Books by Margery Allingham

Released: Feb. 1, 1990

Despite the title, this collection of Allingham snippets contains precious little of the enigmatic Albert Campion, and he is best showcased in a (brief) transcript of a 1935 radio interview—during which Allingham charmingly recaps his career and her delight in her upstart character. As for the stories here in which he does appear: "The Curious Affair in Nut Row," written in 1955, is a modest success, while "The Dog Day," "The Black Tent," "The Case is Altered," and "What to do with an Ageing Detective" are little more than wispy fragments. Hardly more endearing is an early Allingham effort, "The Wind Glass," written when she was barely out of her teens and featuring an oriental menace. Editor Morpurgo, with the assistance of Allingham's sister, seems to have cleaned out the family attic and rescued ephemera that might better have been consigned to the dustbin. HIS oddly phrased introduction and story afterwords do offer some insights into the author's writing relationship with her husband, Youngman Carter; with her Strand editor; and with her ever-scribbling family—but contemporary readers may blanch at her blatant racism. Overall, then, not likely to burnish the Allingham reputation—or even attract new fans. Read full book review >
THE ALLINGHAM MINIBUS by Margery Allingham
Released: Dec. 3, 1973

Eighteen brief entertainments featuring one of the late Miss Allingham's amusing sidelines — hosts of ghosts and at least one ghoul perform in chillers that are traditional at the base, lit by candles and hurricane lamps, pointed with a quite wicked humor. There's the perfect butler who can "turn away. . . anybody or anything"; a flurry of very dead letters; revenge at a gravesite, etc. And Campion appears twice. This minibus should go far with those who like their ghosts substantial. Read full book review >
CARGO OF EAGLES by Margery Allingham
Released: Jan. 24, 1967

Presumably Albert Campion's last case (this was completed by Miss Allingham's husband) finds that genial familiar down in historic Saltey, once a smugglers' gateway to London, now haunted by its Demon and tenanted by a murderer as well as some young hoodlums. All this along with the attempt to frighten away lovely Dido, a newcomer, and a romance... That traditional readership will find it a proper treat. Read full book review >
THE MIND READERS by Margery Allingham
Released: June 17, 1965

As Miss Allingham puts it- the "mystic, curling patterns of human adventure" can be very strange indeed. In this mystery/science/fiction/suspense novel the author shows how by suspending an ominous semi-supernatural cloud over the intricate plot. The mystery revolves around a scientific probe into mind-reading with two young English boys as the guinea pig participants. The device the young chaps use is called the "iggy-tube" but no one can determine who, why or what is behind the experiment and the boys are keeping their upper-lips buttoned. As the adults haggle, spy-hunt, and murder while governments ponder, the boys remained singularly undisturbed until the surprising climax. Jolly good show. Read full book review >
THE CHINA GOVERNESS by Margery Allingham
Released: Nov. 2, 1962

A novel of suspense rather than a mystery story — but the contribution made by the ineffable Campion and Inspector Luke place this in the class of detection for most comers. A strange and secret family-the Kinnits, who protect their sacred name from the press, find themselves involved in revelations about an adopted son, about an ancient murder, and a modern counterpart, about confused identities — and their old weapon falls them. Woven through concurrent investigations there is a romance — and an elderly household retainer provides the comic touch. Dependable Allingham. Read full book review >
CRIME AND MR. CAMPION by Margery Allingham
Released: Sept. 3, 1959

An omnibus volume which will contain three early, out of print Campion titles: Death of a Ghost (1934); Flowers for the Judge (1936); and Dancers in Mourning (1937). Read full book review >
TETHER'S END by Margery Allingham
Released: Oct. 2, 1958

Albert Campion, together with his Scotland Yard buddies, goes hunting for incidents having a common denominator, for the link between a ring, a glove and a wallet, and for the murderer with a tortuous, careful and tidy approach to his misdoings. Connecting all the cases centered on Garden Green, Campion tracks his quarry's devious route, helps to protect some nice people, and corners his criminal. Resourceful. Read full book review >
NO LOVE LOST by Margery Allingham
Released: June 17, 1954

Two novelettes, The Patient At Peacock's Hall and Safer Than Love, smooth over the problems of a film star near death and murder in a school. Dr. Ann Fowler works with her old love, John Linnett, to save Francia Forde's life and learns the truth of her jilting; the death of headmaster, Victor Lane, turns the town inside out as the investigation proceeds against his widow. Practiced. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 17, 1954

That Mr. Campion has concentrated on the cryptic is recognized by his followers; that he is cryptic to the point of incomprehensibility may be deplored, in this his latest pursuit of suave, subterranean crime. A proper funeral, a dead body long needing such ceremonies, a fete champetre organized by a clutch of rare lunatics (opposed to taxation) — and your Mr. C.'s nose quivers while his mouthings are petulant. His wife Amanda is even more arcane in her knowledge of local tribal customs; his son Rupert, at a tender age wears his parents' mantle — all help to make a muckle out of a mickle. Just a hobbery for the snobbery. Read full book review >
THE TIGER IN THE SMOKE by Margery Allingham
Released: Aug. 21, 1952

