EBOOK Death of a Ghost
I have been slowly reading my way through the Albert Campion books with somewhat mixed feelings Although I am a lover of Golden Age mysteries I have struggled with this series so far However I was pleased to find that this the sixth book featuring Campion first published in 1934 is much of a typical crime story than some of the others I have read so far which seem to rely on the supernatural or criminal fraternitiesCampion is at the house of Belle Lafcadio widow of the famous artist John Lafcadio Lafcadio had left several sealed paintings to be revealed annually for some years after his death At this annual event there is a murder and of course Campion becomes involved in the investigation When there is another death he realises who the murderer is the problem is that he has no proofOddly this novel highlights the fact that the police in this case in the form of Scotland Yard man Stanislaus Oates while excellent at solving crimes are less adept at preventing them Alt This book is OK as far as it oes It is a thirties crime mystery based around a posh family and their connections and almost everyone is connected with the art world in some way The initial murder there are to come takes place early on during the first viewing of one of the paintings which has been left by a famous artist to be revealed at the rate of one per yearSome of the characters are so appalling that I woud have loved to have leapt into the pages of my book and killed them off myself When I say appalling I don t mean that they are badly written uite the contrary but they are just people that I wouldn t ever want anywhere near me So that is So Far from the Sea good writing is it notThe main policeman in the plot is just so straight and humourless and appears to lack the wit to outsmart a slug on thearden fence never mind a dangerous criminal Campion also lacks humour He is such a serious man who happens to be on the scene due to his long standing connection with the widow To me he seemed to be rather slow in picking up the clues and sorting out the motive and the killer but I suppose that prolongs the endingIt may seem a strange thing to say about a story which revolves around the art world but I The Wolfs Healing Touch (Wolves of Stone Ridge got irritated by the amount of art talk and technicalities in this book Others may love that but it was not for meIn summary the book was OK I don t regret reading it but there are many other books out there that I should prefer to read ahead of another Campion mystery Allingham veers here into character study telling us who the murderer is halfway through the novel and then setting Campion to trying to find a way to stop a clever killer who is smart enough toet away with itThe story itself represents a shift in Campion s character from deceptively fatuous young adventurer with a strong sense of fun to self styled universal uncle a transition he began in the previous volume where Campion is noted to be in his early thirtiesUnfortunately in this book Campion s interpretation of uncle involves a lot of The Draft gaslighting of Linda instead of treating her with any real regard for her opinion There s one particular scene where Campion is dismissing almost everything Linda is saying and doesn t come around until she s backed up by a man Not aood book to start this series in other words it doesn t Bible Prophecy give aood impression of Campion at all Detective fiction isn t a Yaratma Cesareti genre that I ever usually reach for this was a text for uni and I doubt I ll be reading much of it in the future The story was interesting enough but I just didn t find it all that memorable Does this title that of the sixth Albert Campion book refer to thehost of John Lafcadio the artist whose cheeky attempt to The Astral Codex gain immortality andet one over on his rivals has far reaching conseuences for his family and friends Each year starting in the eleventh year after his death one of twelve paintings is to be revealed and put on sale on the Sunday before the annual Academy Exhibition The book opens on the day number eight is to be unveiled at his house in Little VeniceAssembled is a cast consisting of Belle the artist s widow their Here There Be Witches granddaughter two former models Max Fustian an art dealer and various artists models and notabilities including CampionThe first murder is carried out in the darkness ensuing from Belle s failure to put money in the electricity meter Why and by whom was artist Tommy Dacre murdered so opportunistically A fantastic confession is made and its maker ruled out by Inspector Stanislaus Oates The police investigation peters out in the face of official discouragement but Campion persists and not long after this reader correctly identifies the murdererFrom then on around 40% into the story this is effectively an inverted mystery We know the murderer but not the why and the who else since Allingham clearly indicates there will be murder Campion and the police must try to assemble a case whose proofs will stand up in courtThe case ends with a thrilling nightmare journey at the conclusion of which a resolution is reachedThe Allingham magic here is in creating yet again a small rather strange community peopled by some rather oddly believable charactersWe may not like many of them and feel little sympathy for or empathy with them but they all come alive from the ludicrous Donna Beatrice to the pathetic Potters from the fantastically mephistophelian and vainglorious Max to practical LindaThis is the Allingham which will most divide readers opinionsThe first time I read it I found it unappealing and unsatisfactory This time I loved it The characters are colourful in every senseThe artistic background is meticulous is Pip Youngman Carter s hand to be seen here The plot is ingenious and the structure appropriately Gothic Only the fate of the murderer disappoints but the final chapter rounds off nicely what is to me one of the best of the earlier CampionsThank you to the Allingham estate for the review copy In order to spite his arch rival Tanueray the painter John Lafcadio left a collection of paintings with his agent Salmon Co with the strict instructions to hold onto them for a decade and then release them one by one at annual special showings he reckoned that his death would increase dema. John Sebastian Lafcadio is one of thereatest painters of the Edwardian period and his ambition to be known as the reatest painter since Rembrandt was not to be thwarted by a matter as trifling as his own death Lafcadio was not only a brilliantly talented it appears a bit psychic Certain that his reputation would improve dramatically after his death he left aset of twelve sealed paintings with his agent along with the instruction that her widow should wait a suitable interval and then begin doling out the work to.
