The imperious Caroline Faraday runs her house like a Victorian fiefdom, unconcerned with the fact that it's 1931. Furniture and meals are heavy and elaborate, both motorcars and morning tea are forbidden on account of vulgarity. The Faraday children - now well into middle age - chafe at the restrictions, but with no money of their own, they respond primarily by quarreling amongst themselves. Their endless squabbling is tedious but nothing more until one of them turns up missing and then dead, followed shortly by his petulant, whining sister. Though neither will be much missed, decency demands that Caroline Faraday hire the nearly respectable Albert Campion to investigate their untimely ends. Unfortunately, what Mr. Campion discovers will force the modern world relentlessly into Mrs. Faraday's stuffy Victorian parlor.
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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.Review:
A richly detailed and entertaining romp, with a fascinating resolution and an unconventional and winning sleuth --The Chicago Tribune
Margery Allingham towers above them all --The Observer (UK)
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