Campion's glorious summer in Pontisbright is blighted by death. Amidst the preparations for Minnie and Tonker Cassand's fabulous summer party a murder is discovered and it falls to Campion to unravel the intricate web of motive, suspicion, and deduction with all his imagination and skill.
©1983 Emily Joyce Allingham (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"Miss Allingham's strength lies in the power of her characterization" (New York Times)
"Margery Allingham has worked her way up to a worthy place among the tiny hierarchy of front-rankers in the detective world" (Tatler)
"Spending an evening with Campion is one of life's pure pleasures" (Saturday Review)
"Margery Allingham deserves to be rediscovered" (P.D. James)
This is not Allingham's best - Albert Campion is lost in the middle of Amanda's tumultuous family and hangers-on. The story is convoluted and there are so many characters that are never fully formed. But it is entertaining and inventive. The solution comes a bit from left field, but the ride there is fun.
The narrator, however, does not get a single character correct. Everyone comes across as a dolt, an arrogant prick or so blase that you wonder they take the trouble to breath. This is one of the worst narrations I have listened to with regards to character voices. His pacing, clarity and volume are all fine - interesting since those tend to be bigger problems with other narrators. It was difficult to finish the book.
I've read this book before and enjoy the story, but couldn't make it more than 15 minutes with this narrator. He makes Campion sound like a perpetual adolescent, complete with voice breaks and cracks every other sentence. The character must be at least 40 by the time of this story! What's more, the cracking voice was one of the only ways I could tell Campion from many of the female characters. Fun book for fans of Allingham, but find a print copy of another narrator.
Performance grossly inappropriate to the characters. Highpitched male voices, females reduced to a gloomy drone.
The character of Charlie Luke has a wonderful richness and depth in the book - turned into a squeaky caricature in this performance
I wouldn't cut anything from the story; the book is a marvellous piece of work and one of my all-time favourites. I would cut the narrator.
Margery Allingham must be spinning in her grave
"Midsummer madness in Suffolk"
The Beckoning Lady is a beautiful old house in Pontisbright, where Minnie (a painter) and Tonka (an ideas man) are about to host a Midsummer's Night party for everyone they've ever met. In spite of the recent death of Uncle William (an old buffer) and the more disturbing discovery of a week-old corpse in nearby fields. Legend has it the house is always owned by a woman, and men will do anything to possess it. Mr Albert Campion is disturbed and must solve several mysteries before enjoying a party.
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