Scandal hits the staid publishing house of Barnabas when one of the directors is found dead in the strong-room. Suspicion immediately falls on his wife's lover, the junior partner in the firm. But how does an unpublished Restoration comedy come to feature in the tragedy? And what of the odd disappearance of another director twenty years before?
The trial of Mike Wedgwood for murder is nail-bitingly tense, and Albert Campion needs all his resources to uncover the truth.
Margery Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family immersed in literature. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was 19. Her first work of detective fiction was a serialized story published by the Daily Express in 1927. Entitled The White Cottage Mystery, it contained atypical themes for a woman writer of the era.
Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, albeit originally as a minor character. He returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, much taken with the character. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s.
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just not what I was looking for
That is only my second Albert Campion Mystery and I have to say that I see a tendency to introduce weird and (at least for me) hard to believe characters... which then makes the story hard to believe. But the bigger problem here was the narrator. He has a wide range of "voices" and he uses it. For me it was a bit over the top and I prefer audiobooks to dramatized versions because I don't like too many noises. I like the feeling of somebody reading to me and just a subtle change of "melody". Here I often had the feeling I was kicked out of the story because of the complete change of "voice"... impressive but just not for me.
- A. W.