The Crime at Black Dudley

The Crime at Black Dudley

by Margery Allingham


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George Abbershaw is set for a social weekend at Black Dudley manor, hosted by Wyatt Petrie and his elderly uncle Colonel Combe, who enjoys the company of Bright Young Things. With Meggie Oliphant in attendance, George looks forward to the chance of getting closer to the girl he's set his heart on. But when murder spoils the party, the group soon find out that not only is there a killer in their midst, but the house is also under the control of notorious criminals. Trapped and at their mercy, George must find a way to thwart their diabolical plans while getting himself and Meggie out alive.

Luckily for Abbershaw, among the guests is Albert Campion—a garrulous and affable party-crasher with a great knack for solving mysteries and interrogating suspects.

The Crime at Black Dudley, first published in 1929, is the first novel to introduce Margery Allingham's amiable and much loved sleuth—Albert Campion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781448216666
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Series: Albert Campion Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 268,460
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Margery Allingham is ranked among the most distinguished and beloved detective fiction writers of the Golden Age alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh. Allingham is J.K. Rowling's favorite Golden Age author and Agatha Christie said of Allingham that out of all the detective stories she remembers, Margery Allingham"'stands out like a shining light."

Date of Birth:

May 20, 1904

Date of Death:

June 30, 1966

Place of Birth:


Place of Death:

Colchester, Essex, England


Endsleigh House School, Colchester; the Perse School, Cambridge; and the Regent Street Polytechnic, London

