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Mystery Mile

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A red chess piece... An improbable suicide... A disappearing judge... These were the clues to a killer whose victims never escaped. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identity of the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang that is terrorizing New York. After four attempts on his life, he seeks the help of enigmatic and unorthodox amateur sleuth, A A red chess piece... An improbable suicide... A disappearing judge... These were the clues to a killer whose victims never escaped. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identity of the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang that is terrorizing New York. After four attempts on his life, he seeks the help of enigmatic and unorthodox amateur sleuth, Albert Campion, during his travel to England. For safety, Campion sends the Judge and his family to a secluded house in an island on the Suffolk coast. But that safety is illusory: it seemed fitting that odd things should happen in a town called "Mystery Mile". Soon after their arrival the local vicar is killed - a clear message from the gang. Its a race against time for Campion to get the judge to safety and decipher the clue to their mysterious enemy's name.But even a connoisseur of crime as Scotland Yard's Albert Campion had never encountered such elusive clues. He had to trace a mastermind of crime in time to save his client's life--and his own. Luckily for Judge Lobbett, underneath his constant stream of banter, Campion displays a diamond-sharp intelligence and a natural detective's instinct... Blackmail, abduction and sudden death bring matters to a climax.


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A red chess piece... An improbable suicide... A disappearing judge... These were the clues to a killer whose victims never escaped. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identity of the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang that is terrorizing New York. After four attempts on his life, he seeks the help of enigmatic and unorthodox amateur sleuth, A A red chess piece... An improbable suicide... A disappearing judge... These were the clues to a killer whose victims never escaped. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identity of the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang that is terrorizing New York. After four attempts on his life, he seeks the help of enigmatic and unorthodox amateur sleuth, Albert Campion, during his travel to England. For safety, Campion sends the Judge and his family to a secluded house in an island on the Suffolk coast. But that safety is illusory: it seemed fitting that odd things should happen in a town called "Mystery Mile". Soon after their arrival the local vicar is killed - a clear message from the gang. Its a race against time for Campion to get the judge to safety and decipher the clue to their mysterious enemy's name.But even a connoisseur of crime as Scotland Yard's Albert Campion had never encountered such elusive clues. He had to trace a mastermind of crime in time to save his client's life--and his own. Luckily for Judge Lobbett, underneath his constant stream of banter, Campion displays a diamond-sharp intelligence and a natural detective's instinct... Blackmail, abduction and sudden death bring matters to a climax.

30 review for Mystery Mile

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    This was my first Allingham & my expectations were maybe a bit high. This book is only number 2 in the series & apparently in the first book The Crime at Black Dudley Campion wasn't the lead detective. Campion is an appealing character & I can understand his creator falling for him (so to speak) I just felt that though I enjoyed a lot of the dialogue & the book's sense of place, that for quite a short book it took a long time to get to the point. I didn't think Allingham played fair with all her This was my first Allingham & my expectations were maybe a bit high. This book is only number 2 in the series & apparently in the first book The Crime at Black Dudley Campion wasn't the lead detective. Campion is an appealing character & I can understand his creator falling for him (so to speak) I just felt that though I enjoyed a lot of the dialogue & the book's sense of place, that for quite a short book it took a long time to get to the point. I didn't think Allingham played fair with all her clues. I didn't have any trouble guessing who was the villain. I also didn't have any trouble putting the book aside. It is extremely unusual for me to take nearly a week to finish a Golden Age mystery, so I really don't think I can rate this book higher than 3.5★

  2. 5 out of 5

    C.

    “The Black Dudley Murder” should have appealed to me but I disliked every aristocratic personage. The alluring detective I favoured, is not our series protagonist. Albert Campion lost marks upon his “Mystery Mile” entrance, for sacrificing a mouse! Electrical currents can be tested in boundless ways! All of a sudden, the atmosphere shifted to moody marshland amid two instantly-likeable families. Police bureaus and typical city locales are boring. I rallied over the switch from London to a verita “The Black Dudley Murder” should have appealed to me but I disliked every aristocratic personage. The alluring detective I favoured, is not our series protagonist. Albert Campion lost marks upon his “Mystery Mile” entrance, for sacrificing a mouse! Electrical currents can be tested in boundless ways! All of a sudden, the atmosphere shifted to moody marshland amid two instantly-likeable families. Police bureaus and typical city locales are boring. I rallied over the switch from London to a veritably mysterious place. Authors lose a star for killing an animal. Another star fizzled for a combination of factors. For one: flimsy motives and red herrings are not improved by author’s names. It doesn’t divulge anything to remark that every character who was glaringly out of place, was indeed out of place. When readers are eventually told why a pastor died, why a woman was kidnapped, why a retired judge was chased, and even why a syndicate perceived as evil existed; none of the reasons have any éclat. I can’t deem a motive strong, if I can think of many better way to achieve that purpose. The sole twist that does throw us for a loop is an outrage instead of a coup, because Albert took his friends on one merry chase for nothing. All throughout time spent with an entirely endearing cast, I did enjoy this novel immensely. I would have given four stars, if the crime portions had gelled. The red clue conveyed as ominously secretive, was superfluous. There were preposterous glitches, like a pastor not topping-up his qualifications in 50 years and preparing voluminous messages, without frankly naming criminals. Finally: synopsises should never declare that novels are about mystical things, like fairies, if they are not. However topnotch writing, characters, setting, and pace are definitely the products of masterful skill.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Although I love Golden Age mysteries, I have had a rocky relationship with Margery Allingham over the years. Having decided to give her another try and read the Campion series from the very beginning, I enjoyed, “The Crime at Black Dudley,” and decided to continue with “Mystery Mile.” As with, “The Crime at Black Dudley,” we have another novel featuring sinister gangs and criminal masterminds. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identify the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Sim Although I love Golden Age mysteries, I have had a rocky relationship with Margery Allingham over the years. Having decided to give her another try and read the Campion series from the very beginning, I enjoyed, “The Crime at Black Dudley,” and decided to continue with “Mystery Mile.” As with, “The Crime at Black Dudley,” we have another novel featuring sinister gangs and criminal masterminds. Judge Lobbett has found evidence pointing to the identify the criminal mastermind behind the deadly Simister gang. There have been several attempts on his life and now his son, Marlowe, and daughter, Isopel, have persuaded him to leave the States for England. However, it is soon apparent that leaving the country has not put him out of danger and Albert Campion foils an attempt on his life on board the ship, “Elephantine.” This leads Marlowe to track Campion down in London and for Judge Lobbett, and his family, to be spirited away to Mystery Mile and a country house owned by Giles and Biddy Paget. This is an exciting, and fast moving, story. There are odd visitors, suspicious locals, tragic deaths and daring rescues. We get to meet Campion’s sidekick, Magersfontein Lugg, and there are also some romance, between the two young couples. I have found that reading this series from the beginning, even if I have been told that the early novels are not the best, has given me a good background to the characters. I am enjoying my forays into Allingham’s earlier work and hope to continue the series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    OK, I have an admission. Margery Allingham clearly based bespectacled, fair-haired, and apparently silly Albert Campion, first introduced in The Crime at Black Dudley in 1929, on Lord Peter Wimsey — no matter how much I refused to admit it when I read Allingham’s debut novel. Supposedly, Campion was to be a parody of Lord Peter. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crime at Black Dudley, with its Simister syndicate and the English-house-party-gone-wrong plot, and I didn’t care whether the treatment was an ho OK, I have an admission. Margery Allingham clearly based bespectacled, fair-haired, and apparently silly Albert Campion, first introduced in The Crime at Black Dudley in 1929, on Lord Peter Wimsey — no matter how much I refused to admit it when I read Allingham’s debut novel. Supposedly, Campion was to be a parody of Lord Peter. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crime at Black Dudley, with its Simister syndicate and the English-house-party-gone-wrong plot, and I didn’t care whether the treatment was an homage or a ripoff or what. But I’m ready to admit it now. Both are the deceptively foolish younger son of a peer who undertake a bit of sleuthing on the down-low. But — dare I admit it? — I actually prefer Albert Campion (actually, one of the many pseudonyms of a man actually named Sir Rudolph). Disinherited, liable to play fast and loose with the law, employing the only semi-reformed criminal Magersfontein Lugg as a less feudal version of Mervyn Bunter, Campion never stoops to Lord Peter’s constant moralizing and antediluvian ideas. What’s not to love? Stubborn but honest Judge Crowdy Lobbett, targeted by the Simister gang, encounters Campion on a trans-Atlantic voyage to England. At the behest of Lobbett’s son, Campion takes the Lobbett family to the eponymous Mystery Mile, a backwater Suffolk hamlet, to keep them hidden. Needless to say, all does not go as planned (there wouldn’t be a novel otherwise, would there?), and readers will enjoy every page in this suspenseful novel in which the Lobbetts and Campion try to outwit the clever head of the gang, Simister himself. I had no idea of Simister’s secret identity until Alligham chose to reveal it, and the high-stakes ending will have readers glued to Mystery Mile late into the night.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    I've heard ‘If you like Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie, you'll love Marjory Allingham’ -- I do not love Marjory Allingham. Even if this Felony & Mayhem "Vintage" edition weren't studded with typographical errors, it would be an irritating read. Protagonist Albert Campion may be able to maintain dozens of aliases, but he is constantly making errors of the ‘not to worry, the evil gang can't possibly be on to us yet’ and ‘it's perfectly safe for the womenfolk to wander down to the village al I've heard ‘If you like Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie, you'll love Marjory Allingham’ -- I do not love Marjory Allingham. Even if this Felony & Mayhem "Vintage" edition weren't studded with typographical errors, it would be an irritating read. Protagonist Albert Campion may be able to maintain dozens of aliases, but he is constantly making errors of the ‘not to worry, the evil gang can't possibly be on to us yet’ and ‘it's perfectly safe for the womenfolk to wander down to the village alone’ kind. The other characters just sort of blend together. Marlowe is young, foolish, ineffectual, and handsome. Giles is young, foolish, ineffectual, and stupid. Both Biddy and Isopel are young, distraught, and appealing. Then there are a bunch of Cockney associates. Campion follows in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes in the sense that both are clever but likely to solve the mystery after all the important people are dead.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Didn't expect to read this book so soon or all in one go, but I was having trouble sleeping, so I figured, why not? It's very obviously a cousin of Sayers' Lord Peter (Campion could, in fact, be Peter's cousin), although in a more satirical vein. Albert Campion is a pretty close analogue of Peter Wimsey, complete with a number of idiosyncrasies, and Lugg (although of a decidedly more criminal bent than Bunter) shares some characteristics with Lord Peter's man. It's still fun, even though it's mor Didn't expect to read this book so soon or all in one go, but I was having trouble sleeping, so I figured, why not? It's very obviously a cousin of Sayers' Lord Peter (Campion could, in fact, be Peter's cousin), although in a more satirical vein. Albert Campion is a pretty close analogue of Peter Wimsey, complete with a number of idiosyncrasies, and Lugg (although of a decidedly more criminal bent than Bunter) shares some characteristics with Lord Peter's man. It's still fun, even though it's more or less mocking one of my favourite series in many ways -- it manages to be a story on its own, too. It didn't involve me emotionally, but I did read it straight through, in one go, so there's that going for it. I did find the mystery a little bit disjointed/incoherent: it helped that I'd read a summary somewhere before, but some of the events seemed pretty random. Overall, I enjoyed it enough that I might pick up more, but not enough that I'm going to be in a hurry. Allingham was a capable writer, but Campion's not interesting enough to me to follow him compulsively.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Beckham

