22gigantes.com - Wimsey accepts an offer from the highly respectable management of Pym's Publicity, Ltd. (a light disguise for S. H. Bensons, where Sayers worked) to investigate a mystery and avert a scandal. Copywriter Victor Dean has died in a fall down the spiral iron office staircase, but he left a half-finished letter to the management hinting that something potentially scandalous is going on at Pym's. Under the pseudonym of "Death Bredon" (actually his middle names), Wimsey goes to work at Pym's. He takes over Dean's office and learns his trade while investigating the office staff. He discovers a talent for copywriting and promotion, and produces a campaign which will become one of the firm's most successful. He also investigates Dean's social life. Dean, for a short time, socialised with "the De Momerie crowd": the cronies of dissolute socialite Dian de Momerie, most of them heavy cocaine users. He met De Momerie's companion, Major Milligan, who appears to be the cocaine supplier for the group. Milligan is linked to a big cocaine-selling ring which Wimsey's friend and brother-in-law Chief Inspector Parker is investigating. Milligan, hearing that Dean worked at Pym's, spoke to him assuming that Dean was the ring's man at Pym's. Dean was surprised, and Milligan shut up – but Dean guessed that someone else at Pym's was involved. Hence the letter to management. Wimsey plays multiple roles. By day he is Bredon, a distant, impoverished Wimsey cousin who works for a living. Most evenings, he is himself. But on some evenings, "Bredon" dresses up as a masked harlequin, and by various wild stunts draws the attention and company of Dian de Momerie – annoying Major Milligan. Junior newspaper reporter Hector Puncheon has a beer in a pub, and discovers later that someone put a bag of cocaine in his coat pocket. He must have blundered into a distribution operation, but there's no further sign of anything at that pub. Apparently the ring holds each week's distribution at a different location. Wimsey continues his probing at Pym's, and learns that one of the senior copywriters, Tallboy, seems to have large amounts of cash. Puncheon recognises a man who was in the pub the night he was given the cocaine, and follows him. Puncheon gets knocked out, and the man "accidentally" falls in front of a moving train. The dead man (Mountjoy) had money but no job or assets, which fits a drug dealer. His effects include a telephone book with the names of many pubs ticked off. One of the marked pubs is the one where Puncheon was given the cocaine. Other clues turn up: a scarab in Dean's desk, a large pebble in the stairwell, a "catapult" (slingshot) belonging to office boy Ginger Joe, who is recruited by "Bredon" to help in the investigation. Finally Wimsey makes the connection. One of Pym's major clients runs a large newspaper advertisement every Friday morning. The text is approved a few days earlier. The first letter of the advertisement's text indicates the pub to be used that week. Tallboy supplies the letter to the ring as soon as the text is approved. A final clue turns up during a company social outing, in the course of a cricket match between Pym's and Brotherhood's, a soft-drink company and Pym's client. Most of the players are middle-aged and flabby. But Wimsey, provoked by a ball which clips his elbow, shows off the form which made him a first-team star at Eton and Oxford. Tallboy too shows a surprising talent, when he knocks down a wicket with a perfect throw from deep in the field. Wimsey wins the match for Pym's, which is about to expose his cover when the police, led by Parker, arrest "Bredon" for the murder of Dian de Momerie. Milligan is dead too – killed in yet another "accident" as the ring covers its tracks. But the ring is still operating, and the police want to nab the whole gang at their next distribution. With Mountjoy's phone book, all they need is the letter for the week – which is provided by Ginger Joe. While "Bre
Best Review of Murder Must Advertise (lord Peter Wimsey):
Most helpful customer reviews 36 of 37 people found the following review helpful. Vintage Sayers, a great intro to the Peter Wimsey books By A Customer This is the best Wimsey book not featuring sometime-fellow-sleuth Harriet Vane which Sayers ever wrote. Not terribly serious, but great entertainment. I've read this book 6 times because it's just so much fun. Written in 1933, IMHO Sayers' prime, Wimsey is far more human and less of a caricature than in the early books, but much less goopy than in her latest books. The dialogue is a treat, even minor characters are exquisitely drawn, and the in-jokes at the advertising biz (Sayers worked as a copywriter herself for a while) are utterly hilarious. Plus, there's a puzzling, neatly-solved mystery. And even though I don't play cricket and don't understand the game, I adored the pivotal cricket game scene: Sayers at her best. My only complaint is the total absence of the delightful Bunter. THis is definitely the book to read first if you'r e interested in Sayers. Then read the Strong Poison-Have His Carcase-Gaudy Night trilogy. These are, IMHO, her four best books, and of the four, Murder Must Advertise is definitely the most charming and light-hearted. 