Monday, June 19, 2017

Murder Must Advertise

Sometimes the adaptation is better.  I fell in love with Lord Peter Wimsey through the early-70s cardboard-set adaptations, and they're still highly entertaining.  So are Sayers's books, but on my third reading of Murder Must Advertise, I have to admit that it's not one of her best.  Someone killed copywriter Victor Dean, so the president of Pym's Publicity asks Lord Peter to go undercover as Dean's replacement.  Meanwhile, Peter's brother-in-law DI Charles Parker is trying to break a drug smuggling ring which centers around Dian DeMomerie - whom Dean had coincidentally dated.  The two men (well, mainly Peter) solve the crimes mostly through luck and it's not a particularly satisfying conclusion.  What makes the book worth reading are the scenes set at Pym's.  Sayers had worked as a copywriter in the early 1920s (some of her Guinness slogans are still in use) and she really captures the office politics and makes the minutiae of the profession entertaining.