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The Crime at Black Dudley Audiobook

The Crime at Black Dudley: An Albert Campion Mystery

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Publisher's Summary

When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, George can see no way out. But Albert Campion can.

About the author: Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. Her first novel was published when she was 17. 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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (333 )
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3.6 (296 )
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Story
3.9 (293 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 05-28-16
    Sarah BOERNE, TX, United States 05-28-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    317
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    "Pretty silly but well done!"

    David Thorpe is an excellent narrator and this must have been a very difficult book to narrate as there is a lot of dialogue and mostly young men. Fortunately the author usually makes it clear who is talking.

    As to the way Thorpe reads Albert Campion's voice - some have criticized its high nasal quality in this reading, but this is exactly the way the author describes the way he talks.

    Be sure to pay attention to the names of the characters or it can get confusing who is who.

    The plot is very complex but the tone of the book is light. A good listen when you want something not too serious.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Poppisima The United States of America 05-18-15
    Poppisima The United States of America 05-18-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "If Bertie Wooster were in an Agatha Christie"

    mystery, this is what you'd get.

    A cracking good story, but a bit brainy, what? And I say, they never cleared up that bit about the uncle's mask. Or did they? Must ask Jeeves ... He'll know.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 04-27-17
    A 04-27-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible narrator"

    Well so much for finding another series that I could enjoy working my way through.This was such a disappointment. The narrator just killed it for me. His choices for voices turned characters into caricatures. Any flaws the book had, and it had a number, were just magnified by the narrators rendition of the text. I'll try again with another narrator--with the hope that a new narrator and some maturity on the part of the author produces a better result.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RoanReader 05-26-17
    RoanReader 05-26-17 Member Since 2011
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    4
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    "Not the best introduction to Albert Campion"
    Any additional comments?

    This is not the best novel to start with as an introduction to the Albert Campion character. I like Margery Allingham, but have read her works out of sequence and this one just didn't capture me at all.
    Don't use this volume as any indication of how the Campion character or mysteries progress. Instead dive into one of the later novels ("Flowers for the Judge" or "Death of a Ghost") to get a much better introduction to the craft of this writer and the pleasures of her more developed skill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Chafin Tujunga, CA United States 04-06-17
    Brian Chafin Tujunga, CA United States 04-06-17 Member Since 2016
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    27
    10
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    Story
    "Not your average Campion"

    This book is more of a farce than a mystery. Character actions and motivations well beyond believability. Still, it is a necessary read fir Campion fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine M. Davis Wheaton, IL 03-21-17
    Lorraine M. Davis Wheaton, IL 03-21-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "hope for all writers of first novels"

    This was Allingham's first novel. she quickly came to write masterpieces. This is not one of them. Save for the voice of Albert Campion, the narrator does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 08-17-16
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 08-17-16 Listener Since 2003
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    "Campion's Worst"

    This is one of Allingham's worst efforts. The plot is full of unlikely, contrived events and thoughts. The overall effect is totally unbelievable, and also unpleasant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan saskatoon, sk, Canada 07-23-15
    Joan saskatoon, sk, Canada 07-23-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Vintage murder mystery"

    I enjoy this genre but was disappointed in this one. It was fine, I had no trouble finishing it, but I never felt completely engaged. It seemed a little too dumb to be believable, however it does pass the time if you have nothing better to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivien Clements 07-22-15
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    Story
    "Dated"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I found it rather long-winded, but it was written in 1929 and well received at the time.


    What could Margery Allingham have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I didn't feel the characters in this book were very well rounded. I didn't feel I really got to know them or cared about them particularly.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I didn't really have a favourite


    Do you think The Crime at Black Dudley needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I know that there are many more in the series. In this book Albert Campion is only a support character which may have contributed to my finding it a little dull.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader has been criticised but I found him excellent. Without him I probably wouldn't have finished the book. Campion was described as having a high voice and was a strange character. I don't know how he develops in the other books, but the narrator did a great job of separating the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OnlineJunkie 07-21-15
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    450
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    "Horrible narrator! Ruined book altogether!"

    The voice of Albert was absolutely false and contrived. More like a drag queen gone bad rather than a believable character. It grated on me so badly that I couldn't focus on the story. That is a pity given this series is a classic I wanted to dive into. Second book is read by another, fingers crossed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Allegra
    Luxembourg
    1/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I had to stop listening after thirty minutes"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different reader


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't get far enough into the book to be able to say.


    What didn’t you like about David Thorpe’s performance?

    David's Thorpe narrative voice is quite unsuitable for this period piece: he sounds far too modern. But the thing that made me stop listening was his ridiculous rendering of Albert Campion's voice: while it is true that Campion is described as foppish in this book, it is a great mistake to rob him of all dignity by making him sound like a squeaky-voiced fool. For a perfect reading of the Campion novels, listen to the audio books narrated by Philip Franks; I was highly misguided to think another reader could come anywhere near him. Or for an excellent portrayal of Campion on screen, watch the Peter Davison version.


