Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
Murder Must AdvertiseA new copywriter has started at Pym’s Publicity. The last one had died when he fell down the iron spiral stairwell in the office. The new man, Death Bredon, seems to be a congenial fellow. He also falls right into the groove with the current employees.
It seems that Mr. Bredon is more, though. He keeps up with all the gossip. He asks questions about the dead man. He observes the people around the office and their office. He discovers there may be a connection with a high society group that is involved in drugs. Mr. Bredon is reporting to Mr. Pym. And reporting to Scotland Yard.
If it weren’t for the occasional archaic language, I would have had to double check the publication date of this book. Pym’s Publicity, an advertising agency, is selling products we are still buying today for the same reason. They fight dandruff, bacteria and germs, budgets, dirty floors, and sell high quality. The drug of choice in the rich set is cocaine. There are drug supply conduits coming across the ocean and landing clandestinely on the shores of England. Murder happens because illegal drugs are in demand.
This is a well crafted mystery. Sayers is an acknowledged master of the genre, one who helped set the current standard. It’s extraordinary the way she ties the two completely societies together. Also, I found her use of the agency ingenious. This is my first Sayers novel, so my first introduction to Lord Peter Whimsey. I found him interesting, and am informed this is one of the best novels in which to meet this character. Enjoy!