‘An Arrow O’er The House’ by Dorothy Sayers

An Arrow O’er The House by Dorothy Sayers, 1934

The magic trick:

Mashing up comedy and mystery

Comedy and mystery are a too rarely seen genre mashup. “Arrow” is downright silly in its sendup of the book business – writer, publisher and audience alike.

Remarkably, the mystery going on behind all the satire is actually really strong and imaginative.

And that’s quite a trick on Sayers’s part.

The selection:

“Do you think a personal call – ?” she began.

“That’s no good,” said Mr. Podd. “The beasts are never in. Or if they are, they are always in conference with somebody of importance, ha ha! No. What we want to do is to take a leaf out of the advertiser’s book – create a demand – rouse expectation. The ‘Watch This Space’ stunt, and all that sort of thing. We must plan a campaign.”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Podd?”

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