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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing murder plot against an eccentric family
Allingham at one of her best character-thrillers. Apron street, a throughfare stuck in an older time frame: a street not "to go up" according to the criminal fraternity. A wonderfully weird collection of people: there are Jas Bowels and Son Rowley the undertakers; and then the Palinode brothers and sisters, living in a world of naive eccentricity, two of whom...
Published on 26 Oct 2000

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3.0 out of 5 stars More Work for the Undertaker
Since I've had my KindleI have been downloading some of my favourite books which I'd like to read again but I find that the Kindle versions have whole sentences missing and lots of spelling mistakes - sometimes changing the meaning of the words. It would appear that there is no proof-reading and gives a careless impression.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. J. M. Gibb


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing murder plot against an eccentric family, 26 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Allingham at one of her best character-thrillers. Apron street, a throughfare stuck in an older time frame: a street not "to go up" according to the criminal fraternity. A wonderfully weird collection of people: there are Jas Bowels and Son Rowley the undertakers; and then the Palinode brothers and sisters, living in a world of naive eccentricity, two of whom have already left this life in mysterious circumstances. Into this world comes Albert Campion, assisting Detective Inspector Charles Luke and his team by being on the inside. Wonderfully described cameos such as Jas and Son moving an ebony-veneered coffin in the early hours of the morning. A treasure of a thriller captiviting the imagination and the intellect. A set of imaginative characters but in a real world of death and its consequences. It ends with a surreal chase through the night, police cars after a horse-drawn coffin brake. Sadly, they don't write them like this anymore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Work for the Undertaker, 28 Jan 2013
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Albert Campion has been asked to help in a case which is puzzling his old boss. The Palinodes are a wealthy family which has fallen on hard times and two of them have died in what may or may not be suspicious circumstances. Campion has also been offered a job abroad which he is in two minds about whether to accept. In the end the lure of police work is something he cannot resist. The house in which all the remaining Palinodes live is situated in Apron Street which seems like a throwback to an earlier age.

In the same street there is a very old fashioned bank, and undertakers and a chemist. The Palinode house is run as a lodging house by an old friend of Albert's and she welcomes him like the long lost cousin he is pretending to be. It soon becomes clear that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface than is at first apparent and Campion's contact in the police force - Charlie Luke - is becoming more and more confused by what Campion has uncovered. This is the first one of Margery Allingham's Campion novels I've read and I found it entertaining reading. Campion himself is an interesting character and all the other characters are well drawn and believable.

I thought the plot was extremely good and complex with lots of strands and plenty of people making oblique remarks whose meaning only becomes clear gradually. I didn't work out what was happening before the tense denouement though the clues are there for an observant reader. Clearly I wasn't sufficiently observant! Having said that I do like crime novels where I don't manage to work out who the murderer is. Overall this is a very well written example of the Golden Age of British crime fiction. It is a tense and atmospheric read with many strange and eccentric characters. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime novels written in the classic mould.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic story telling, 9 May 2009
By 
David Payne (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) (Paperback)
I first read this story twenty-odd years ago and I was so impressed by it that I have tried to read all of Margery Allingham's Mr Campion detective stories since. This one has all the ingredients that I've come to expect from this series of detective novels: an unusual plot, weird names like Stanislaus Oates (a police detective), weird characters like the Palinode family who are central to the story and finally, a very clever title. To find out why this particular title is so apt you need to read the book. If you've never read any of Margery Allingham's books before, this is the one to start with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale - unlike anything else, 13 July 2012
This review is from: More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) (Paperback)
'The Tiger in the Smoke' may be Allingham's greatest Campion novel, but 'More Work for the Undertaker' gives me more pleasure than any of them. For a start, it has Lugg's most wonderful line; he refers to his brother-in-law, the undertaker Jas Bowels, as "Bowels by name and Bowels by nature"! But there are so many more treats in store. This novel introduces Charlie Luke, one of the greatest characters in crime literature. A London copper who talks with his whole body, his conversation a catalogue of abbreviated paragraphs augmented by hand movements, facial expressions, twitches of the shoulders, and innumerable other phsyical gestures that are largely left to the imagination of the reader. Then there's the Palinodes, the children of a prominent late-Victorian academic: totally broke, essentially unemployable, intellectually outstanding, highly educated, living as tenants in the vast house that used to be theirs. And then, somebody starts to kill them....

Campion is persuaded to abandon a budding career in diplomacy, which he never wanted anyway, and investigate by moving into the Palinode household as the "nephew" of the landlady - Renee Roper. Remember her from 'Dancers in Mourning'? This he does successfully, at the same time as uncovering an ingenious scheme for helping criminals evade justice.

This wonderful story includes a highly evocative description of London after the war, but before the local planning authorities moved in to finish the job started by the bombers of the Third Reich. You can still see it, if you look hard and employ imagination, but much of the ambience has been ruined by reckless development when money was tight. Thanks Margery, for the social history!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Old Storytellers Are the Best, 21 Jan 2013
By 
Jean Nisbet - See all my reviews
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I'm a great fan of the classic mystery-writers: Agatha Christie, John Creasey, Dorothy L Sayers - and Margery Allingham. More Work for the Undertaker is a period piece: old-fashioned language, slightly stilted, and a very conventional hero. Very entertaining. I'd forgotten just how Allingham's stories rattle along. I'll be re-readng more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 25 April 2014
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Anyone wanting to add a good book to their collection cant go wrong with this,it's excellent. A very good thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More work for the undertaker, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) (Paperback)
Its one of Margery Allingham's best. Her Campion books are great entertainment without the blood and guts of some modern thriller writers. You pays your money and you takes your pick. I pick Miss Allingham.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) (Paperback)
I had to ration myself to one chapter at a time because I didn't want to finish it. Most enjoyable book I've read in a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Franks is the man, 8 July 2012
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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It's the reading that really makes this. The plot is naturally preposterous and could easily cause one's attention to wander, but Franks' voices are a delight and constantly surprise and amuse. For me it is his Magersfontein Lugg that as usual tops the list, but they are are all excellent.

Notwithstanding its sheer ludicrousness the story rattles along and keeps one wondering, not just about who done what, but about what Allingham was smoking when she wrote it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Palinode family are fascinatingly drawn, and Charlie Luke ..., 4 Sep 2014
This review is from: More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) (Paperback)
The Palinode family are fascinatingly drawn, and Charlie Luke is introduced (read the Beckoning Lady to follow his fortunes and the China Governess) . MA writes such engaging characters and crafts her stories so well. Part of AC's allure is the sparsity of detail about him that creates such a vivid impression.

Several times in reading this series I have been utterly impressed. You can only shake your head in admiration at her talent at bringing people and situations vividly alive.

(very impressed...)
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More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery)
More Work for the Undertaker (Campion Mystery) by Margery Allingham (Paperback - 1 Mar 2007)
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