- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
|New from||Used from|
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
"As addictive as cocaine, Allingham's stories feature spooky happenings and violent death" (Independent)
"Sweet Danger is for the connoisseur of detective fiction" (Sunday Times)
"An exceedingly lively thriller" (Spectator)
"Margery Allingham has precious few peers and no superiors" (Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Agatha Christie called her ‘a shining light’. Have you discovered Margery Allingham, the 'true queen' of the classic murder mystery? --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The novel is set in Allingham's favoured Suffolk - this time the north west near the border with Norfolk. The author paints a wonderfully evocative picture of life in out-of-the-way English places early in the last century, including a decrepit water mill, a pub friendly but not overly-welcoming of strangers, some weird customs, and the wonderful house of one of Allingham's greatest characters - the decidedly creepy Dr Galley - suffering from decades of social isolation and too much of the wrong sort of reading! Not that this tale lacks competing compelling characters. In addition to Galley, Campion, and Lugg, these include: Brett Savanake - a super-industrialist (also creepy) used to getting his own way whatever the cost to others, Amanda Fitton - brave, clever, vibrant, technical - later to become Campion's wife (although 16 years younger!), Hal Fitton - Amanda's pompous younger brother, Scatty Williams - Amanda's helper in running the mill and a wonderful, admiring sidekick for Lugg when the going gets tough, plus many other minor but important players. Campion's task is to prove Hal to be the legal heir to the fiefdom, pitted against the ruthless determination of Savanake and his criminal hirelings.
Here, Allingham intelligently develops the character of Campion in a pacey yarn that you will find hard to put down. In addition to the clever, funny - but infuriatingly inane - adventurer of the past, we have Campion the deadly-serious - but only occasionally, and Campion the courageous super-hero - his final showdown with the gargantuan Savanake is breath-taking. We also see the first steps leading up to Campion's eventual marriage to Amanda. She figures large in several subsequent novels, where the ups and downs of their relationship often form a key part of the plot. To successfully combine all these elements in a well-constructed and well-written tale takes literary skills of the highest order. Fortunately, Allingham was well up to the task.
It comes from her early period, when the emphasis is on eccentricity and fun, in a warm feel-good inter-war English upper middle class context. But it also has elements of a thriller, with fights as well as conundrums, which saves it from mere self indulgence and introduces a dark side, which came to dominate in later books like "Tiger in the Smoke".
The plot has a number of strands but they are woven together very tight - it revolves around a treasure hunt with international diplomatic implications, making it really matter. But it is quirky and witty throughout, and introduces Allingham's top detective character, Albert Campion, to Amanda Fitton, who in later books becomes his wife.
It's romantic, funny, extraordinarily well written, pacy, clever in conception, flawless in execution, with a dark shadow thrown across it by the villains and plenty of colourful characters, both good guys and bad guys, men and women. It may not be realistic, but it can't be beaten for entertainment value.
Unusually for a book of this type, it bears re-reading many times.
A must for fans; an excellent introduction to the writer for others.
Margery Allingham was one of the 'big four' women writers of the Golden Age of detective novels; the others were Dorothy L Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and, of course, Agatha Christie. Allingham was a very talented writer indeed and wrote her books about Albert Campion in triplets. She would set herself an objective and try to achieve it in her next three books. This early Campion novel (number 5, written in 1933) is light-hearted and humorous, meant to illustrate the more frivolous side of Campion's nature, and also to give him the chance to fall in love. I've read some poor reviews of this book, but personally I love the fun of it. Some of the later books are more powerful and perhaps more tightly plotted, and, all-in-all, Allingham proves herself very versatile.
Allingham was very good at inventing character and her books are peopled by varied and interesting ones. Campion is intriguing - he appeared as a minor character in her first book, 'The Crime at Black Dudley' but became the central character in her books. He is an aristocrat working, under an assumed name, for the government. He seems shallow and flippant, one of those irritating, idle, rich young men having 'larks' and generally wasting their time. In reality, he works for the government and is involved in important affairs; his veneer of mild idiocy is a smokescreen. He is accompanied by the wonderful Magersfontein Lugg, a richly comic invention, Lugg is consistently cheeky and overfamiliar yet he is Campion's manservant. Clearly, he is employed because he has other talents than pressing suits and preparing a light breakfast!
The improbable plot of this book is really entertaining hocus-pocus, and none the worse for that. There are many plot twists, urgent journeys, dangers, and some deaths and near-deaths. Amanda Fitton is the youngest of the three Fitton siblings, a charming and coltishly beautiful girl of sixteen with a lively personality. Campion falls in love with her - but can he speak to this young girl of love?
This is a book chock-full of youthful energy and adventure, with villains aplenty and daring deeds to be done.