Jimmy Sutane is London's favorite song-and-dance man, headlining at the Argosy Theatre, and beloved by all. Or almost all - someone has taken to playing increasingly nasty pranks. Albert Campion offers to poke around, but what he finds chez Sutane nearly overwhelms him. The far-from traditional household features a clutch of explosive egos, including a brooding 'genius musician,' and a melodramatic young actress who seems to delight in drawing others into her web of carefully groomed tragedy. Someone here is aiming to hang up Sutane's tap shoes on a permanent basis, and if Campion is to keep Jimmy dancing, he'll have to come up with some pretty fancy footwork of his own.
Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. Her first novel was published when she was seventeen. In 1929 she published The Crime at Black Dudley and introduced the character who was to become the hallmark of her writing - Albert Campion.
©2013 Margery Allingham (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"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" (Guardian)
I love the Campion series and the plot is satisfyingly full of twists. Good story but, most especially, the narrator is truly wonderful! David Thorpe captures all the different characters well with a really impressive repertoire of different voices for each. His delivery adds a great deal of well-placed comedic touches to the story. I am definitely looking for more books narrated by Mr. Thorpe.
Unlike other Campion stories, the reader gets to see a new side of Campion. We get a glimpse into his heart and his struggle with a personal conflict. It adds a new dimension to his character, who usually gets by with a joke to cover his feelings. The story is peppered with intriguing secondary characters and plot twists abound. I gave the story itself only 4 stars because I don't think the motive given for the killers action was worthy of some of his/her actions. A great listen, though I do find David Thorpe's interpretation of Campion's voice a bit over the top.
The book cover makes no sense. No one in the story was a ballet dance. Just a pet peeve of mine.
"Much more than a crime novel"
Yes because it is so much more than a crime novel. There is an emotional depth to it that I find very moving and David Thorpe's reading does that full justice. It is quite dark in tone with a lot of people who are bruised by life in some way or another.
They are all vividly drawn. On a slightly shallow note, I am I pleased that Amanda Fitton is entirely absent as I find her presence detracts in other novels.
No but I would certainly listen to others. I hesitated a long time before buying this because I have a much cherished reading of this book by Francis Matthews and I was concerned that this reading would somehow disappoint me. I needn't have worried. David Thorpe has all the attributes I want in a reader, a beautiful voice and the ability to convey character through different voices as well as a performance to suit the story. There were times when I genuinely forgot this was just one actor reading as the voices were all so different.
I find the whole set up of this particular story moving but the ending particularly so. No matter how many times I listen to it it always moves me (almost) to tears. The reason for this lies in the writing and the creation of characters I really care about. All of this could be lost in performance but David Thorpe conveyed the emotional depth so well. Even the minor characters are vividly portrayed ranging from the comic to the tragic and it is a very satisfying performance which does justice to a novel with more depth than a straightforward whodunnit.
This is the only Campion novel I like because this is a grown up Campion who is not playing the fool as he often seems to be in other novels. He was in emotional turmoil throughout the novel and I truly feel his dilemma
"A Cracking Mystery"
This is a book that deserves to be near the top of the tree in the Margery Allingham canon.
This book follows similar lines to the other Albert Campion books. Very well crafted with good interaction between the numerous character especially Lugg and Campion. I thought it was a little bit slow in starting but once the bodies started appearing it took off. If you ever get a paper version of this book, whatever you do don't loose the last page, as it's only in the last paragraph you find out "who done it". I was wrong by the way. Excellent book.
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