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Summary

When Albert Campion is called in by the fiancee of an old college friend to investigate the disappearance of her uncle, he little expects the mysterious spate of death and dangers that follows among the bizarre inhabitants of Socrates Close, Cambridge. He and Stanislaus Oates must tread carefully, and battle some complex family dynamics, to solve the case.

AuthorMargery 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

©2013 Margery Allingham (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Allingham's work is always of the first rank" ( New York Times)
"Margery Allingham has worked her way up to a worthy place among the tiny hierarchy of front-rankers in the detective world" ( Tatler)
"Margery Allingham deserves to be rediscovered" ( P.D. James)

What listeners say about Police at the Funeral

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I can no longer bear her bigotry

I realise Margery Allingham lived in a different time, and was a clever storyteller who produced some memorable characters, most gloriously in the character of Amanda. But since hearing Campion tell a female character “What you need my girl is a good rape” (Dancers in Mourning) I’ve found her bigotry and messages to women increasingly unbearable. The denouement of the family secret in this book - of which the key characters are so ashamed - is so disgustingly racist both in idea and expression that I really can’t tolerate her work anymore. There comes a point where bigotry poisons the work irremediably.

22 people found this helpful

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Poor narration and editing

I am not fond of this narrator but his inane performance is made worse by the fact that repetition and yawning have not been edited out. Wherever possible I choose Campion stories narrated by Francis Matthews.

7 people found this helpful

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Good if dated story with couple of errors on recording!

In chapters 14 and 15 there are repeat lines of script but a very loud impromptu yawn! Recording couldn’t have been checked. It’s put me off this series. Hope it’s a one off.

Ends up with a but of discomfort at the end because of the treatment of black people. Was a book of it’s time. Still well written but outmoded thinking.

5 people found this helpful

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Great listen

The dated language won’t be for everyone - but a cracking yarn nevertheless and brilliantly narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent but of its time

Excellent story and characters, beware the casual racism (it was written in 1930 so not unusual for the time but of course it is jarring now).

1 person found this helpful

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Great story, awful narration

The story is great and full of suspense.
Unfortunately, the different voices of the characters are pretty awful and sound more fit for a rehearsal for “Birdcage” than for this mystery.
Hopefully, this story will be available with another narrator and hence be able to unfold it’s full thrilling potential.

1 person found this helpful

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Some shoddy editing and out of date attitudes

There are a few patches with repeats and some of the language and sentiments would not be tolerated in current literature

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Did he yawn mid-story?

I enjoyed some of the accents although the female ones sounded quite similar. in the middle of the story the narrator reads a line, does a huge yawn ( not in the book) , reads the line again and carries on! I think they missed that bit in the editing process!

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Poor characterisations

This is my second book in the series narrated by David Thorpe and he spoiled it for me again. His voices are exceedingly poor and are somewhere between parody and incompetence. His female voices, in particular, are simply dreadful. I shall not be keen to make his acquaintance a third time,

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful period piece

Engaging tale showing a glimpse into a past, simpler age. Not sure policemen were ever that deferential or welcoming of amateurs - however talented & well connected! Great narration too.

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  • John S.
  • 07-08-20

Not particularly exciting

Misses four stars from me as I grew tired of the action as being pretty much contained within a family with whom I didn't connect. Otherwise, it's a decent story. Some might care that Lugg is absent here (left behind in London). New to series? Don't start here.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Propel
  • 09-08-17

tremendously enjoyable

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. the right amounts of intrigue, scene description and red herrings

3 people found this helpful

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  • xxx
  • 24-07-20

Allingham is dated, narrator awful.

I forget that these were written when using the N word was acceptable...that is lamentable. But the narrator is truly awful, flubbing Campions voice with a variable falsetto that grates, and failing to exhibit either consistency or control over his characters. Audible has access to myriad talent - voice acting and narration are skill sets - shame to have Allingham’s period pieces so audibly mangled.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lory Ortega
  • 15-04-18

Superb Campion

Best of them all, I believe! Excellent narration, a wonderfully convoluted but not improbable plot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Chafin
  • 10-05-17

Finally, a mystery

This is the fourth Campion book. It is also the first one that is truly a mystery. Despite a stereotypical cast of English eccentrics, the plot is engaging and the solution worthy of Christie.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CLS
  • 29-03-22

Wonderful sense of place

One important component of an enjoyable cozy mystery for me, is the locale and how well the author is able to set that scene.
Allingham is a master at creating an ambiance without making it obvious she is doing so. You are given a sense of place that is as vivid as a photograph and you never feel like it was forced at you.
David Thorpe does a decent job of differentiating between characters and I am becoming used to his, in my opinion, poor ability to reproduce the female voice. Other than being rather jarring at times, overall I enjoy his performance.

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  • Olli
  • 23-08-19

Marvelous Golden Era Gem

Classic mystery: you know you have been given all the clues, you know all your suspects.

Still this book managed too keep me in suspense right until the end. One of those Should've knowns!