I am not going to answer all these questions, I'm just going to write my review. I am writing this review primarily in defense of the narrator, who I ..Show More »think does a very good job, and as of my writing there are nothing but complaints about him in the written reviews posted. He does Margery Allingham the courtesy of reading her work the way she wrote it, and I appreciate that in a narrator. I did not like the narration of Frances Mathews, who read the only unabridged versions of Allingham on Audible prior to the full series coming out with David Thorpe reading, and I think Thorpe is much better. Some have complained that in this book, Campion has an annoying, high pitched voice as read by Thorpe. Allingham tells us clearly in this book, on multiple occasions, that Campions voice is annoying, high pitched, and falsetto and Thorpe has the integrity and courage to read the character the way Allingham wrote him. Additionally, I find it annoying in some readers when they aren't familiar enough with the work to give the lines of dialog that occur before the explanations of them the correct emotional tone, an error Thorpe never makes. An example of the kind of thing I mean is a character will say, "I'm coming back now" and the reader will read it in a cheery tone of voice, and then the next line in the book is "he said sadly", and there we are with the jolt of a line read incorrectly by a reader that didn't do his or her homework and prepare properly for reading the the story. Thorpe has done his homework, he doesn't' make mistakes like this, his delivery is completely true to what Allingham meant it to be. There is no higher tribute a reader can pay to an author and it's one as a listener I REALLY appreciate, especially when I am fond of an author as I am of Allingham. Also, Thorpe reads with energy and sounds as though he is enjoying and appreciating the story as he reads it, and finally and perhaps most importantly, he GETS THE JOKES and reads the text in such a way that we can get them too. There is nothing sadder with these lovely examples of English humor than a reader who doesn't get the subtle humor and ruins it for the listener by reading it wrong. Allingham has some very funny lines, and Thorpe gets them all perfectly. I do concede that he's not very good at country accents, and there is a "yokel" character in this book that has quite a few lines and is really a bit hard to take overall what with the bad accent and the unfortunate tone of voice used as well, but still I feel he does a great job overall for the reasons mentioned above, and does not deserve the hammering he's been taking here in the review section. However, I've listened to almost the entire series now, and this is my least favorite, so all but the truly obsessed should probably skip this one and move on to the next in the series (Gyrth Challice) as a start. This book is clearly not the best Allingham has written by a long shot, though it's interesting to have because it IS the first in the series, and Campion was not meant to be the hero when she started writing, the series hero was meant to be the Doctor Abbershaw. If you do decide to start with this one, you can see why Campion became the series hero instead, he's far and away the character with the most pep, humor, interest, and energy, and a great deal smarter than the doc as well. Overall I gave both the book and the performance four stars for the problems mentioned above, the rest of the series gets five stars for performance and story from me. Thorpe does tone down the falsetto voice on Campion as he goes on with the series, since Allingham does not continue to insist on it, and I find this fidelity to the author completely admirable in a reader.
Imagine Bertie Wooster with more IQ but the same basic outlook and approach to life and you have Albert Campion. He is a sleuth who keeps you guessing..Show More » just as much as the ne’er-do-wells he pursues. His wit is so subtle and his character so unostentatiously outlandish, that lots of things get by you (well, ok, by me). Just be prepared to rewind from time to time or you’ll miss some exquisite stuff.
The plot, like the main character, is offbeat as well. Much of the time we’re not even sure if a crime has been committed. It looks like a possible murder, and it looks like a possible kidnapping, but is it? Were the previous attempts on the supposed victim’s life really attempts, or a series of odd accidents?
Heading our supporting cast is the gloomy, fatalistic Lugg, Campion’s man, who seems to know everyone who’s anyone in criminal circles—possible because, not too far back, he himself was a someone in those circles. The by-play between master and man is as funny as any Bertie-and-Jeeves banter, in a completely different and delightful way.
All of the above Francis Matthews conveys with a deft, unhurried delivery that gets every character right. He can make Campion sound as simple-minded as any member in good standing at the Drones and then as perceptive as Lord Peter Wimsey. Very fitting, if my sources are correct. I'm told that Allingham’s original impetus for creating Campion was as a parody of Lord Peter.
There will definitely be more Campion on the Wish List.
I like David Thorpe as reader for these books much better than Frances Matthews. I wrote a small novel about why in my review of, "The Crime at Black ..Show More »Dudley" and I will just add to it by saying that I think he's even better here than he was there, and that he reads Campion AS ALLINGHAM WROTE HIM which is what I like in a reader. Allingham was finding her range with this story, and it's got some splendid scenes in it, a great story line, and a lovely supernatural element as well. Plus, it introduces Lugg, Campions right hand man and one of my favorite characters in fiction. I highly recommend this both for the story and the fact that is is well read.
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 ..Show More »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..
