Murder Must Advertise

Back on my summer list, (which means I got maybe half of them done?) and the book I read off it was Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Peter Wimsey has forgotten Harriet Vane for the moment and taken a job in disguise at an advertising firm.   Sayers herself worked in advertising for a bit, so I’m fairly sure the office goings-on are authentic, except for the mob ties.  Wimsey is brought in under the unassuming name of Death Bredon investigating the sudden demise of one Victor Dean who apparently died falling down an iron staircase.   Or did he?   Wimsey’s good at everything so, naturally, he takes quite easily to writing advertisements in his spare time.   Someone at Pym’s ties in with a dope ring and both Chief Inspector Parker and Wimsey would like to get their hands on those who run it.   Whether it’s because I saw it on TV many years ago or because Sayers makes it completely obvious fairly early, I knew whodunnit early, but had trouble believing it could be the obvious one.   But then, there didn’t seem to be anyone else.   Wimsey finds out most of what he wants to know in the first couple hundred pages and then there’s another nearly 200 pages to get through where it seems not much happens.   There’s a cricket match.   And some deaths.   I found the ending rather unsatisfactory.   I think Sayers was so taken with her nefarious mechanism that she couldn’t be bothered to make a good mystery around it.   It is clever and her drug smuggling plot is a lot more realistic than Christie ever is where drugs are involved, but I think I’m just not all that keen on drug smuggling investigation and I don’t really see how they got the big fish in the end.   It seemed like mostly they got the small fry they didn’t want to waste time on.   How Milligan and his parties fit in with the rest of the distribution network is still unclear to me.

 

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2 thoughts on “Murder Must Advertise”

    1. I read a few other reviews after and that seems to be the consensus. And I don’t disagree, the office stuff is a great read and accomplishing that is probably more of a feat than a great mystery.

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