A is for Allingham

This is part of the Alphabet of Crime Fiction series. Big thanks to Kerrie for doing the leg work. You can show your appreciation by heading on over to Mysteries in Paradise and either signing up or cheering everyone on.

A is for Allingham (alternatively A is for Albert)
Margery Louise Allingham
(20 May 1904 – 30 June 1966) was an English crime writer best remembered for her detective stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion (from Wikipedia). This was my first story by Allingham and I have to say I enjoyed it. It is very much reminiscent of Agatha Christie which is unsurprising given that their careers overlapped for a good bit. My story of choice was The Case of the White Elephant which is a short story from the 1937 collection Mr. Campion: Criminologist. However, I read it from my A treasury of Great Mysteries which is an anthology of mostly short stories with a few novels thrown in. I’m not sure if reading only a short story for the meme is cheating but I’m going to be traveling for the next couple of days straight while changing quite a few time zones so that’s my excuse. But, back to the white elephant, Campion is chaperoning the young debutante Ms. Juliet about town as she starts to pump him for information about the mysterious burglaries that have been taking place around town. They are sitting down for a cup of tea when they witness a rather strange incident involving a manicurist to the wealthy. Juliet’s fiance’s aunt is soon a suspect in these burglaries but Campion deftly pieces together the puzzle including the strange behavior of the manicurist and brings everything to a satisfying end. Interspersed with the main story is the playful interaction between the just turned forty Campion and the very young Ms. Juliet who considers him to be over the hill. Overall, it was a quick read with a minor but interesting twist. Not quite a whodunnit but a “how did it happen?” story. I liked Allingham’s writing style, probably because it reminded me of Christie herself, and I hope to read a few more of her books soon. Have you read an Allingham novel? or maybe you are a Campion fan. In either case, let me know if you have a favorite Allingham book.

More Information
Margery Allingham and Albert Campion at Wikipedia
Also visit the home of the Margery Allingham Society


3 responses »

  1. Great choice for A. Allingham is, indeed, one of my favorites. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most of the books I’ve read by her…my favorites being The Tiger in Smoke, More Work for the Undertaker (first Allingham I read), and The Fashion in Shrouds.

    Here’s my Crime Fiction A

    • PeterReynard

      Hey Bev, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the recommendations. I’m putting those on my list.

  2. Allingham is not a favourite of mine though I rate Tiger in the Smoke quite high. I recently read Crime at Black Dudley which is the first Campion and it left me totally underwhelmed. Have you dropped out of the meme?


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