This had never been my favorite Allingham but I am thrilled to have more of my favorite series available on Audible. I have always admired the lighth..Show More »eartedness of Margery Allingham's books. They are silly and they know it but they are good fun to read. The story is well read by Francis Matthews, who is my favorite narrator for the Campion series (I have them all on cassette). I just hope I am not the only one who loves these books and that Audible releases the full collection unabridged. I would love to see the Gyrth Chalice, Beckoning Lady, Traitor's Purse and The China Shepherdess available here.
I loved Margery Allingham's mysteries as a girl - such style and elegance. While the narration of The Fashion in Shrouds is pitch perfect and a deligh..Show More »t, sadly the writing and the social attitudes in the book are terribly dated. The prose now seems mannered and overly fussy and I found myself impatient at times. But the scenes with Albert Campion's valet, Lugg, are so brilliant that I always went back for again, hoping to hear more of that rasping voice croaking out his sly and cynical zingers.
I love the era just before WWI and between WWI and WWII. I had read most of the Albert Campion Books years ago but this was a new one for me. The narr..Show More »ation was interesting....I'm still not sure about the "voice" used for Albert but it might have grown on me! The mix of characters was delightful. I did figure out who the baddie was early but it didn't take away my enjoyment of the book at all. The mindset is of the characters is old fashioned but not wrong. There was a big surprise at the end and I was delighted by it. I hope to see more Albert Campion books available.
Once again Allingham draws a complete picture of a past time
We're in the post-WWII era now, but the victim's family refuses to admit that times have changed. What hasn't changed is the delightful back-and-forth..Show More » between Campion and his curmudgeonly upwardly-mobile gentleman's gentleman, Lug. Introduces a new member of the police whom I hope we meet again. As usual, Thorpe brings the disparate cast of characters brilliantly to life.
I'm not answering these questions Audible asks, I'm just writing my review. SPOILERS IN HERE!! SPOILER ALERT!!! In discussing the book you may th..Show More »ink I reveal too much if you don't like to know anything about it!! SPOILERS!! I have read in discussions of Margery Allingham that this is her masterpiece; it is certainly very different from any of her other books that I have encountered so far. Though there are some mysteries in this book, and a number of murders, it isn't really a murder mystery as I see it. Campion is of course in it, but it's not really about him, either. It seems to me to be a meditation on the second world war, and upon loss and grieving and change and how to accomplish these things well (or poorly). Also, and this grows as the story continues, it seems to be a meditation on the nature of good and evil, and upon what God is and what God isn't and most of all what a person becomes when God is lost to them. It's not surprising that someone who was born in 1904 in England would have thought extensively about these things, and their thinking about those points always speaks deeply to me, even though I was born in 1961 in the United States. There is a scene in the second half of the book, where Meg's father (a minister of the church) goes deliberately out to talk to the murderer. This action on his part is certainly distressing from a pragmatic point of view, but that's part of the point of the story if the story is more than a murder mystery. He believes that he is called to do so by God in order to offer salvation to the murderer, and what he says to the murderer about the path he (the murderer) is on I found to be greatly moving. I also found the final scenes at Sur la Mer extremely moving for the same reason (though more so the second time I listened to it, because the first time I was too anxious to find out what would happen to think deeply about what Allingham was really trying to say.) This is a book I will listen to more than once, especially the second half, for what Allingham has to say about spirit and loss and redemption and faith, rather than because it's a comforting golden age mystery. It's not a preachy book, but I think it has to be understood from the point of view of a discussion of what's real and what's not, rather than as a simple murder mystery. (I'm not advocating what the old man did, either, it usually turns out more like the girl in Patch Adams than how it did in this book when we are talking about real life it seems to me, but I'm just saying that it has a function as part of the philosophical discussion Allingham is illustrating and also of course, people thought differently in a different time and place). As always, I like the reader. I think he has a remarkable facility for indicating different characters clearly, I had to laugh when I read another review that said they found the difference between Campion and Luke wasn't clear. To me it seems SO clear, Campions voice is clearly older, deeper, not hoarse, more precise, and with a completely different accent (being aristocratic rather than working class, like Luke). In general I feel Thorpe has done a brilliant job with these books as I listen my way through all of them, and since I didn't like Frances Mathew's readings, it's a blessed relief to me not to have to put up with him in order to get unabridged Margery Allingham. I also noticed that as the series is going on and Campion is getting older, Thorpe is making Campion's voice deeper with time, which is a thing that does actually happen with age. This is the kind of attention to detail and fidelity to the writer that is unusual in a reader, and that I so appreciate about Thorpe.
This time we get into the mind and habits of s serial killer, pursued by a wider circle of interested parties. Excellent and very modern, and Charles ..Show More »Luke really shines. My only complaint is that Lugg and Amanda don't play a part.