14 of 14 people found the following review helpful. The Two Sides of Lord Peter Wimsey By C. T. Mikesell Lord Peter has the rare and highly enjoyable (for himself and the reader) opportunity to play a dual role in this book: himself and his "cousin," Death Bredon. This plot device would be perfected decades later when Peter Brady simultaneously kept dates with two girls, but Ms. Sayers acquits herself admirably in this novel.An author who frequently made her novels deliver more than just a solid whodunit, Sayers gives the reader a fly-on-the-wall view of an advertising agency in this book. Having worked on the production side of several publications I can verify that her descriptions are spot on. Sayers also includes a couple editorial asides (in the guise of internal soliloquies) about rampant consumerism and middle-class aspirations to luxury and first class footwear. They're as true today as they were in 1930's (and probably the 17- and 1830's as well). And if you hated the idea of The Beatles' music being used to hawk cars, you can imagine how consumers of a previous age felt to see the works of Shakespeare or Tennyson used to promote nerve powder. This is all to say that this novel's verisimilitude has weathered the years exceedingly well.The central mystery - who slew Victor Dean - gets lost occasionally in the goings-on at the ad agency, but Wimsey, er Bredon, er whoever, is always at work, picking up the odd clue here and there as he goes. Even when the depth of the crime grows - to multiple murders and drug trafficking - Sayers keeps bringing it back to Dean's murder. By the end of the cricket match I found myself floored that I almost understood the game, but also by the way Sayers expertly wove in two crucial revelations about the mystery.I was satisfied with the story's conclusion. At first the ending seemed cold-blooded and -hearted, but upon reflection I realized that the resolution was well forshadowed - if Wimsey's middle name were Steve it'd be another matter, perhaps. Although we'd spent most of the book with the impish, playful side of Lord Peter, there's another side to his character which values honor most and is not above going beyond the law to preserve it.If you're not a Dorothy Sayers fan you should probably get to know her detective in an earlier work like Strong Poison first. Then, once you're comfortable with his character, give this novel a read. If you are a Sayers fan, why aren't you reading this book already? 9 out of 10 readers agree, this is a five-star mystery. 16 of 17 people found the following review helpful. Bravo! Knock-out Mystery! By A Customer I must preface this review by confessing a bias - I'm a huge fan of Dorothy Sayers and consider it a tragedy that she did not write more detective fiction. This is definitely one of the strongest entries in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, both for mystery and entertainment value. An interesting tactic used by Sayers is to point in the direction of the culprit about three-fourths of the way through the book and then lead the reader through the detection process that actually leads to his/her unmasking. We saw this used in "Unnatural Death", also in "Whose Body?" Surprisingly, the resulting lack of suspense at the end does not deter from the mystery at all as it is fascinating to see the patient unraveling of clues and pulling together of threads that lead to evidence against a killer. It is also a better reflection of what usually happens in reality, as opposed to a lot of detective fiction where the most unlikely person did it! While we all find whodunits interesting, the reality is that the police and private eyes are usually smart enough to figure out the most likely candidate fairly early and thus narrow their investigations. In this book, the fun is added to by the setting in an ad agency. Sayers had worked in an ad agency at some point in her career and you can see that she really knows her stuff. The interplay between the various characters is very funny and surprisingly not dated in feel, considering the book was written 70 odd years ago! I found the cricket match scene to be the most fascinating part as well the sense the reader gets that with every page, the hangman's noose is slowly closing around the killer. Richly detailed and very descriptive, this is a book you'll want to go back and re-read many times - there will always be something fresh to see! See all 177 customer reviews...
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