One of these smart set was the attractive, but rather sinister, Dian de Momerie. These parts of the storyline worked less well for me, but thankfully most of the book is set within the walls of Pym’s; with Lord Peter doing a salaried job for the first time. Of course, he does it very well, as we would expect, as well as solving the mystery.

Overall, this is an enjoyable read. Lord Peter is centre stage throughout – although Parker does feature and he has dinner (although we not privy to this meeting) with Harriet once. I loved the satirical look at advertising and the office setting was very enjoyable. I am looking forward to reading on in this wonderful, Golden Age, series. If you do enjoy Golden Age mysteries, then these are some of the very best in the genre.
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on 19 August 2017
This was my first Dorothy Sayers and I am already into 'The Nine Tailors,' so I was definitely encouraged to read more. I had a bit of a yin and yang experience with 'Murder Must Advertise.' I enjoyed the banter and witty dialogue in the adverising agency (though what a lot of characters to be introduced to at the start), and Lord Peter Wimsey's encounters with his sister and her husband, Inspector Parker. The dressing up as Harlequin and pipe-playing were hard to 'believe,' and generally the cocaine gang plots a bit hollow somehow. There is a nice sense of pace, so five stars for aspects of the story and two stars for others. I liked the humourous irony depicting advertising techniques in the thirties, and very familiar now.
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on 11 May 2017
Dorothy L. Sayers was incredibly intelligent and this certainly comes through in her Peter Wimsey books. I think J. K. Rowling was right when she said Sayers couldn't resist showing how intelligent she was in her novels. I do think her writing style, particularly when it comes to word choice, is quite awkward and complicated. I think the best writing is simple and lucid. However, the plot of the novel was gripping and she steeps you in the writing world in which it is set so it was still quite enjoyable. I'm sure some will love her writing style, it just wasn't for me, but I can't deny she had a real talent.
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on 27 April 2015
I've read this book so many times over the years. They don't get much better than this. Between the two World-Wars, an advertising agency in London welcomes a new copy-writer who immediately gets down to work and at the same time snoops around, trying to get to the root of the unexplained death of his predecessor.
Scenes from a creative office are interspersed with dream scenes as the investigator "seduces" a dope addict while dressed as Harlequin and playing a penny-whistle.
Ideal for those readers for whom the crime is incidental to enjoyment of a crime novel.
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on 17 July 2015
Lord Peter can do no wrong, well almost. But kissing another woman, even for the sake of solving a crime, when his heart belongs to Harriet? Tut tut! I first read the stories of Lord Peter Wimsey as a teenager, but as an adult I appreciate the qualities of the character and Dorothy L Sayers has the rare quality of treating readers like adults and the fact that not everything has to be spelt out to be understood is a definite bonus.
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on 20 September 2015
I bought this for my book club friend. She read it first of Dorothy L Sayers' books and enjoyed it very much. We had just finished Gaudy Night with varying degrees of pleasure and so will now be reading others on the list.!!
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on 30 June 2015
The first of the Lord Peter Wimsey books I read many years ago and still one of my favourites, it has some unusual twists.Its good that many of Dorothy Sayers books are available in kindle now although most are comparatively expensive as most of the classic detective stories seem to be (Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh and Georgette Heyer for example)
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on 28 May 2017
DL Sayers worked in an advertising agency so this book (set in one) is a window into the corner of a departed prewar commercial world as well as a very interesting story
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on 13 August 2015
I loved this book. I may actually prefer Death Bredon to Wimsey and the setting was refreshing and genuinely interesting - some great passages on advertising and the attempts, for example, to get women to smoke. The mystery was grand, but for me Sayers books can almost stand on their own. Great characters and a memorable ending.
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on 8 November 2015
It's dated of course but it moves along at a cracking pace and it's rather nice that it's set in a time when honour was important. Also there's a refreshing absence of swearing. Having come back to Sayers after many years I find I prefer her to Agatha Christie.
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