In this 1933 novel, goofy supersleuth Albert Campion masquerades as the Hereditary Paladin of Averna in order to restore the tiny Baltic kingdom to its rightful owners and foil a murderous industrialist. Danger (a mad doctor) and romance (a local girl) add to the detective's adventures.
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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.From AudioFile:
With a hint of danger and international politics at stake, Albert Campion travels from the French Riviera to a small village in Essex, England, trying to solve a one-hundred-year-old riddle. With his British accent, narrator Francis Matthews finds exactly the right tone for Campion--very proper, sometimes alert and sharp, but usually (intentionally) vacuous and foolish. His three upper-crust companions are harder to differentiate at times. Matthews does well with the Cockney accents and Midlands dialects and with the supporting cast, especially the pugnacious Lugg. Additionally, he gives Amanda all the enthusiasm, intelligence, and lack of self-consciousness that charms Albert completely. In keeping with Allingham's prose, Matthews brings the reader unhurriedly along, slowly building towards the tense but satisfying end. W.L.S. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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