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The White Cottage Mystery: An Albert Campion Mystery Audio Download – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This was Margery Allingham's first detective story, originally serialised in the Daily Express in 1927. The narrative flows as though you are watching a well-constructed movie, which may be down to the happy conjunction of her good writing instincts & careful editing-for-book by her sister Joyce. Copious classic ingredients are here: unusual murder, discoveries, suave detective, passions, blackmail, relevant personal histories, awkward secrets, continental visit... Yet there is something unpretentious about the way this tale is told - with its perceptions & charming English - that makes it a valuable, interesting, (post-)modern read.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 July 2016
Format: Paperback
This is the very first book written by Margery Allingham, and was originally published in serialised form in a newspaper in 1928. Her sister Joyce revised the text in 1974 to allow it to sit comfortably in a fully novelised form, without the need for recapping or revisiting earlier published parts. The book does not feature Allingham’s later detective creation Albert Campion, but is an interesting read (and not long, at fewer than 150 pages), and one that I wanted to tackle before continuing to read her works after The Crime at Black Dudley, with Albert Campion.

The story begins without any unnecessary preamble, as a young man travelling on his way to London finds himself caught up in the aftermath of a murder at the White Cottage. The young man is Jerry Challoner, and his father is Detective Chief Inspector W T Challoner of the Yard, so the tale then unfolds with both Jerry and his father on the case. They soon find that the murdered man had a lot of enemies, and their endeavours to follow all the threads of his life lead them even to France, where more mysteries await them.

This is a great little murder mystery. The men are all cads and bounders, or strong-minded, square- jawed types. The women are either brave and staunch, or fierce faithful-retainer types. Very much a book of its time, the society in which these people move is very alien to what we know, and the story itself incorporates much that feels very awkward and old-fashioned now. Nevertheless, an intriguing read, and one which sits well within the context of the early twentieth century crime fiction genre. Lots of twists and turns, and an engaging read.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Mention the name of Margery Allingham, one of our beloved writers of the Golden Age of Crime, and Albert Campion instantly springs to mind. Of course she not only wrote stories about him but many others, and not all in the crime fiction genre, indeed this novel here, which was first serialised in the Daily Express before being published as a novel, was Allingham’s first proper crime novel.

As Jerry Challoner drives through Kent on his way back to London he gives a woman a lift. But little does he know that shortly after this he will become embroiled in a mystery. With the death of a man, Mr Crowther, in the neighbour’s house, the white cottage of the title it isn’t long before Jerry’s dad is on the case. For Jerry, his father is no other than DCI W.T. Challoner, of the Yard.

With the death of a man that no one really liked there seems to be enough suspects, and quite a bit of circumstantial evidence, but can anyone be found guilty of murder? With a suspect running to the continent W.T. and Jerry have to travel to Paris, and then on to the Riviera. Finding out why people didn’t like Mr Crowther W.T. also finds out about a secret society, and comes across a previous criminal, who claims that he is going straight, as well as the secrets and deceptions of the suspects.

This is fast paced and should more than hold your attention, as you follow this investigation and come across all the possibilities of who committed the crime. The ending to this isn’t probably what you would expect, but that also adds to the pleasure of this tale, and if you haven’t worked out who the possible killer was, then this will eventually show you.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A good little mystery from the Golden Age of crime, when good men were handsome and brave, bad men were weaselly and/or greasy, all murders took place in middle-class country houses, and we women, who knew our place, were very, very silly. As our hero Detective Chief Inspector W.T. Challoner so neatly puts it 'Oh, you women, you women. When will you realise what is important and what is not?' Ah, when indeed?

When a man is murdered in the White Cottage, it turns out that everyone in the household has good reason to want him dead. W.T., ably assisted by his brave, handsome son, Jerry, is stymied as one by one each person can produce an alibi or explain their innocence. The investigation takes them to the South of France where W.T. finally gets the solution while Jerry does his best to get the girl.

The book was first published in 1928 just before Allingham created Campion, who was to become her recurring detective in later books. Allingham was considered to be one of the Queens of Crime, though personally I never found her books to be as satisfactory as those of either Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh. While Christie's works have a timeless quality, due in part to better characterisation and a creation of an England which probably never really existed, both Marsh's and Allingham's works seem dated now, although it's fun to see what social attitudes were like back then. Having said that, this is still a very good example of the murder-mystery genre, and I enjoyed it more than I did the later Campion books. It's good to see these classic mysteries getting a new lease of life as eBooks. Recommended.

NB This review is of an electronic proof copy provided by the publisher.
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