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4.5 out of 5 stars19
4.5 out of 5 stars
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The publishing firm of Barnabus is suddenly in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when one of its directors is found dead in a locked cellar which the firm uses as a strong-room. Albert Campion has already been called in to investigate because Paul has disappeared and naturally becomes involved in the subsequent investigation.

What follows is an intricate story with many strands both past and present and the tension gradually builds to a nail biting finish and an intriguing epilogue. I found myself totally engrossed in this story and having read three or four Albert Campion stories I am starting to warm to Campion himself as a character.

Margery Allingham's writing is excellent as is her plotting and her characters and the reader has to be very observant to work out where the story is going. This story has stood the test of time well and it is still readable eighty years after it was first published. If you like crime stories in the conventional mould then try this one.
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on 11 April 2016
Margery Allingham is clearly a cut above even the other estimable grandes dames of the Golden Age, with some claims to be considered as an interesting and intelligent novelist, even though she writes in genre, mixing comedy, satire, suspense and detection, and serious social commentary. it has to be said that this mixture produces very odd books, the earlier ones much to be preferred to the later ones, with a sharp postwar decline.
In the '30s she wrote about particular milieux, dance, painting, musical comedy, fashion, and here publishing very absorbingly. She doesn't have the virulent racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, homophobia you-name-it-phobia of most other contemporary practitioners of her craft, which one can only be thankful for, but she does have the rampant snobbery, still the mark of the middlebrow English writer (should one include Virginia Woolf in this?), which sees anyone but the smart world as things, or doesn't see them at all. I suppose one could call this sadly aspirational..
Flower for the Judge has a terrible, pointless title, like many of her books, but don't let that put you off, . It has a ripping plot, sympathetically-observed characters, interesting and arresting psychological observations, and that almost bottled flavour of past times. A great read.
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on 9 August 2015
It is difficult to give any sort of critique on an Allingham book because they were written so long ago that if I didn't like them I wouldn't have even tried them. I love the stories she tells and the characters in the stories, totally out of place in the 21st century with attitudes and values that are long gone - and after reading two or three of this author, much missed. I don't particularly like Albert Campion, he's not as nice as Lord Peter Wimsey; I don't much like his 'man' or henchman or ?butler? not nearly as sympathetic as Lord Peter's man. So why are these books so addictive.
Each book is in some way connected to the others, and if I have one criticism it is this fact that makes them annoying at times because you can read in isolation, apart from all the others but all the time you are wondering where this particular case fits in with all the others. Who exactly is Albert in love with this time and what happened to the other wide eyed ingenue that was his particular passion in the last one you read.
Mrs Allingham is streets ahead of Agatha Christie but not quite as good as Dorothy L. Sayers. There, that's the top and bottom of it; the pity of it is that once I've read them all there won't be any more.
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on 15 April 2013
Another great Allingham book. Campion is one of my favourite sleuths. Who is he really? We never do find out, although Lugg obviously knows. I truly didn't see the end of the story coming. Looking back on it, the hints were there, but not laboured. Glad to see the Campion books starting to appear on Kindle, they have been long time coming.
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on 5 December 2008
This is one of Allingham's London mysteries. The plot is tight enough for fans of Christie and Dickson Carr, but it has her distinctive period feel for London too. If you love the bizarre side of Allingham's writing you won't be disappointed, but the plot isn't overwhelmed by grotesquerie, making this a good read for everyone who likes classic detective fiction. Incidentally, I suspect one of PD James' novels pays silent homage to this one.
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on 26 February 2014
direct from kindle, it is so easy to buy your favourite books. Anyone who has never read Margery Allingham has missed out on one of the great crime writers (better than Christie)
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on 5 June 2015
Great Allingham story telling as always !
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on 28 June 2015
Nice old fashioned "tec tale.
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on 10 February 2016
Very enjoyable.
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on 3 March 2015
brilliant
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