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Dancers in Mourning: Albert Campion #8 Paperback – July 17, 2008
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"Miss Allingham's strength resides in the power of her characterizations, in her striking talent for painting vivid social backgrounds, and in her skillful use of language" -- Manchester Guardian (UK)
About the Author
Margery Allingham was a prolific writer who sold her first story at age eight and published her first novel before turning 20. She went on to become one of the "Three Queens" of Britain's "Golden Age" of crime fiction (the other two being Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers), who are credited with bringing the genre to maturity in the 1920s - 1940s.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Freak accidents and practical jokes have dogged the cast of the play, and nerves are running high. Uncle William calls in Albert Campion to help resolve the problems and return things to normal. After a backstage visit Campion accepts an invitation to Sutane's country house, where he meets Sutane's long time friend Squire Mercer, his understudy Benny Konrad, supporting actress Chloe Pye, and many other players in the drama about to unfold. Much to Campion's shock he find's himself stricken by Suntane's wife, Linda. Everything comes to a head when Chloe Pye falls off a road bridge directly in front of Sutane's moving vehicle. The inquest is inconclusive, unable to decide if se was pushed, fell, or jumped.
Completely befuddled by his feelings for Linda, Campion has difficulty focussing on the case. He withdraws, providing help only sporadically. Not even the sudden tragedy of the bombing murder of Benny Konrad, which leaves 15 people dead or injured, seems to rouse him from this state. Finally, it is the pleas of Linda herself that arouse him to the hunt again. Even so, it is an unwilling Campion that follows the trails to their inevitable, tragic conclusion.
This is one of Allingham's most difficult books. Truly, we are not used to an unwilling Campion. Without the precious antics of Magersfontein Lugg, Campion's manservant, the overall tone of the book would be darkly somber. Yet the writing is some of her best. Character depictions are deep and well made. There are moments in the dialog and narrative that attain an almost poetic clarity. The plot is complex and moves along well. And, for those of us who do not always pay close attention, the ending is a bit of a surprise. Allingham has wandered onto uncharted waters in "Dancers in Mourning," and she has done very well.
Albert Campion is asked backstage to meet the famous Revue Star, Jimmy Sutane. Delivered flowers smelling of garlic and other devilment in his life are driving the great Star bonkers. They must be stopped. With this simple beginning Campion is invited to visit a Country House...and drawn into a web in which he must catch a Killer but doesn’t want to. Could this be due to the Lady of the House? His thoughts are as interesting as his actions in this Story. But as the Murders continue and the Police seem to need his help he must overcome his reluctance. A very fine cast of characters...my heart went out to the very lonely, Sutane Child. She and Lugg... Campion's Butler are a perfect delight in "Dancers in Mourning."
It really rather turned me off to the character frankly. Can anyone who is a fan explain? Perhaps I missed something...