When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend....
Ah, the pleasures of Christmas...the hanging of greens, the traditional feast, the gathering families, a few secrets in the air...and a bit of murder, conspiracy, and theft....
"Albert dear, we are going to have a quiet family party at home here for the holiday, just ourselves and the dear village. It would be such fun to have you with us."....
Seven people might have murdered Eric Crowther, the mysterious recluse who lived in the gaunt house whose shadow fell across the White Cottage. Seven people had good cause....
In March of 1926, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher and her friend and collaborator, Lady Lucy Gerald, head off for several days to a stately home reputed to have the best grotto in the country....
In September 1925, Scotland Yard DCI Alec Fletcher inherits a large house on the outskirts of London from a recently deceased great-uncle....
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.
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.
What disappointed you about The Beckoning Lady?
Performance grossly inappropriate to the characters. Highpitched male voices, females reduced to a gloomy drone.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The character of Charlie Luke has a wonderful richness and depth in the book - turned into a squeaky caricature in this performance
Would you be willing to try another one of David Thorpe’s performances?
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Beckoning Lady?
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.
Any additional comments?
Margery Allingham must be spinning in her grave
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
loved it all campion series is so good .brilliantly penned. golden age authors are great
Full of character and humour - one of Margery Allingham's best.
David Thorpe's characterisation is brilliant. Definitely recommend. The voice of Campion takes a little getting used to - but I think he actually has the voice and character perfect - and his ability to change characters and inflect personality into each one is excellent.
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.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful