Friday, August 16, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

Mystery Mile
Margery Allingham

Crossing the Atlantic on the luxurious liner Elephantine are an American judge, Crowdy Lobbett, and his children. A number of people around Judge Lobbett have been murdered, and he is said to be fleeing to England for safety. Apparent buffoon Albert Campion offers the family sanctuary with his friends in remote Suffolk, but a local commits suicide, the Judge vanishes, and another disappearance follows soon after. What is the Judge's mysterious secret? How was he kidnapped from a remote maze? Can Campion and his friends get to the bottom of things before it's too late?

Margery Louise Allingham (May 20, 1904 – June 30, 1966)

Margery Allingham was an English crime writer, best remembered for her detective stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion. She was born in London in 1904 to a family immersed in literature. Her father, Herbert John Allingham, and her mother Emily Jane were both writers - he was editor of the Christian Globe and The New London Journal. Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime of Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, albeit originally as a minor character. He returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, much taken with the character. With a strong central character and format to work from, Allingham began to produce a series of popular Campion novels. At first she had to continue writing short stories and journalism for magazines, but as her Campion saga went on, her following, and her sales, grew steadily. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s.
Albert Champion Novels:
·        Sweet Danger
·         Mystery Mile
·         The Tiger in the Smoke
·         The Case of the Late Pig
·         Traitor's Purse
·         The Fashion in Shrouds
·         Flowers for the Judge
·         Coroner's Pidgin
·         The Beckoning Lady
·         Police at the Funeral
·         More Work for the Undertaker
·         China Governess
·         Hide My Eyes
·        Cargo of Eagles
·         The Mind Readers
 A film version of Tiger in the Smoke was made in 1956; a highly popular series of Campion adaptations was shown by the BBC in 1989-90, (available on DVD).

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