    I listened to the audiobook. This was my first Margery Allingham novel – although it is the second in her ‘Albert Campion’ series. Published in 1930 it is an upper-middle-class romp peppered with caricatured crooks and half-witted yokels. Protagonist Albert Campion is a gentleman sleuth of some hidden disrepute, able to tap into a network of rather improbable underworld connections whenever the need arises. The plot was solid if a little unimaginative, but a sequence of slightly peripheral adventur I listened to the audiobook. This was my first Margery Allingham novel – although it is the second in her ‘Albert Campion’ series. Published in 1930 it is an upper-middle-class romp peppered with caricatured crooks and half-witted yokels. Protagonist Albert Campion is a gentleman sleuth of some hidden disrepute, able to tap into a network of rather improbable underworld connections whenever the need arises. The plot was solid if a little unimaginative, but a sequence of slightly peripheral adventures kept the pages turning. In a nutshell, Campion becomes charged with hiding a retired American judge from the clutches of a murderous international gang, apparently bent upon revenge. The action swings between late 1920s London and a country estate on the Suffolk coast – in the isolated village of Mystery Mile. I enjoyed the upbeat tone of voice, enhanced by the superb narration of Francis Matthews (he of ‘Paul Temple’ and ‘Captain Scarlet’ fame) that brought colour and distinctiveness to each of the characters. Indeed, a combination of charm and mischief lent a certain cosiness to the tale, making me think that, no matter how much hot water Campion got into, things would turn out well in the end. I anticipate discovering more of his escapades.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    Would I recommend it? Yes. Whether or not you've read the first one doesn't matter in this book -- from here on out, though, you'll want to make sure you read the series in order (from what I remember). Not a cozy, exactly, but if you like British mysteries, you'll like it. Campion is somewhat enigmatic, but here, unlike in the first mystery of the series, he's pretty much on his own. Still holding on to that silly exterior, his character is a bit more developed in this novel. The story opens on Would I recommend it? Yes. Whether or not you've read the first one doesn't matter in this book -- from here on out, though, you'll want to make sure you read the series in order (from what I remember). Not a cozy, exactly, but if you like British mysteries, you'll like it. Campion is somewhat enigmatic, but here, unlike in the first mystery of the series, he's pretty much on his own. Still holding on to that silly exterior, his character is a bit more developed in this novel. The story opens on board an ocean liner going back to England from the US. On this ship is someone quite special: a man who has narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Simister gang many times, after repeated attempts. While on board, another attempt is made, and Campion decides he needs to take this man and his family under his protective wing at a remote village on the coast known as Mystery Mile. I love golden-age mysteries, and although to some they may seem quite dated, to me that's part of their charm. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this well-done mystery while you're having a nice cup of tea.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    I am in a classic mystery phase. I have been reading Ngaio Marsh (Inspector Alleyn), listening to Agatha Christie in the car and have just started on Margerty Allingham's Albert Campion. I read the first book in the series (in which Campion plays a minor role) a month or so ago and now I have just read Mystery Mile. I enjoyed it very much. I know that some people find Campion's silly persona annoying but I don't. I like that he hides his intellect and abilities, constantly causing people to unde I am in a classic mystery phase. I have been reading Ngaio Marsh (Inspector Alleyn), listening to Agatha Christie in the car and have just started on Margerty Allingham's Albert Campion. I read the first book in the series (in which Campion plays a minor role) a month or so ago and now I have just read Mystery Mile. I enjoyed it very much. I know that some people find Campion's silly persona annoying but I don't. I like that he hides his intellect and abilities, constantly causing people to underestimate him. To me it makes the moments when he is serious more poignant because they contrast sharply with his usual style. I read these books for the atmosphere, humor and quirky characters. I like following the detectives through time and seeing how their lives evolve. The mystery is secondary to me. I almost never guess who it is because I spend less time paying attention to the clues and more to the people and their relationships. I am looking forward to starting the next book in this series tonight . . .

