Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #8)

Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey Series #8)

by Dorothy L. Sayers


$2.95 View All Available Formats & Editions


When ad man Victor Dean falls down the stairs in the offices of Pym's Publicity, a respectable London advertising agency, it looks like an accident. Then Lord Peter Wimsey is called in, and he soon discovers there's more to copywriting than meets the eye. A bit of cocaine, a hint of blackmail, and some wanton women can be read between the lines. And then there is the brutal succession of murders — 5 of them — each one a fixed fee for advertising a deadly secret.

Author Biography: Dorothy L. Sayers is the author of novels, short stories, poetry collections, essays, reviews and translations. Although she was a noted Christian scholar, she is most known for her detective fiction. Born in 1893, she was one of the first women to be awarded a degree from Oxford University. Her first book featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, Whose Body?, was published in 1923 and over the next 20 years more novels and short stories about the aristocratic amateur sleuth appeared. Dorothy L. Sayers is recognized as one of the greatest mystery writers of the 20th century.

Letter from the Editor:

Dorothy L. Sayers is recognized as one of the greatest mystery writers of the 20th century. In 1923, Whose Body?, her first book, featuring the aristocratic amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, was published, and over the next 20 years more novels and short stories appeared. All 15 of Sayers' mysteries are available from HarperPaperbacks.

Now there is a new Dorothy L. Sayers novel. A long-lost partial manuscript titled Thrones, Dominions was discovered last year, and acclaimed mystery writer Jill Paton Walsh has completed it. St. Martin's Press will publish this bookin February. This is a signal publishing event, and HarperCollins congratulates St. Martin's Press.

We are sure that Thrones, Dominions will delight Sayers' fans and find new ones for her, and in the process whet appetites for Sayers' other mysteries. A list of these books is attached. In the words of Dorothy L. Sayers herself, "Murder must advertise." So, in addition to an announcement about Thrones, Dominions in a recent issue of Publisher's Weekly, the next edition of the HarperCollins mystery newsletter, Deadline, will include a piece on the Sayers books, as will St. Martin's Press' newsletter, Murder at the Flatiron Building. HarperCollins will also feature information about the Sayers' backlist on its web page.

Dorothy L. Sayers died in 1957, but her books continue to enthrall readers today. Please help us celebrate the doyenne of the Golden Age of the Mystery, Dorothy L. Sayers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380009169
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/1985
Series: Lord Peter Wimsey Series , #8

About the Author

Dorothy L. Sayers was born in 1893. She was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, and later she became a copywriter at an ad agency. In 1923 she published her first novel featuring the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who became one of the world's most popular fictional heroes. She died in 1957.

Date of Birth:

June 13, 1893

Date of Death:

