Jimmy Sutane is London's favorite song-and-dance man, headlining at the Argosy Theatre, and beloved by all. Or almost all - someone has taken to playing increasingly nasty pranks. Albert Campion offers to poke around, but what he finds chez Sutane nearly overwhelms him. The far-from traditional household features a clutch of explosive egos, including a brooding 'genius musician,' and a melodramatic young actress who seems to delight in drawing others into her web of carefully groomed tragedy. Someone here is aiming to hang up Sutane's tap shoes on a permanent basis, and if Campion is to keep Jimmy dancing, he'll have to come up with some pretty fancy footwork of his own.
Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. Her first novel was published when she was seventeen. In 1929 she published The Crime at Black Dudley and introduced the character who was to become the hallmark of her writing - Albert Campion.
"Miss Allingham's strength resides in the power of her characterizations, in her striking talent for painting vivid social backgrounds, and in her skillful use of language" (Guardian)
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Prefer Francis Matthews as a narrator,.
Much more than a crime novel
Yes because it is so much more than a crime novel. There is an emotional depth to it that I find very moving and David Thorpe's reading does that full justice. It is quite dark in tone with a lot of people who are bruised by life in some way or another.
They are all vividly drawn. On a slightly shallow note, I am I pleased that Amanda Fitton is entirely absent as I find her presence detracts in other novels.
No but I would certainly listen to others. I hesitated a long time before buying this because I have a much cherished reading of this book by Francis Matthews and I was concerned that this reading would somehow disappoint me. I needn't have worried. David Thorpe has all the attributes I want in a reader, a beautiful voice and the ability to convey character through different voices as well as a performance to suit the story. There were times when I genuinely forgot this was just one actor reading as the voices were all so different.
I find the whole set up of this particular story moving but the ending particularly so. No matter how many times I listen to it it always moves me (almost) to tears. The reason for this lies in the writing and the creation of characters I really care about. All of this could be lost in performance but David Thorpe conveyed the emotional depth so well. Even the minor characters are vividly portrayed ranging from the comic to the tragic and it is a very satisfying performance which does justice to a novel with more depth than a straightforward whodunnit.
This is the only Campion novel I like because this is a grown up Campion who is not playing the fool as he often seems to be in other novels. He was in emotional turmoil throughout the novel and I truly feel his dilemma