There's good hefty police work here and dramatic interplay of violent characters for the long series of coincidences that threaten Meg Elginbrodde's second wedding and for the deceptively vacant and gentle Albert Campion to follow the prickling of his thumbs in fog-drenched London. With Divisional Detective Chief Inspector Luke he tracks down the impersonator of Meg's dead husband, loses him and discovers that her groom to be, Levett, has disappeared. An outbreak of wantonly wicked killings by an escaped convict set them on the trail of lethally experienced Jack Havoc hiding out with a roving band of ex-service men, all intent on the locating of "The Treasure" belonging to Meg's first husband, and, with the rescuing of Levett, there is a dash to France and the mysterious Ste. Odile hoard. Meg unearths it — and Havoc is its victim. Satisfying sleuth-novel of present day London and contrasting personalities. Plus mystery market. Read full book review >
DEADLY DUO by Margery Allingham
Released: May 12, 1949

Crime Club. Two feminine fatality problems — Wanted: Someone Innocent and The Last Act — parallel, perhaps too much, Hilda Lawrence's Duet of Death. These however are more strictly mysteries than the earlier book, the first having to do with a young girl's involuntary connection with a murder, the second with an old actress' boomerang revenge. English expertness, accomplished and buttersmooth. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 10, 1948

Listed on the fiction rather than the mystery list of this publisher, this will be best known in the latter category, for the feats of Albert Campion are good news to his followers. There is a more marked kinship here to Dorothy Sayers and her type of crime detection novels, for the story of the Palinodes and the monkey business pursuing their family has more body to it than the usual mystery. Campion locates queer doings at an undertaker's, at the home of the Palinodes, where they are now living as guests, and in a chemist's shop. He tracks down his "shadowy (Little Clever)" with more than a little wit, and a great deal of brilliance. Superior fare for special tastes. Read full book review >
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE by Margery Allingham
Released: May 3, 1945

Albert Campion, war-fashioned and w-weary, blewits a nebulous case to a successful ending, proving to Oates (now head of CID) that murder and treasure thefts are related, that his friend Johnny is innocent, that justice can be done to the proper criminals. eat and seldom gaudy. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 19, 1941

The mystery writer tells, explicitly, honestly, the "history of a delicate time" in her East-Anglian village, from 1938-1941, which- in her personal experiences and those of her village neighbors, represent the whole of England. It has a far bigger panorama than the Kennedy book; it is less personal- more ramifying in detail and in implication. Filled with the homely — anxieties of all, problems of adaptation, local incidents, it should be humanly appealing to all types. Thirty miles from London, absorbed in things as they are, August of 1938 brings the realization of the threat of war, and the village prides itself on its emergency preparations. Then the breather after Munich, and during this period the hardening of the spiritual and mental muscles as they prepare for war. War is declared, and the perpetual surprises, good and bad excitements, the unification of the village as the unexpected numbers, and kinds, of London evacuees arrive. Then the soldiers, the bombings, the defeats that toughened them up without the "lack of an anaesthetizing panoply of battle", Churchill and the finding of a new world, and new values, a pride of race and the beneficial results of anger among a people. Much that is sombre and gay, in a book which is engrossing and moving. Read full book review >
TRAITOR'S PURSE by Margery Allingham
Released: March 7, 1941

A grand job of suspense, well handled angles on a series-detective, current war and romance as Albert Campion, suffering from concussion, pieces together bits of his identity and the problem on which he is working for the government. The reader is just as much in the dark as Campion, which is fair sleuthing, but this is really more active adventure-thriller than orthodox detecting, as Campion, and England, come through. Read full book review >
BLACK PLUMES by Margery Allingham
Released: Oct. 4, 1940

Intimidation of an English family, owners of an art gallery, through killing of those connected with the gallery. Beautiful Ivory's romance is almost smashed — her sister's past is revealed in its unsavoriness — but the killer is caught. Smooth reading and writing. Crime Club selection and a good 'un. Read full book review >
THE FASHION IN SHROUDS by Margery Allingham
Released: Oct. 7, 1938

Top ranking whodunit in Dorothy Sayers tradition. Mr. Campion rides a merry-go-round while trying to figure out how a lovely actress manages to have opportune deaths remove the wrong men from her life. Campion's sister is implicated in the current husband's death. Ultimately, Campion catches his criminal in the act — and almost loses his own life. Plus sale for non-mysteryites as first rate novel of fashionable London. Suspense — humor — well planned, well written. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 19, 1937

The case book of Mr. Campion, wealthy crime investigator of Dancers in Mourning containing seven episodes wherein he solves jewel robberies, murders, frauds, etc. Oates of Scotland Yard and Campion's imperfect valet also appear. Good reading. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 10, 1937

Good characters, situations and writing in the problem presented silent Campion: to discover who is persecuting English dancer, Sutane; who is responsible for the three ensuing deaths. Story plus detection, guessable but enjoyable. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 4, 1936

Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Croft, Father Ronald Knox, Dorothy Sayers, Russell Thorndike, in separate murder stories present the "perfect crime". Ex-Superintendent Cornish proceeds to demonstrate with each yarn why the killer would have been caught. Excellent fare for those who take detecting seriously, good yarns and Cornish's criticisms show up the weaknesses. Read full book review >
Released: May 8, 1936

Another not strictly in the mystery class, so get a plus sale by putting it with fiction as well. Plenty of mystery yarn ingredients — good writing and good characterization — in the story of a disappearance followed twenty years later by a second, in the same publishing family. Private detective to the rescue. Read full book review >
DEATH OF A GHOST by Margery Allingham
Released: April 4, 1934

Story centers around art and the Academy in London, and involves the faking of paintings and a mad critic. Strange events evolve from the will of a painter. Read full book review >
KINGDOM OF DEATH by Margery Allingham
Released: June 21, 1933

The lost claims to a bizarre inheritance — an old mill house — private capital pitted against the British government — witchcraft — intrigue — love. A good yarn. Read full book review >