December 17, 1957

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


B.A., Oxford University, 1915; M.A., B.C.L., 1920

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Murder Must Advertise 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
SearchingforGoodBooks More than 1 year ago
Crime, mystery, and detective fiction is one of my favorite genres. I thought I had read everything, Chandler, Macdonald, Coben, etc. I thought there was nothing good left. I came across Dorothy Sayers while reading about the Inklings, that legendary group of authors that included JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. This book is excellent. A clever mystery, exceptionally witty dialogue, and some funny and pulse-pounding moments. This is detective fiction at its highest level. Lord Peter Wimsey is the man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Dorothy Sayers I would say this is the one I come back to time and time again.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites of the pre-Harriet novels. I think The Nine Tailors has better writing, but this is tight and fast-paced and really shows us Peter.
lenoreva on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿You¿ll soon find that the biggest obstacle to good advertising is the client.¿ A lot has changed about advertising since this book was published in 1933, but considering this quote, obviously a lot has remained the same as well.I read Murder Must Advertise as the first of ten books for the 1% challenge ¿ it¿s one of the 1001 Books to Read before you Die. I¿ll be totally honest though ¿ I didn¿t have that much fun reading it. Plus points for me: Set in an advertising agency, fun facts about advertising in the 1930s (most ads were in newspapers, smoking was a big ad money maker), main characters were copywriters (or pretending to be copywriters), crime was actually pretty ingenious.Minus points for me: Too many characters to keep track of or care about, pacing is very slow and some scenes are too long and drawn out (especially a scene near the end where the agency plays cricket for an entire chapter) and none of it seems terribly urgent.I¿d only really recommend this to patient readers who work in advertising or who just love old school mysteries.
cameling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a delightful romp with Lord Peter Wimsey, a detective who goes undercover into Pym's Publicity to find out what, if anything underhand is going on in that most upstanding and reputable advertising agency that could have caused the death of not just one but 5 individuals.It's as delightful and cosy a read as others in the series, and this doesn't fail to entertain.
LaurieRKing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.)
majorbabs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My alltime favorite British mystery. What Sayers (who worked in an ad agency) had to say about this form of communication is still right on target today. Witty and fun.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whimsy is great, not just a murder, probably better on tape because of accents.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this novel I get why people praise Dorothy Sayers not just as some clever puzzle-maker, creator of a classic detective or a mere mystery writer, but as a fine novelist who wrote works that can be called literature. In this story, after a half-finished letter implying corruption is found among the effects of a seeming accident victim, Lord Peter Wimsey goes undercover in an advertising agency to investigate. Dorothy Sayers herself worked as a copy-writer in an advertising agency, and it shows in the details of the workings of the agency and the theme throughout of the ethical complexities, nay, more like the ethical shortcomings, of the business: "Of course there is some truth in advertising. There's yeast in bread, but you can't make bread with yeast alone. Truth in advertising," announced Lord Peter sententiously, "is like leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal. It provides a suitable quantity of gas, with which to blow out a mass of crude misrepresentation into a form that the public can swallow."There are also the running themes of class distinctions based on education and the futility of the drug war. The book seems quite relevant still today. There's also a sophisticated style apparent at times--even some passages that use the stream-of-consciousness technique. For all that I don't want you to think this makes for dry reading. As with all of Sayers' books, there's plenty of wit and humor to be found. Particularly striking in that regard is the boy Ginger Joe, who aspires to be a detective and the incident with Mr Copley, where his view of himself as savior of the firm is punctured the next day. Sayers paints a deliciously comic yet insightful picture of office politics among a murder investigation. Unfortunately, as is often the case with the Sayers books I've read, not everything comes across as credible (the identical cousins subplot made me raise my eyebrows almost to my hairline), but this one did have a clever resolution. Not so much as to who--Sayers tips her hat to that fairly early--as to how. A clever, enjoyable, and thoughtful novel.
Kristelh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 advertising world and was able to draw on her own experience. The drug dealers are using the agency to operate and the author can use the operations of the agency to develop the detective story. The main character Wimsey does conjure of `whimsey¿ and he brings to mind Bertie Wooster from P.G. Wodehouse¿s series of Jeeves. There is a detailed section toward the end of the book about a cricket game and I have to admit, none of it made sense but both Wooster and Wimsey are cricketers and athletes.
Jthierer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good British mystery. The main character was likable without being preternaturally smart. My only complaint was the drawn out cricket match that I just couldn't follow.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my all-time favorite Lord Peter Wimsey mystery so far. It's incredibly funny, and satisfyingly twisty, with so many red herrings that I'd considered and discarded the villain because he seemed to simple... It's set at an advertising agency, where a young copywriter has met his untimely demise in an (apparent) accident. But the head of the agency is suspicious of foul play, and thus Lord Peter is brought in to investigate. The dialogue sparkles and the whole thing, especially all of the goings-on at the ad agency, is as endlessly amusing as a good gossip session. I've learned from other reviews that this was not considered by Sayers, or by her critics, to be her most literary achievement, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it rather welcome after the more serious Nine Tailors.
wendyrey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well crafted detective novel.Set mainly in a 1930's advertising agency where some of the staff are heavily involved in cocaine smuggling and dealing. (and you thought that was a modern thing)Excellent read.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lord Peter Wimsey investigates the death of a advertising man.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Lord Peter novels without Harriet. Peter is almost a superhero. A provacative statement about the world of advertising and its uses and abuses. A new worker by the name of Bredon is hired soon after the death of an employee and he seems uncommonly nosey. Not content to leave well enough alone, he keeps bringing up the death and probing into other's affairs. He may be a shady character as well. He seems to hang out with the wrong sort of people in the evenings and bears an uncanny likeness to a notorious peer of the realm.
kadri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To this Lord Peter fan, this is perhaps one of the best in the series - Sayers at her gently sarcastic best. The ducal family figures less in it than in some others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this is Sayer's best Lord Peter story. It's an ingenious mystery filled with clever red herrings and wonderfully complex and interesting characters. As with Dame Christie's finest books, even though 90-plus years has passed since this book was written, it still feels relevant to today. It all comes down to the psychology of the odd little species known as humans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Abd always a long comfort read one can settle down in it. The author worked in an ad agency the money spent on smoking was huge and got bigger in usa. REmember those old bw movies!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting foray into the world of advertising. A good mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IceClan at 'luna' <p> JayClan at 'jay wings' <p> EclipseClan at 'solar'