EBOOK Death of a Ghost
N t recall ever coming away from a Campion novel with the feeling that Allingtham had failed to deliver Death of a Ghost is no exception and it may be one of her bestThis is a contribution toward Rich Westwood s Crimes of the Century feature on his Past Offences blog The year chosen for consideration in June 2015 is 1934 This is one of those not actually mysterious mysteries where the identity of the culprit is clear uite early on to the detective as well as the reader and the remainder of the story is the protagonist attempting to collect proof Sometimes this works fine especially if it is handled in a suspenseful way In this case even the police are convinced but seem unable to think of any course of action Campion is particularly ineffectual in this installment perhaps a reaction on the author s part to swinging too far in the action hero direction in the previous book I wasn t convinced that the killer was really that diabolically clever and found the resolution disappointing and weakHowever I did like the opening set up with the artists and critics at the mildly Bohemian house party and the descriptions of the art The supporting characters were a bit over the top but at least interesting The real attack lay somewhere in the Cantonetti Campion wished he could remember The whole of the restaurant had become indistinct He was aware of vast planes of misty chattering hosts to whom he supposed fatuously he was as invisible as they to him Famous artist John Lafcadio might have been dead for thirteen years but that doesn t stop him from being able to cause a Fake Mustache good stir Before his death he completed 12 paintings and left instructions that they were to be revealed starting five years after his death one a year until all the sealed crates had been opened and his masterpieces were available to the world Albert Campion comes to visit Lafcadio s widow Belle just before the eighth painting has been shown and being a friend is invited to the unveiling All appears too well and the painting Joan of Arc is revealed as planned turned into a spectacle and overseen as usual by Lafcadio s agent Max Faustian Things Desert Rose and Her Highfalutin Hog go awry when the lightso out Once the power is restored Tommy Dacre Lafcardio s rand daughter s fiance is found stabbed to death with a pair of ornate scissors Campion soon finds himself investigating not only Dacre s murder but a series of other odd events another death and ultimately finds himself almost losing his life when he underestimates the murderer This book is not so much a whodunnit as a prove hedunnit Campion figures out the identity of the murderer early and there are plenty enough clues for the reader to do the same The killer is clever slick supremely self confident and just a little bit insane Campion s attempts to first unmask then stop the killer are stymied every step of the way and for a while there it looks like he might be the final victim It is luck and back up from his friends that saves him this time not his own intellect This is a very different book that I liked and was unsure about both at the same time It is a departure for the usual crime solving adventure and I m of two minds about whether or not it works Certainly some early strange events such as the disappearance of all Dacre s works finally make sense when the killer s motives are revealed and it is all very clever But the pacing felt kind of wrong to be although I think that was mostly because Allingham had things happen in a different order than usual Here the basic story line went murder suspicion discovery of murderer discover of murderer s motives plan to stop murderer failure of said plan resolution by Hand of God Campion didn t really take over this story he just struggled to keep up with other characters and I think that was probably the source of my dissatisfaction That and the ultimate fate of the murderer which seemed like a cop out to me Not one of Allingham s best although we meet some lovely characters such as Belle and her rand daughter Linda and Hey Wait a Minute! Five Rough and Reluctant Sex Erotica Stories get a chance to see inside the artist s life of the time I still enjoyed the story but it won t be first on my list of Campion books to reread If you only want to read one pick a different one If you already know you like the series this is still aood solid addition it and I suggest you read it After all drunk Campion at the end of the book is a total delight I m told it is in the Peter Davison TV adaptions as well although I haven t seen themCopied across from Library Thing 25 September 2012 I often think that