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    This is my second time reading Allingham and apparently a second mystery for this particular character. Every mystery writer has a detective and Allingham has Alfred Campion, a slightly ludicrous, though highly amusing character who, according to his business card, has no time for cases that are vulgar or plebeian. This was a sort of quaint or cozy mystery and for some reason it just didn't work for me. For all its charm of bygone era, the story felt too muddy and only maintained my interest jus This is my second time reading Allingham and apparently a second mystery for this particular character. Every mystery writer has a detective and Allingham has Alfred Campion, a slightly ludicrous, though highly amusing character who, according to his business card, has no time for cases that are vulgar or plebeian. This was a sort of quaint or cozy mystery and for some reason it just didn't work for me. For all its charm of bygone era, the story felt too muddy and only maintained my interest just enough to see what happens at the end, but not really caring about the outcome. I'm not sure how much of it is the book's fault, there is a chance I just wasn't in the mood for it. It was a perfectly decent read and pleasantly quick one at that, but didn't really entice or invited to check out more Campion mysteries. Thanks Netgalley.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    "This is a bad business," said the old man suddenly; "a terrible bad business. Death seems to follow me as gulls follow a ship."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    DAME AGATHA CHRISTIE AND HER PEERS BOOK 59 - 1930 An improvement on Allingham's first Albert Campion story. CAST - 4: Campion enters this second in the series very early in the story and takes the lead, as opposed to being a secondary character of sorts in "Crime at Black Dudley." He's very eccentric, sometimes silly, and even electrocutes a mouse in the opening chapter. (There is a reason.) The rector says of A.C., "If I know anything about Albert, he'll arrive on a broomstick." Judge Crowdy Lobbe DAME AGATHA CHRISTIE AND HER PEERS BOOK 59 - 1930 An improvement on Allingham's first Albert Campion story. CAST - 4: Campion enters this second in the series very early in the story and takes the lead, as opposed to being a secondary character of sorts in "Crime at Black Dudley." He's very eccentric, sometimes silly, and even electrocutes a mouse in the opening chapter. (There is a reason.) The rector says of A.C., "If I know anything about Albert, he'll arrive on a broomstick." Judge Crowdy Lobbett is a 'dangerous old fellow' and is the intended victim of a series of attempts on his life: these attempts are called the "Misfire Murders of New York". The Lobbet family hop on a ship, the 'Elephantine' for England, hoping to escape the murder attempts. Then there is Ali Ferguson Barber, or "The Turk". Satsuma is a Japanese magician, although oddly very tall and dark-skinned. So what's up with that? Simister is either a person or group after the Judge. A Reverend Swithin Cush, a Mr Anthony Datchett, Palmist and others make for an unusual cast. ATMOSPHERE - 4:A cruise ship, the village of Mystery Mile, an odd story about "Seven Whistlers", a maze, a Manor House (...hidden in the thick belt of elms...long, low, many-gabled...built around 1500...In the library, round the fireplace with the deep-set chimney seat, the squire and his sister were entertaining the rector...) , a blue suitcase full of children's books and more contribute to a unique atmosphere. I liked that Allingham provides to us a map of Mystery Mile. CRIME - 4: Cush may or may not have killed himself. Nothing terribly unique there. But the Judge does find a method to absolutely disappear off the face of the earth after entering the aforementioned maze. Plus, more crimes occur. INVESTIGATION - 2: A.C. is so odd some of his questions seem senseless. He can be funny, certainly, but his investigation is more of a send-up of the genre. Often, he just checks out of the picture. Allingham alludes to some kind of supernatural evil but there isn't a payoff. And late in the story we get this line: "Magersfontein Lugg an' me 'has been pals for some years." Oddity for the sake of odd. RESOLUTION - 2: Over-complicated for me. And, again, I had the feeling Allingham was indeed authoring a send-up. It's all a bit melodramatic. "Sounds like a bit o' the Decameron to me...without the fun as you might say." I didn't believe a character here would be familiar with Decameron stories and how some of them might have played out here. SUMMARY - 3.2 stars overall. A much better novel than "Dudley". This mystery is a fast, fun read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    A good read but a few of the chapters just seemed unnecessary (in my opinion) why get the "girl" kidnapped half way through the book? It added nothing to the adventure or the mystery of the main story! I still enjoyed it, I just find Margery Allingham does like to write a lot if words when less would be more 😏

