Monday, September 19, 2016

Early Allingham

Margery Allingham. Mystery Mile (1930) A very early Campion story, quite melodramatic, with disappearances, a Moriarty-type criminal master-mind, multiple deceptions, fisticuffs, night-time excursions, and limited characterisation. The evil guy suffers poetically just drowning while stuck in the mud. There’s a fire, too, but it’s mostly stink-bomb and smoke-screen. Love and justice triumph. What more could you want? Well, a fully realised Campion, for a start. The later Allinghams are much better than this one. The title refers to a village on a mist-shrouded peninsula, barely connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, and surrounded by tidal flats and mud.*½

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