Johnnie s work was unspoiled by the conventions of the period largely because he had an unwarrantable dislike of children Margery Allingham Death of A GhostMargery Allingham s Death of A Ghost was published in 1934 It is the sixth mystery featuring Albert Campion a seemingly unremarkable man in horn rimmed Drawing Straws glasses But his nondescript appearance is a calculated disguise for Campion is in fact a brilliant sleuth with a mysterious past He is among those invited to attend an exclusive event in the London art world namely the unveiling of a canvas of a famous though long dead English painter to be staged in the late artist s studio But the unveiling does noto as planned When the studio lights are suddenly extinguished a young man is viciously stabbed to death with a pair of scissors The crime seems infuriatingly unsolvable to Scotland Yard But Campion has his own suspicions about the killer These solidify when a second murder again apparently unsolvable occurs in the circle of eccentric hangers on athered about the dead artist s kindhearted widow Campion finds himself drawn into a dangerous cat and mouse ame with an increasingly daring murderer one who it would appear is intent on making him the next victim Margery Allingham is perhaps my least favorite of the Golden Age crime writers I find her writing inconsistent A reader never knows what to expect when they pick up one of her books Her novels can vary wildly in uality and tone and the latter can often change dramatically even within the same title But peopled with memorably oddball characters and sometimes uite funny Death of A Ghost is an agreeable entertaining if not brilliant mystery. Art show in full view of the cream of London society For the second killing only the victim and the murderer were present The first killing took place at a crowded art show in full view of the cream of London society For the second killing only the victim and the murderer were present Now the scene was set for the third a lavish dinner party with vintage wines and with Albert Campion's death as the main course Mr Campion must employ all his tact as well as his formidable intelligence to trap the killer and dodge dea.
Nd for his work and that the strategy would Ethical Responsiveness and the Politics of Difference give Tanueray an annual posthumous reminder that Lafcadio was the artist the public and the connoisseurs preferredIn fact Tanueray died before that initial decade was up but Lafcadio s widow Belle and the inheritor of the Salmon agency Max Fustian continue the tradition of the annual viewing of a newly revealed Lafcadio work As a much younger friend of Belle s Albert Campion is present at the latest showing During the traditional drinking of the sour wine the eating of the curling cruditees and the chattering to people you d normally avoid and anyway can t hear properly because of the yammer the lightso out When they re restored there lies on the floor stabbed through the heart with a pair of ornamental scissors Dacre a protege of Lafcadio s and assumed fiance of Lafcadio s The scarecrow granddaughter LindaThe cops descend in the shape of Campion s old buddy Inspector Stanislaus Oates of the Yard this novel predated the bursting onto the scene of Charlie Luke as Allingham s preferred cop Between them Oates and Campionet absolutely nowhereBut then there s a second death in the sprawling Lafcadio household Claire the managerial wife of one of Lafcadio s old hangers on is found dead of what could have been a heart attack but proves on autopsy to have been poisoning by nicotinic acid and this time Campion knows with a certainty that outstrips any evidence he might possess who the culprit is and thus probably the perpetrator of the first killing too Oates agrees with Campion s hypothesis but the murder of Claire has been so carefully orchestrated that there s no way either man can bring the killer to justice using conventional means Campion even considers especially when he realizes the danger that Belle and Linda might be in simply taking justice into his own hands whatever the price he might have to pay Being a civilized human being however he instead maneuvers himself into position as the person the murderer might be best advised next to kill in the attempt to cover up the dirty little secret that lies at the core of the plot This is a terrific thriller Allingham wrote some splendid mysteries but I ve come to the conclusion that her thrillers like this novel Traitor s Purse and of course The Tiger in the Smoke show her at her best I think she probably achieved this through her deft ability to portray character I last read Death of