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is the second book in the Albert Campion series. They are okay, and the characters are fun, the story itself really didn't hold my interest. I listened to this on audiobook, and the narrator was excellent, giving each character a unique voice, so that was definitely a plus. However, I found that while I enjoyed the characters and the flavour and humour they brought, I was very easily distracted from the murder mystery. I might pick up others in this series if I needed an audiobook for commuti This is the second book in the Albert Campion series. They are okay, and the characters are fun, the story itself really didn't hold my interest. I listened to this on audiobook, and the narrator was excellent, giving each character a unique voice, so that was definitely a plus. However, I found that while I enjoyed the characters and the flavour and humour they brought, I was very easily distracted from the murder mystery. I might pick up others in this series if I needed an audiobook for commuting, but the series isn't good enough that I would go out of my way to make sure to read all of them. It's an okay series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Val

    I enjoyed the atmospheric "Tiger in the Smoke" by the same author, but not this one as much. This is more plot driven, there is a mystery, a criminal mastermind, an unexplained (until the end) suicide, some suspicious foreigners and quite a lot of action, but it was curiously lacking in suspense despite all that. It did not help that I found Albert Campion irritating and the rest of the characters shallow.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jan C

    While reading this one. I found out that dear Albert was only a featured character in the first book. The Crime at Black Dudley. I enjoyed that one. As I also enjoyed this one. Both have the same criminals - the Simister crowd. I had it partially solved. Right guy but didn't know his position.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mare

    I do adore Albert Campion. This was a reread for me and just as enjoyable the second time around. Can't recommend this series enough!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This was fun. I especially enjoyed Albert Campion's quirky personality and speech style, although I didn't understand some of his allusions and vocabulary. Will definitely read more Campions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    After several attempts on his life, Judge Lobbett engages the help of unconventional amateur detective Albert Campion. The judge has been engaged in the fight against the criminal activities of the Simister gang, and believes they have followed him to England. Campion arranges for the Judge and his family to take refuge in the Suffolk village of Mystery Mile, but strange visitors and a sudden death mean that he has to use all his ingenuity to keep the family out of danger. Enjoyable mystery/thril After several attempts on his life, Judge Lobbett engages the help of unconventional amateur detective Albert Campion. The judge has been engaged in the fight against the criminal activities of the Simister gang, and believes they have followed him to England. Campion arranges for the Judge and his family to take refuge in the Suffolk village of Mystery Mile, but strange visitors and a sudden death mean that he has to use all his ingenuity to keep the family out of danger. Enjoyable mystery/thriller with an engaging mixture of fun and menace. As we would expect from a Golden Age novel, there is no graphic violence but the reader is in no doubt that these are real criminals who don't mess about. Against them is pitted the ebullient Campion, who shows glimpses of his true character behind his 'silly ass' persona and intriguing hints of a hidden past. The story also introduces Campion's assistant, Magersfontein Lugg, and there is a cast of interesting secondary characters, especially among the villagers who get involved in the plot. This was a well written story with a satisfying ending that tied up the loose ends. Campion is one of my favourite Golden Age detectives for his hidden depths, and I am thoroughly enjoying rereading a series that I first encountered over 40 years ago.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    I remember seeing a few episodes of the "Campion" TV series in the 1980s. Though I enjoyed the actors, there was a little too much emphasis on woo-woo "occultism" in the television version for me. It's refreshing to read the original yarns and find that they owe much more to Boys' Own and The Eagle than to ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night. I can also see that Peter Davison was perfectly cast as the ubiquitous Campion, whose silly-ass manner hides a mind and abilities that I remember seeing a few episodes of the "Campion" TV series in the 1980s. Though I enjoyed the actors, there was a little too much emphasis on woo-woo "occultism" in the television version for me. It's refreshing to read the original yarns and find that they owe much more to Boys' Own and The Eagle than to ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night. I can also see that Peter Davison was perfectly cast as the ubiquitous Campion, whose silly-ass manner hides a mind and abilities that 007 could only envy. No exploding toothpaste for our Albert--he doesn't even carry a gun. Mystery Mile is an adventurous romp through the English countryside, from the judge who vanishes from a yew maze to the Moriarty-like criminal mastermind that has held two countries in thrall for--is it really over a century? There are of course a couple of pretty girls, one of whom (of course) needs rescuing, two dashing would-be heroes, and the warmhearted Cockney crook and his mum, "who's as good as a bull pup." The American millionaire's son can't help talking just like an English prepschool boy, and there's a bit of what my friend Elizabeth calls "cheerful racism" (did you know that all Turks have pear-shaped heads, dear?) but it was published in 1929, after all. But seriously..."Isopel"? As a name for an American girl? (As a name for anyone? ) And does Allingham seriously think that "Crowdy Lobbet" is a standard sort of American name? Hmmm. She must have had an advance copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide. I did place the baddy about five pages after he turned up, but then I've read a lot of this sort of stuff. Enough, for example, to see that Miss Allingham was more than a bit inspired by Lord Peter Wimsey; if not blood brothers, he and Campion are at least first cousins.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    If you like those post-Victorian era novels, then this mystery could be for you! Allingham has developed an interesting character in Campion, one who appears to be more of a aristocratic, dapper, bumbling fool than a shrewd detective (a bit pre Colombo). Campion keeps up a steady patter of nonsense, bad jokes and "wonderful puns," interspersed with the plants and plots the keep him and his fellow characters alive. Being developed along with his character is his regular compatriot Lugg (his man - If you like those post-Victorian era novels, then this mystery could be for you! Allingham has developed an interesting character in Campion, one who appears to be more of a aristocratic, dapper, bumbling fool than a shrewd detective (a bit pre Colombo). Campion keeps up a steady patter of nonsense, bad jokes and "wonderful puns," interspersed with the plants and plots the keep him and his fellow characters alive. Being developed along with his character is his regular compatriot Lugg (his man - I won't say the "butler" did it!) who is a total foil to Campion's character, and still Lugg remains extremely loyal to our main character. An interesting pair of characters in a mystery which develops rapidly, although it takes a while to deveop and to warm up to some of the characters. Campion is not Poirot, but he is certainly a delightful divergence in a mystery series. I will pursue more of these books to see how these characters develop.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Although still concerned with international crime syndicates, Mystery Mile is a good, page-turning mystery, and a thorough-going introduction to Albert Campion as main character (rather than bit part). There's an almost Holmesian quality to these stories and it's hard not to be charmed by Campion, whose guise of fool is only nine-parts false. The women in the early Campion stories aren't tremendously impressive (at least compared to a later stand-out). They're either fragile flowers or practical, Although still concerned with international crime syndicates, Mystery Mile is a good, page-turning mystery, and a thorough-going introduction to Albert Campion as main character (rather than bit part). There's an almost Holmesian quality to these stories and it's hard not to be charmed by Campion, whose guise of fool is only nine-parts false. The women in the early Campion stories aren't tremendously impressive (at least compared to a later stand-out). They're either fragile flowers or practical, nice girls whose role is to be protected. Allingham - like most Golden Age British mystery writers - has a fair chunk of classism and a dash of racism embedded in the mileau, which does give the occasional pause.

