Read The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham Free Online
Book Title: The Crime at Black Dudley|
Date of issue: 1950
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Margery Allingham
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.76 MB
Edition: Penguin Books
Read full description of the books The Crime at Black Dudley:”Up the well known creek.”
I first met Albert Campion when I stumbled across the BBC TV show called Campion, starring Peter Davison. I don’t know if there is a more bizarre detective in publishing history. Having a conversation with Campion is sort of like having a conversation with Robin Williams. His mind is so brilliant that he skips ahead of us mortals, making connections, assertions, and leaps of logic that are impossible to follow step by step. We have to hope to assemble enough of the pieces to get a general idea of what he is talking about.
This is the first Campion novel, though in this book he is just a colorful supporting character. Pathologist Dr. George Abbershaw takes center stage as the lead amateur detective. After reading the book, her American publishers suggested she focus on Campion with future novels.
Sometimes publishers know what they are talking about.
Campion arrives at the ancient manor Black Dudley to crash a party, though like many such events it takes a while for the hosts to figure out he is not invited by...well...anyone. He is a man of dubious character, and as the plot continues, he plays the role of red herring, foil, and eventual hero. When Colonel Coombe, the uncle of the owner of Black Dudley, dies under dubious circumstances during the party, it seems he was not exactly on the up and up and was using the party as a cover to meet with some of his shady associates. Whatever Coombe was supposed to pass to a Benjamin Dawlish is lost.
Dawlish with the help of his criminal gang, who were posing as hired help for the household, drains the petrol from the all the cars and effectively holds all the guests hostage. No one is to leave until “the package” is retrieved.
Campion is a bit of a well meaning klutz and finds himself more than once in precarious circumstances due to his impetuous manner of investigation. Abbershaw doesn’t know exactly what Campion is up to, but he knows he can’t trust him completely.
Campion is a natural focus for the gang for retrieving their package. He is tortured but escapes through a hidden passage way to rejoin the rest of the guests. The criminal plot is rather convoluted and becomes secondary to the very real need for the guests to figure out a way to escape.
One of the gang members is referred to as The Jew. It isn’t until almost the end of the novel that Margery Allingham reveals his name as Gideon. The descriptions of him are rather odious and dripping with contempt. The anti-semitism the writer must have felt was not subtle. The book was published in 1929, but still the use of the term THE JEW bothered me. If Allingham had called him Gideon, but described him as a Jew with smarmy personality traits, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. It was a distraction, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the book.
It is revealed that our sleuth Campion is not his real name. He uses a series of pseudonyms to keep his enemies confused and Scotland Yard unsure of his intentions. He doesn’t always operate on the right side of the law. He is certainly a free spirit with a “royal” pedigree that is only alluded to, but not explained, in this book. Allingham wrote 17 novels and 20 short stories featuring Campion. I’ve read that more is revealed about Campion’s past in the second book Mystery Mile. I’m hooked, so I’m in for a foot as well as the full mile.
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Read information about the authorAka Maxwell March.
Margery Louise Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family of writers. Her father, Herbert John Allingham, was editor of The Christian Globe and The New London Journal, while her mother wrote stories for women's magazines. Margery's aunt, Maud Hughes, also ran a magazine. Margery earned her first fee at the age of eight, for a story printed in her aunt's magazine.
Soon after Margery's birth, the family left London for Essex. She returned to London in 1920 to attend the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster), and met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter. They married in 1928. He was her collaborator and designed the cover jackets for many of her books.
Margery's breakthrough came 1929 with the publication of her second novel, The Crime at Black Dudley . The novel introduced Albert Campion, although only as a minor character. After pressure from her American publishers, Margery brought Campion back for Mystery Mile and continued to use Campion as a character throughout her career.
After a battle with breast cancer, Margery died in 1966. Her husband finished her last novel, A Cargo of Eagles at her request, and published it in 1968.
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