Way back during the Crusades, Richard I presented the Huntingforest family with the tiny Balkan state of Averna but since then the kingdom has been forgotten, until circumstances in Europe suddenly render it extremely strategically important to the British government. They hire unconventional detective Albert Campion to recover the long-missing proofs of ownership - the deeds, a crown, and a receipt - which are apparently hidden in the village of Pontisbright.
On arriving in Pontisbright, Campion and his friends meet the eccentric, young, flame-haired Amanda Fitton and her family who claim to be the rightful heirs to Averna and join in the hunt. Unfortunately, criminal financier Brett Savanake is also interested in finding the evidence for his own ends.
©1934 Margery Allingham (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Sweet Danger is a campy sort of mystery, though the mystery really isn't much of a mystery. Campion is drool and amusing as he and a group of friends try to find the true heir to a piece of strategic property in a far off Balkan country. We get to meet the eccentric Finton family, in particular young Lady Amanda Finton, who scrape by running a mill. The Finton's hold the keys to the mystery. Lady Amanda likes to tinker with electricity, batteries, and radio. The bad guy and his cronies are obvious from the start.
Francis Matthews is a wonderful narrator. I prefer him to David Thorpe, whose Campion I find grating..
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Well, we have a mysterious hero doing a mysterious job for his government. A few items must be found. A treasure hunt?
We have a disinherited member of nobility who is seeking recognition and his estates. A little Crusade history. A Demonic Doctor with an equisite cellar and a red haired lass who runs an electric car and a windmill. And the baddies also on a hunt.
It is a delightful listen. Not at all serious.
This is one of my favourite books in the series, read beautifully by Francis Matthews. Seriously. The man captures the characters in ways that other
narrators of these books just can not touch. (Okay, there is the one sentence where he accidentally makes Mary sound like Aunt Hat, but that doesn't bother me.)
I love Margery Allingham's characters and her stories. This story is not typical of Allingham's Campion mysteries. It is a bit more tounge-in-cheek and there is no murderer to catch but rather a puzzle to be solved in order to lay claim to a strategically important piece of land. (The story is set in England just before WWII.) Like her other Campion mysteries, Campion is as dour as ever and is counter balanced by his "man" Lugg and other supporting characters. I particularly liked Amanda Fitton's resourcefulness, spunk and courage. The story is well told, the characters are realistic, the villan is scary and everybody's psychological motivations are crystal clear. The mystery will hook you and your concern about the fate of the characters will keep you involved. I had trouble turning it off.
Another matchless performance from the late Francis Matthews. He captures the characters and the era perfectly. After I finished this I started listenng to another one narrated by David Thorpe.......very second rate ... Wish more Matthews recordings were available
"Not Allingham's best story"
I like Majorie Allingham's vintage detective novels and can put up with a lot of her whimsy because of the fantastic atmosphere she can build up.
However this was too ridiculous for me and also had a thoroughly irritating heroine, Amanda. Allingham was obviously smitten with her daft wilfulness but it set my teeth on edge. The trio of young artistos helping Campion were almost as exasperating, and the plot was pants.
Far far better are the novels which also feature Detective Inspector Luke. I'd recommend ' The Tiger in the Smoke' for starters.
The reading was quite good but there's only so much you can do with such weak material.
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