  23. 5 out of 5

    J.V. Seem

    Some Golden Age crime is always nice. This author, though, is new to me. I was very excited at the start of this book; the premise was just so good. The execution, however, is a bit flaky. The story is set in a small English village, where an American judge is hiding out from some vengeful gangsters who have vowed to kill him. As tempting as that concept sounds, I felt that the merging of those two worlds, NYC mafia vs. English village life, isn't as seamless as it could have been. At times, it fe Some Golden Age crime is always nice. This author, though, is new to me. I was very excited at the start of this book; the premise was just so good. The execution, however, is a bit flaky. The story is set in a small English village, where an American judge is hiding out from some vengeful gangsters who have vowed to kill him. As tempting as that concept sounds, I felt that the merging of those two worlds, NYC mafia vs. English village life, isn't as seamless as it could have been. At times, it feels like alternating between two different novels. It also has, at times, a tendency to get a bit confusing (not in a good way). To conclude: An uneven mystery, but one that during the good parts conjures up writing the likes of John Dickson Carr.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Mystery Mile is the 2nd Albert Campion mystery by Margery Allingham. I've read a few others in this series, not particularly following them sequentially. Although now that I have the next few books, I will try to do so. Campion brings to mind Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey, although Campion's past seems more mysterious than that of Wimsey. There are secrets in his life that I hope will come out more and more, but we'll see. In this story, decides to help a retired American judge and his two ad Mystery Mile is the 2nd Albert Campion mystery by Margery Allingham. I've read a few others in this series, not particularly following them sequentially. Although now that I have the next few books, I will try to do so. Campion brings to mind Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey, although Campion's past seems more mysterious than that of Wimsey. There are secrets in his life that I hope will come out more and more, but we'll see. In this story, decides to help a retired American judge and his two adult children. They have left America to get away from a mysterious gang of criminals, lead by one Simister (a faceless unknown gang leader). The Judge, Crowdy Lobbett, has been trying to break the gang for years and appears to know something about the identity of Simister. The gang previously had been trying to scare Lobbett into giving up the investigation but now appear to want him snuffed out. Unfortunately their efforts so far have resulted in the deaths of others. Campion is brought into the case when an attempt is made on the Judge on board the cruise ship they on which they are traveling to England. Campion takes the family to Mystery Mile, an isolated coastal town in Suffolk. They will stay at the Manor House, owned by friends of Campion, the Paget twins, Giles and Biddy, a young lady for whom Campion seems to have strong feelings. Campion hopes that the location will make it easier to detect strangers who might belong to the gang. An incident occurs immediately with the suicide of family friend, the local vicar, St Smithins. After this the plot progresses quickly, with further incidents occurring (I'll let you discover those as I don't want to ruin the story). Suffice it to say that there is a steady threat, sufficient action and intrigue to satisfy you. The characters in the story are all interesting and sympathetic and there are enough quirky characters to enhance the colour and tone of the story. All very interesting and well-crafted, succeeding to draw you into the story and to feel invested in the safety and lives of the main characters. Campion is an excellent series and I look forward to reading the other books in the series. (4 stars)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I've finished my second Albert Campion book. It is very deliberate, detailed writing! I have to remember that it was written almost 90 years ago! It is written in a time when readers played close attention to miniscule analysis of story and plot. Before there were cell phones, tv's, even radio, the reader knew how to tune in! I had some hard time following all the trivial plot details. I listened to most of it and had to laugh at the British narrator's interpretation of the American accent---jus I've finished my second Albert Campion book. It is very deliberate, detailed writing! I have to remember that it was written almost 90 years ago! It is written in a time when readers played close attention to miniscule analysis of story and plot. Before there were cell phones, tv's, even radio, the reader knew how to tune in! I had some hard time following all the trivial plot details. I listened to most of it and had to laugh at the British narrator's interpretation of the American accent---just make him/her sound like Humphrey Bogart. The plot revolves around the bad guy, Simister, who has already wreaked havoc on New York City, pursuing an American judge, Crowdy Lobbet, and his family to England. Albert Campion is hired to protect the judge from Simister. Additional characters evolve and so does the location of the mystery, an English Village called Mystery Mile. Not everyone will like this series and I do have to make a decision regarding continuing with my precious reading time with Albert!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ciaran Monaghan