a Ghost perhaps forty years ago so obviously remembered very little of the plot but I did recall the characters notably Belle Max Fustian and Linda who I thought and still think is red hot an aesthetic conclusion with which Campion evidently agreesThere are also to be honest some fairly easy almost cheap bits of characterization Elizabeth Cady Stanton going on household hanger on Donna Beatrice an old model of Lafcadio s pretentiously full Blavatsky style of the need to understand the Higher Consciousness and open one s aura to the mystic ways of the universe Donna Beatrice sreeting was sensational and Campion remembered with sudden satisfaction that her real name was Harriet Pickering Rosa Rosa the empty headed yet ravishingly lovely model who readily delivers herself of obscenities and the most remarkable After the End gestures whom Dacre met in Rome and whom he married in order to be able to bring home to the UK with him despite his supposed engagement to LindaDacre by the way suggested that he Linda and Rosa Rosa shouldet a house together and live there in a menage a trois Linda tells Campion she rejected this not on any moral The Doll and Her Friends (1893) grounds or even theoretical disinclination but simply because the work Dacre had now started to produce was chocolate box than art no way would she live with an artist who d prostituted himself like this Allingham s social attitudes were way ahead of their era She could also be adolescently smutty at times A ramshackle cottage in the middle of nowhere where Dacre did some of his painting is evocatively called SpendpennyAs for Campion himself we re still in vol 6 of the series stuck with the common Golden Age trope of him being a member of the aristocracy in his case pseudonymous to keep his true identity secret who s philanthropically working beneath himself by solving crimes and acting as a sort of universal uncle to those in distress He retains some of the deceptive vacuity that was Wimsey s stock in trade but for the most part that s toned down a bit and overall he s become a plausible human being Even in the early novels Campion was a far real and likeable person than caricatures like Wimsey by now he s become perhaps because of the fallibility he displays here a well rounded characterWith the villain being revealed early on the drive of the novel comes from the attempt by Oates and Campion especially the latter to tease out the motivation Allingham handles this very adroitly The book s title is a bit of aiveaway for part of it but I think we d all have worked that bit out even without the clue Besides that s hardly the point The crux of the novel is that Campion is confronted by an ingenious villain who s perhaps at least as intelligent as he is and who holds most if not all of the cards The later stages of the novel in which Campion is a piece of prey there for the taking as he flees through London streets are absolutely nail bitingThis is a thriller whose central dynamic is artificial then and now Scotland Yard detectives don t much welcome far less encourage the contributions of amateurs in the murder cases they re attempting to solve A few months ago I was writing about the efforts of self styled psychic detectives and the extent to which in Septiņi general the cops privately hold these amateur meddlers in contempt was was very evident Of course we re supposed to believe at face value that Lestrade albeit reluctantly welcomed the efforts of Holmes Japp albeit reluctantly welcomed the efforts of Poirot and so on Allingham chooses here to acknowledge the artificiality and in effect to tell us we simply have to accept it if we want to read onThe Inspector never knew uite why he always invited the pale young man to accompany him on this sort of expedition in defiance of edict and etiuette alike but the fact remained and so did Mr CampionI ca. A newly ravenous public at the rate of one per year Lafcadio's widow unveil the eighth canvas to a carefully selected audience Albert Campion an old friend of the widow's is among the cast ofadabouts muses and socialites athered for the latest ceremony The event is a success for all but one of the attendees a young artist who is brutally stabbed while others are sipping champagne The art is the last thing on the sleuth's mind whenl the wife of another painter is poisoned The first killing took place at a crowded.
Margery Allingham É 0 REVIEW
Maxwell MarchMargery Louise Allingham was born in Ealing London in 1904 to a family of writers Her father Herbert John Allingham was editor of The Christian Globe and The New London Journal while her mother wrote stories for women's magazines as