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The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Crime at Black Dudley was the first novel in which Campion appears. The book is quite a bit different from later volumes. Campion is only sketched in. While an important character, he is by no means the central hero of the plot. And the story is very youth oriented, composed primarily of post-war (WW I) youth vs. villainous older male criminals.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
A house party at a isolated location, a gang of thieves ,a murder and a family legend. This was a mystery with many twists and turns with some funny moments. This was the first book Albert Campion appears, it is a well written story line and has good characters. I plan to read as many books of Albert Campion as possible. ***I received this book in return for and honest review****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I didn't want to put it down. Margery Allingham writes a good mystery.
mmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I found it interesting to read this book due to the part it played in Allingham¿s success as a writer and as the birthing story of Albert Campion I found it otherwise to be an extremely dated and quite unfulfilling read. The datedness of the story lies not in the language or the gender roles nor the stereotypical treatment of anyone who wasn¿t a member of the English upper class but rather in the author¿s need to include, as was true in so many of the mystery books of that time, a massive international criminal gang. It is as if the author, unsure that the murder itself would be sufficiently interesting to keep the reader involved in the story, felt a need to pile on more and more distractions. And, given the fact that the identity of the murderer is not discoverable without information not provided in the book and yet not hard to suspect given the mise-en-scene this reader believes the author¿s worries were justified. I doubt this book would be much remembered were it not for the fact that it marks the first appearance of Albert Campion. For the reader who knows what `happens next¿ it is amusing to watch the author attempt to make Abbershaw a protagonist on whom a series could be hung while her own creation, Albert Campion, makes off with the heart of the author if not the reader. Campion, as he is described in this story, is very much the upper-class dilettante that English authors of the 1920s and 1930s appear to find fascinating for the very reasons that many modern readers find them annoying. This reader must admit that if Campion had been in the room while she was reading the story she would not have been able to suppress the urge to give him a shake and tell him that he was not nearly as fascinating or charming as he imagined.The attempt, at the end of the book, to engage the reader in a philosophical discussion as to the meanings of justice, law and order seem to be motivated more by the author having written herself (and her detective) into a evidence free corner from which no arrest could be made than by anything else.
orange_suspense on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having met sleuth Alleyn in the last book I read (Marsh¿s A Man Lay Dead) I went on with the first of Allingham¿s Campion novels ¿ The Crime at Black Dudely.In this novel we are to meet Mr Albert Campion (in disguise) but not as a main character as I had expected. He is one of the guests of a house Party at Black Dudley and soon confronted with the death of Colonel Gordon Coombe, the uncle of the host Wyatt Petrie. Coombe was killed with a mysterious dagger right through the back during a little game the party members were playing ¿ and in the absolute darkness wherefore nobody could see who murdered him or why.As the guests will soon find out not all of them are righteouse citizens for some are ruthless and armed gangsters working for an brutal underground organistation. And when it turns out that one very important and valuable object was stolen from them the wild chase begins. And Black Dudley is the perfect location for this hide and seek game for it is isolated and got endless rooms with hidden doors and secret passages.For my taste even the plot is a bit implausible and so are many of the characters and their actions. Not only does it seem that the plot structure is more or less cobbeld together but I had the constant feeling that I was reading some sort of early Scooby-Doo adventure minus the ghosts and monsters. Also there was no decent atmosphere even though Black Dudley would have been such a great location for creating interesting moments and a memorable ambience. But nothing of that sort could impress me.Albert Campion, the hero of the following series of Allingham novels wasn¿t quite persuasive and didn¿t solve the crime at the end - for this is Abbershaw¿s part. Maybe Campion¿s character was intended to be funnily distinct as a sleuth but it failed for the lack of genious. With Campion I¿m disappointed and this has nothing to do with the fact that he wasn¿t the main character for Marsh¿s Alleyn also wasn¿t the main protagonist in her first novel and she clearly managed to draw a remarkable picture of her detective.Also I don¿t think that The Crime at Black Dudely really fits in the context of novels by authors like Marsh or Christie for it isn¿t constructed around deducting a solution from the facts given, but around sometimes stupid action scenes like a redundant car chase in the middle of the night and endless turnarounds at Black Dudleys. Even the final solution is completely out of context and coulnd¿t be guessed by the reader at all (and not because it was so ingenious but simply because of the lack of information).I think I will give Campion another (but maybe final) shot and read the second novel of the series sometimes. Maybe Allingham wasn¿t sure if she should really continue or build a series around Campion and therefore wrote the book more like a finished story. Be that as it may, The Crime at Black Dudley unfortunately was boring, implausible, not really atmospheric and it featured unbelievable characters and unnecessary turnarounds and action scenes.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this first Albert Campion mystery after being wowed by Mystery Mile.Sadly, Albert isn't the main character in this story, though it's his first appearance, so I'm glad I read it.The Crime at Black Dudley is an English country house mystery. There's an odd assortment of guests at Black Dudley, and during the evening, they decide to reenact an old ritual game involving an odd family heirloom--a sinister dagger. The lights get extinguished, the servants are all banished, and the idea is to wander around the mansion in the dark while the dagger passes from hand to hand.Well, it's pretty evident what's going to happen in a case like this: somebody will be stabbed to death. It turns out to be the host's uncle, a wheelchair-bound invalid who wore a mask to cover severe scarring.Except that the guests are initially told that he's just been taken ill, until one, a young new doctor, is asked to falsify a death certificate citing natural causes. He refuses, but the hero of the story, Dr. George Abbershaw goes along with it until the authorities can be notified.Unfortunately for everyone, the murder only complicated things. Albert Campion was at the house party to retrieve a set of secret plans from the uncle, but Dr. Abbershaw found them and burned them, prompting one of the guests, who turns out to be a criminal mastermind, to hold the entire party hostage until the plans are returned to him.There are wonderful twists and turns and even a sweet romance. Secret passages, spies, uneasy alliances, entertaining and eccentric characters, a decrepit-looking old car hiding a Rolls Royce engine under the hood... er, bonnet... Just a nice, complex yet light mystery with a surprise ending.I wasn't nearly as impressed with Campion in this book, but then again, he wasn't the star. I'm sure he'll acquit himself admirably in the next one. It's on my to-be-bought list.
jonesli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first Margery Allingham, who was recommended to me by the patron of the used bookstore that I frequent way too often.I found it very difficult to stay with this book for some reason. It has all the elements of the classic British mystery, a dagger ritual, a group of young people at a country estate for the weekend, and a murder. Also thrown in are a little espionage and very clever repartee. I was expecting this book to be more cozy and it turned out not to be so.This book also introduces Albert Campion, not as a detective, however, and he is portrayed as a littled odd and perhaps a bit foolish, but shows that he is in fact intelligent at times. All in all this was not a bad read, I just think my expectations were different. I am also reading Tiger in the Smoke by this author which is very good so far.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel to feature Albert Campion. He actually plays more of a supporting role, but seeing as every time he appears he steals the show, it's not surprising Allingham quickly made him the star of his own series.A group of young people gather at remote country house, but the party quickly turns into a hostage situation when it's revealed that some of the guests are members of an international crime syndicate. Throw in a mysterious murder and some social entanglements worthy of Bertie Wooster, and you've got mystery that's by turns witty and genuinely tense and creepy.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As far as mysteries and plots go, this one is different. Even though it is set in an old English country home (my very favorite mysteries have this setting), the murder has a bit of a twist to it. I won't say what it is. But it all starts when young Wyatt Petrie has a few close friends to his ancestral home for a weekend. Well, a few close friends plus a stranger: Mr. Albert Campion, about whom no one knows anything, just that he seems to be a major bumbler (at first, anyway). After the first night's dinner, the talk centers around one of the family artifacts: The Black Dudley Dagger, which hangs in an interesting setting on a wall in the house. Wyatt tells the group of a strange game that his ancestors used to play, in which the lights were turned off, and the dagger was handed off from person to person, the objective being that no one wanted to end up with the dagger in his or her hand once the lights went on. So off they go to play and after all is said and done, there's a tidy case of murder. Please remember that this book was written in 1929, so while it's a short book, it's kind of verbose in places, not a cozy. I read this eons ago, but totally forgot about it, so it was new to me once again. I rather enjoyed it, and got sucked along into the mystery. If you're a golden-age mystery fan, or if you have enjoyed Mr. Campion before, you will enjoy this one.
bencritchley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first Allingham and my introduction to Mr Albert Campion; on the basis of this novel I think we're going to get along. The sleeve of my battered penguin copy advises me that Ms Allingham's novels are for "the libraries of those wise men who like their nonsense to be distinguished," and that, essentially, is exactly what we've got here. It's pure, unadulterated hokum, a country house murder mystery with rich posh people, fat foreign baddies, several baffling mysteries at once, a half-senile auld person (seems to be a genre favourite, that one) and numerous secret passages. Immensely satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast moving, story told through the dialogue of the characters, so,e surprises, however I knew who done it about halfway through the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If only the authors of all those horrifyingly bad cozy mysteries would read The Crime at Black Dudley. This is what a cozy mystery should be: witty, well written, intelligent, well written, heartfelt, well written, twisty, and, yeah you guessed it... well written. The 20's era slang was a bit of a slog, but once I got my head into it, translating the Brit-speak ended up making it all the more fun. Just a great time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago