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Police at the Funeral (Campion Mystery) [Paperback]

Margery Allingham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

1 Mar 2007 Campion Mystery


Agatha Christie called her ‘a shining light’. Have you discovered Margery Allingham, the 'true queen' of the classic murder mystery?

Private detective Albert Campion is summoned to Cambridge to assist the Faraday family with a mystery. He must untangle a web of family resentments and discover the truth behind the disappearance of one of the Faraday cousins, vanished without trace one Sunday morning after church, only to be found dead in a secluded stream.

Matters are complicated further by the murder of Julia, one of the Faraday sisters, poisoned by her morning cup of tea. Campion must unravel a chillingly ingenious plot, strewn with red herrings to get to the real secret of the Faradays.

As urbane as Lord Wimsey…as ingenious as Poirot… Meet one of crime fiction’s Great Detectives, Mr Albert Campion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009950734X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099507345
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Don't start reading these books unless you are confident that you can handle addiction" (Independent)

"The real queen of crime" (Guardian)

"Allingham's work is always of the first rank" (New York Times)

"Allingham captures her quintessential quiet detective Albert Campion to perfection... For those who relish classic crime fiction" (Daily Express)

Book Description

Agatha Christie called her ‘a shining light’. Have you discovered Margery Allingham, the 'true queen' of the classic murder mystery?

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You know when families don't get on...well... 20 Dec 2008
Super book and a well-crafted Margery Allingham, although there are some bits that don't come together well (or make sense), such as where Albert Campion meets his old friend Stanislaus at the very start of the book at an out of the way, little known rendezvous point purely by accident. All very contrived -this introduction to the story could have been done a lot more concisely and in a much more interesting way.
All said, it's a great story, and the reason why I like it is because it's quite a tense and in places claustrophobic rendition of a family imploding based on years of tension, dislike and plain hostility towards one another. We get a picture of the results of that "poison" all coming out in the wash and it makes for an exciting read.
I did start to guess what was going on towards the end of the book, but it was still not clear how the murderer had done it, so it was still very worthwhile reading to the end to find out. In fact, I was waiting for some more deaths to occur since the culprit seemed to have planned quite far ahead and with some ingenuity! But then Allingham didn't really write stories about mass-murderers, so it was probably best she stopped there!
About Campion - Margery Allingham has again written all the way through this book that Campion comes across as vacant, slightly imbecilic and perhaps a touch daft to other characters in the story, but I have to say he comes across as anything but to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A star of English crime fiction 1 Oct 2012
I've never read a Margey Allingham before, but having finally taken the plunge I have to say that I'm hugely impressed. She's of course one of the Grande Dames of English detective fiction, but she is a much better writer than either Dorothy L. Sayers or Agatha Christie (though it wouldn't be hard to be a more skilled prose stylist than Dame Agatha). Interestingly she seems to realise there's something faintly absurd about the notion of an aristocratic detective (according to my good friend Wikipedia, Albert Campion was created as a spoof of Lord Peter Wimsey), and there is almost a protean quality to her version - a bland man who hides behind his glasses and isn't even comfortable using his real name. Not that he isn't a strong presence at the centre of the book, the reader is never allowed to forget that behind his vague expression is the sharpest mind in the room.

A series of murders are committed amongst an old aristocratic family, which is ruled by an intimidating matriarch of the old school. Campion is called into help the investigation (an aristocrat investigating aristocratic murder always seems more likely to be successful, the family opens up in the way they never would with a common policeman). There are red herrings, other attacks in the night, huge footprints left in the garden and a conclusion which is satisfyingly impossible to guess - if more than somewhat absurd.

What really pleased me though was her style, breezy and smart with a good line in humour. This is a book to enjoy not only for the mechanics of the mystery but for the prose as well. As such I look forward to the other Campion novels in 2011.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talking Books at their Best 20 Jan 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First class listening, perfectly packaged so
a lot easier to handle than most CDs as each indivitual
CD has its own cardboard insert...much easier than having
to break a plastic box to try and get at a second CD!!
Well read by 'Philip Franks' who's voice suits the 'Campion Novels'
perfectly and, of course, well written as all 'Margery Allingham'
books are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of the really great Campion novels 12 Jun 2012
The sprawling house of a long-dead Master of a Cambridge college, inhabited by a bevy of servants and three generations of his family; the whole run for decades with ruthless precision by his now 84-year-old widow. It seems that someone, probably within the family, is determined to kill them off, one by one. Enter Campion, a friend of the family's solicitor, to solve the mystery before too much damage is done.

The matriarch runs the house to a strict timetable and code of behaviour, firmly set in the late 1800's, although the current date is the late 1920's! For example, she trundles off to church in a horse-drawn carriage, the house has no phone, and the decor, although maintained, has remained unchanged for decades. All the live-in relatives, with one exception - the fiancee of the solicitor - are financial inadequates totally dependent on the matriarch for survival, even though they are mostly well past fifty years old. Allingham portrays this bizarre scenario with unerring skill - you "see" the house, you sense and respond to the petty jealousies and hatreds that bubble beneath the surface and, with a little understanding of what life was like in that elite sector of society between the wars - you accept and believe in it. In short, you become part of the household.

If you find it difficult to believe that such a household could exist in the late 1920's, let me tell you that I was born in 1946 and I met two women very similar to the matriarch, in large houses with dependent relatives, in the 1950s. That sort of thing didn't really die out until the 1960's. Some complain that the ending of this novel is an anti-climax. However, it is fairly clear two-thirds of the way through that only one person could have killed the first victim.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good
A good read
Published 20 days ago by kat Bond
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle lilting tale
Lovely gentle crime novel. Odd ball characters aplenty. Sometimes one can have too much reality, too many graphically detailed looks at mans inhumanity to man. Read more
Published 24 days ago by berskins
5.0 out of 5 stars It completely fooled me
What a great read it had me fooled. At one point I thought I had cracked it how wrong I was. It keeps you guessing to the very end. What a brilliant twist.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs Patricia McCarthy
4.0 out of 5 stars A very odd family
Rather a strange drawing room set of murders but one must remember that this was first published in 1931 and expect it to present out-dated attitudes. Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2011 by Jane Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous, but enjoyable.
The plot is unlikely, even preposterous; the ending is disappointing; and the writing and dialogue is stilted, hampered by the time-warp in the family home, with an 1890's... Read more
Published on 27 May 2011 by Hugh Sedon
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable murder mystery but the ending was disappointing
Another outing for Albert Campion, this time he's called to an old Cambridge house where the formidable Great Aunt Caroline rules over her children, nephews and nieces. Read more
Published on 21 April 2011 by H. M. Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars police at the funeral.
I am not sure why the book was called this ,but i did enjoy it, and I agree with the earlier comment about a similar Sherlock Holmes mystery. Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by miss frood
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and reasonably well tied together
The plot in this type of novel doesn't have to be plausible it just has to be reasonably well tied together. And in that Allingham is successful. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2010 by Graham R. Hill
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