Dancers in Mourning

Dancers in Mourning, by Margery Allingham

I don't think I've said anything about Margery Allingham here, but I love her books.  She wrote a lot of them, very fun mysteries (and plenty of other stuff too; she wrote for magazines a lot) usually starring Albert Campion as the detective.  Campion is your eccentric kind of detective, who hides a clever mind behind a vacuous and foolish exterior.  He has something of a secret identity, and there are references to his real name being Rudolph and a wealthy background.  If he reminds you of Lord Peter Wimsey, there is a reason for that, since he was reputedly created as a sendup of Lord Peter.  I haven't had a lot of luck getting many Allingham stories, so I'm happy now because I just got a pile of them.

In this story, Campion is called in to deal with a theatrical problem.  The famous Jimmy Sutane is starring in a popular show, but he's being quietly persecuted with nasty practical jokes.  Sutane is highly-strung and the pranks are driving him mad as well as endangering his career.  Campion spends a weekend with the whole cast at Sutane's country retreat, but a dancer--Chloe Pye--turns up dead.  Then the understudy is blown to smithereens.  It's quite a confusing mystery, but I spotted the killer before Campion did (since he's letting his emotions cloud his judgment, unusual for him).

Allingham has a very distinctive style.  She's not a great writer, but she's good at difficult mysteries and her stories have more variety than many others (in my opinion, anyway).  I plan to be quite happy reading my way through my pile.

In other news, I'm most of the way through 3 difficult books, and I'm thinking of doing that 15-day Book Blogging Challenge, but I don't know.  Some of the questions seem awfully difficult to answer!


  1. I've been thinking about doing the 15-day challenge too, but I'm having the same issue...haha. I'd love to see your answers, though!

  2. I love the Campion series. Our library used to have many of them, but I haven't read them in years! Isn't he the one who had the former burglar as his butler? Those were fun... I'll have to see if the library still has them.

  3. Yep, the horrible, rude, lovable ex-burglar. :)

    Emily, is this one of those cases where I say I'll do it if you do?

  4. I've seen this author's name, but haven't delved into any of her books. Thanks for letting me know what they are about. I think I'd like her.


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