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kris
    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
    9/20/15
    Overall
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    "Makes Albert Campion sound like a squeaky puppet"

    Sorry, love the books, really, really didn't like the narrator. I've just been through and bought all the Francis Matthews ones I can find before they disappear too.

    (Nothing against David Thorpe - just not in this period or for this author)


    (Did he narrate this one before reading the rest, I wonder?)

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • FictionFan
    Kirkintilloch, Scotland
    1/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Campion's first appearance..."
    Any additional comments?

    Dr George Abbershaw has gone down to Black Dudley Manor to join a house party for the weekend. The house is owned by George's friend, Wyatt Petrie, but is occupied by Wyatt's uncle by marriage, Colonel Coombe. The elderly wheelchair-bound colonel likes the company of young people, so often asks Wyatt to bring a group of his friends down for the weekend. George, though, is there mainly because he's fallen in love with a girl who is also a guest, Meggie Oliphaunt, and he hopes to find an opportunity to propose to her. Colonel Coombe has also invited a few friends of his own.

    In the evening, talk turns to old legends and Wyatt reluctantly tells of the ritual of a dagger that hangs prominently on the wall. The ritual involves turning off the lights and running around the house in the dark, passing the knife from person to person. What jolly fun! However when the lights come up Colonel Coombe is found dead. His friends tell the assembled company that his death was expected as he was very ill, and hasten to get a cremation certificate signed and hustle the body off the premises, so as not to spoil the weekend (!). But it soon becomes obvious to George that there's something fishy going on (!) – and when something goes missing, suddenly the young people find themselves the prisoners of the Colonel's friends...

    This is apparently the book in which Allingham's regular 'tec, Albert Campion, makes his first appearance, although in this one, George is the main focus and Campion is a secondary character. George is a sensible young man, but Campion appears to be a foolish fop, like Bertie Wooster, only with fewer brains and a falsetto voice. He does develop a bit more depth as the book progresses, but it's a strange first outing.

    There is much running to and fro through secret tunnels, which are nearly as complex as the convoluted plot involving criminal gangs, mysterious papers and suchlike. Despite the darkness of the plot, and some episodes of viciousness on the part of the baddies, the general tone is light and fun. George and Meggie are both likeable characters, and their romance is handled nicely, not overwhelming the story but giving the reader something to care about amidst all the mayhem. Campion adds a lot of humour to the story, partly laughing with him and partly laughing at him. He's shrewder than he first appears, but in the end it's down to George to solve the puzzle of what it is the colonel's friends are looking for, and who killed the colonel. And of course to engineer the escape from the baddies. In fact, Campion more or less disappears towards the end and plays no part in the final denouement – presumably at that point Allingham didn't see him as her central character.

    I listened to the audiobook version, and I have to say I felt David Thorpe's narration was great! I've seen some critical reviews of it, mainly from Campion fans objecting to the falsetto voice he uses for Campion and for the foolishness Thorpe puts into his character. But this is how he is written in the book and I felt Thorpe was paying attention to the words of this one, rather than basing his characterisation on how Campion develops in later novels. Thorpe brings out all the humour in the story, but also does an excellent job with the darker sections. He held my attention throughout, which doesn't always happen with audiobooks. A 5 star narration, in my opinion.

    However, I've never rated Allingham as highly as the other Golden Age Queens of Crime: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L Sayers; and truthfully I'm not sure that this book has changed my mind. I found it enjoyable, but too convoluted and not at all credible, and apart from George and Meggie, too many of the characters are caricatures. I didn't feel it was fairplay at all – the eventual solution seemed to come from nowhere, though of course it's possible I missed hidden clues along the way (even good audiobooks have a tendency to induce occasional napping). I'm glad I listened though – I think the narration actually made me enjoy the book more than I might have, had I been reading a paper copy. So overall, a fun listen of a reasonably entertaining book, but probably not the best one to start with to get a feel for the character Campion eventually becomes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ross Bower
    UK
    11/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NEGATIVE FEEDBACK"

    I wish I had read the Audible and Amazon reviews before wasting a credit on this abysmal download. The narration is dull, Albert Campion especially artificial (at times I couldn't decide if he were meant to be female), story-line lacking credibility ... buyer beware! from a seasoned listener and great long standing fan of Audible.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • elizabeth askill
    6/29/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "its says optional"

    great funny. narrator was not as good as a version I had on tape but great story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    8/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comforting and satisfying but not exactly best."

    Somewhat overly complicated plot but pretty good light hearted enjoyment. Read in an attempt to find Agatha Christie replacement, not as good as christie but still a reasonable comforting mid war country house mystery.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Halvergate, United Kingdom
    5/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Disappointment"

    This book did not suit my tastes at all. It was a waste of a credit. I am sure that there will be those people that want an old fashioned book, averagely written that drones on and does little to captivate the reader, or should I say listener. The narration was average and the characters rather week and lacking in any realism. I realise that the book is written in a very diferent era and that may be the problem. I was expecting a new 'Agatha Christie' but ended up being disappointed. I wish the author well and do not mean to upset or unfairly critique in any way, but the book failed to impress.

    4 of 15 people found this review helpful

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