Wednesday, January 14, 2015


The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm ashamed to say that I have never read Margery Allingham before being offered the chance by NetGalley. Like my father, I seem to have a preference for British mysteries; and like my father, as he aged, I prefer the older titles with less detailed violence, sex, and language.

OPENING LINE: "The view from the narrow window was dreary and inexpressively lonely." This sets the atmosphere perfectly for what is to follow.

A weekend party at a rural estate is ruined when the host's uncle is murdered during a party game. The uncle had criminal connections and something he had that they want is missing. Who took it? The bad guys refuse to let anyone leave until that item is returned.

There are a lot of interesting characters to suspect among the guests, servants, and gang members. The plot has been described as haphazard but there's no problem following the story. The location allows for secret panels and passageways, which are great fun. This is certainly a classic mystery.

Apparently Allingham expected Dr. George Abbershaw would be her sleuth in this first book in the series, but it was the unusual and mysterious young man called Albert Campion, who captured readers and led to his promotion as hero of the series.

According to Mike Ripley "11 of her classic novels [will be} reissued this year and a further nine in 2016."

Bottom Line: If you love Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie, you MUST READ Margery Allingham. These three are often referred to as the three queens of British Golden Age detective fiction.

Title: The Crime at Black Dudley
Series: Albert Campion (Book #1)
Genre: Classic British Mystery
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: May 6, 2015 (Ebook)
ISBN-13: 9781448214211
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: NetGalley

Disclaimer: An advanced copy of The Crime at Black Dudley was provided to me by Bloomsbury/Net Galley for review purposes.

Margery Louise Allingham was an English writer of detective fiction, best remembered for her "golden age" stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion. (Wikipedia)

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