- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; Uniform edition edition (Dec. 1964)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434018821
- ISBN-13: 978-0434018826
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,211,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Police at the Funeral Hardcover – 1 Dec 1964
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"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)
"An outstanding piece of work – original, clever, baffling" (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Campion returns to help uncover the real secret behind the mysterious Faraday family --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The book is saved from being dated paradoxically because the house in which the action takes place has been allowed to remain fixed in the late Victorian era even into the 1930s in which the mystery is set; it has no telephone for example and still keeps a horse drawn carriage. The exception to this is the 'family secret' which is unpleasant not for what it is, but for the way that the so called 'shame' is described. Autre temps, autre moeurs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As always a book to be enjoyed and can't wait to get the next one.
And the TV series is just as good.
Margery Allingham does it again with a first class murder mystery.Published 2 months ago by James Lavery
The thing about Albert Campion is that you're never one hundred percent sure which side he's on. Unlike Peter Wimsey who will hand pretty much any murderer over - even if it's his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Verity Reads Books (a lot of them)
As always, Marjorie Allingham's books are always a joy to read.Published 4 months ago by Audrey Walker
First impressions count and this affected my appreciation of Campion's fourth outing. There is a contrived, almost ludicrous, co-incidental meeting between four of the protagonists... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Officer Dibble
I had this on an old penguin but I recently dowloaded. The tale involves strange deaths , black mail and one of Allingham's specialities, a strong and possibly nasty old lady. Read morePublished 8 months ago by email@example.com