    Albert Campion is an eccentric and faintly comic hero who seems to have a wide-ranging brief. I'm not sure about him as a comic figure but I quite like his Clouseau-Cato relationship with his manservant, Lugg. In this book, Campion is tasked with protecting a high-profile American judge who is on the run from gangsters and their leader, Simister. There is a death, some disappearances, a kidnapping, cryptic messages and a hero-villain showdown to finish, so it has a lot to offer. If you like a tr Albert Campion is an eccentric and faintly comic hero who seems to have a wide-ranging brief. I'm not sure about him as a comic figure but I quite like his Clouseau-Cato relationship with his manservant, Lugg. In this book, Campion is tasked with protecting a high-profile American judge who is on the run from gangsters and their leader, Simister. There is a death, some disappearances, a kidnapping, cryptic messages and a hero-villain showdown to finish, so it has a lot to offer. If you like a traditional Agatha Christie style mystery then this is probably not for you but it is entertaining as a mild thriller-mystery.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)

    Campion travels back from the States on the same ship as the renowned US Judge Crowdy Lobbett, during the journey he saves the Judge's life and once in the UK arranges for him (and his son and daughter) to stay at Mystery Mile in order to keep him and his family safe.  It seems though as if the Simister gang are ahead of them and no where seems to be safe, we have disappearances, blackmail, kidnapping and attempted murder! So Campion (and his somewhat unorthodox manservant Lugg) need to pull all Campion travels back from the States on the same ship as the renowned US Judge Crowdy Lobbett, during the journey he saves the Judge's life and once in the UK arranges for him (and his son and daughter) to stay at Mystery Mile in order to keep him and his family safe.  It seems though as if the Simister gang are ahead of them and no where seems to be safe, we have disappearances, blackmail, kidnapping and attempted murder! So Campion (and his somewhat unorthodox manservant Lugg) need to pull all the stops out to keep people safe.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    Albert Campion is one of the most unique protaganists to come along, particularly during the era in which Margery Allingham wrote. Campion is a man of many talents and skills -- and neither then reader nor the story's characters are ever quite sure which Campion will show up. Well-plotted, interesting cast of characters and a nice bit of suspense that builds to the final pages.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mehedi Sarwar

    Margery Allibgham’s writing is full of humor and witty dialogue. As a result you will never feel bored. Albert Campion gets the main role in this book and all the later books in the series. This is more of a criminal chasing story. It lacks in mystery and deduction that we regularly see in a Agatha Christie's Poirot novels. But as an adventure story it shines. An American judge Lobbett becomes the target of a criminal mastermind . After a few accidental deaths around the judge it was evident tha Margery Allibgham’s writing is full of humor and witty dialogue. As a result you will never feel bored. Albert Campion gets the main role in this book and all the later books in the series. This is more of a criminal chasing story. It lacks in mystery and deduction that we regularly see in a Agatha Christie's Poirot novels. But as an adventure story it shines. An American judge Lobbett becomes the target of a criminal mastermind . After a few accidental deaths around the judge it was evident that the judge was the target every time and the killer narrowly missed his target. The criminal was known as Simister, but he does not have a face, identity or any affiliation. A faceless criminal. And he will not stop at any cost. Enters Albert Campion. He takes the task of guarding the judge. To guard the judge and lure the Simister into open Campion takes the judge to a rural Suffolk village called Mystery Miles, where the final encounter should happen. Campion hoped that there are a very people in Mystery Mile and everyone knows everyone else and that will prevent Simister sending unknown people to Mystery Mile. But Simister is a master of disguise and can become anyone anywhere. Cat and mouse game starts.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Lots of intriguing ideas (setting, characters, weirdly loyal criminals) but it never quite gelled for me. I suspect that as with “Black Dudley,” you need to read it for subsequent books to make sense. I’m not convinced that I’m a Campion “person,” but may try the next one to see if he grows on me.

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