The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham

George Abbershaw is part of a group of young people, who have been invited to a house party at the remote Black Dudley mansion. During a vivid dinner conversation, the group decides to play a game, which leads to the demice of someone. But this death isn´t the only thing that is wrong at Black Dudley.


So, the only thing you can be sure about is that Albert Campion isn´t the murderer, simply because this is the first book in the Albert Campion series. But then you would suspect that Campion is the main character in this novel. Which he isn´t. Instead a red haired, cherubic faced pathologist named George Abbershaw is the main character of this book and I´m wondering, at what point Allingham decided to make Campion the main protagonist of her series. Did she get fan mail that everybody just loved Campion?


Campion is repeatedly called an idiot and a silly ass, who is constantly chatting and making inappropiate remarks. So he isn´t a very sympathetic guy in the first place, but I can see why she choose him:


Abbershaw nodded and stared covertly at the fresh-faced young man with the tow-coloured hair and the foolish, pale-blue eyes behind tortoiseshell-rimmed spectacles, and wondered where he had seen him before.


He is a nerd. Do I need to say more?


The plot is a weird one and I tried to connect the dots between the different plotlines, but I had a hard time doing it.


The fact that the murder was of secondary interest in the whole narrative and only happened, because Allingham needed a setup for her organized crime / kidnapping story, was a bit disappointing.


And what is up with golden age mystery writers and their love for organized crime stories? I don´t get it.

(show spoiler)


It wasn´t a bad read, but it wasn´t an exceptional read either. The plot could have been better, but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless. But I´m counting on that the next book in the series is going to be better than this one.


I´ve read this book for the "Country House Mystery" square for the halloween bingo and it fits like perfection. Black Dudley is a country house with hidden passageways and a dark and gloomy atmosphere and anything else you can think of.