Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Margery Allingham. Pearls Before Swine (1945)

     Margery Allingham. Pearls Before Swine (1945) Campion, on leave from his overseas assignment (whatever that is) finds a dead woman in his London flat. She has been transported there by Lady Carados, mother of his friend Johnny Carados, an RAF pilot and war hero, who is about to be married. Lugg had helped Lady Carados. Campion only wants catch a train to Nidd, where his wife and child await him, but Supt. Oates ropes him in to assist in the inquiry. And so an extremely tangled mix of plots begins.
     Of course Campion and Det. Supt. Oates solve the crimes, but it’s an extremely tangled path. It feels very much as if Allingham invented an overly ambitious take with multiple plots and red herrings strewed about like so much confetti. Or rather bombing debris, the time is sometime in 1944. There’s the typical Allingham satire of British upper class twits, but since the plot involves traitors and black markets and blackmail as well as murder, she treads more lightly than in the pre-war novels.
     An OK read. **

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