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The Fashion in Shrouds
Margery Allingham
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The Fashion in Shrouds (Albert Campion #10)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,565 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Georgia Wells, an alluring actress at the top of her profession, attracted men like a magnet. The trouble was that they had a nasty habit of winding up dead. No one could deny that Georgia had her faults, but was she a murderess? Albert Campion is drawn into the mystery, for his sister, Val, is chief designer in The House of Papendeik, and the murder has taken place within ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 432 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Isis (first published 1938)
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Feb 04, 2011 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: brittle misogynists
Shelves: mystery, gender
Somehow I've gotten onto a string of misogynistic women authors. Compared to this the last one, Christie's Blue Train, seems quite mild. At least its sexism is of a more paternal tone -- oh, you women are so silly and unable to control your feelings --rather than truly hateful. The women here are not just irrational, but also vicious, selfish, dishonest, and amoral. And this despite the fact that the male characters do all the murdering and most of the other crimes. When women commit their sordi ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Leonie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I do like Allingham's books; even their vices, such as quite a dense style that could be understandably considered awkward at times, and plots that depend on fanciful characters and coincidences, appeal to me. But I've come to realise that I don't actually like her detective, Campion, that much, and that was particularly the case here. Most of all, this is one of those weird misogynistic novels women write sometimes, when you get the sense they would like to believe women weren't inferior, becau ...more
Charlene Vickers
Aug 17, 2010 Charlene Vickers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a dreadful book with no redeeming qualities. Campion is a sneering, contemptuous jerk; his sister is unbalanced, and not in an entertaining fashion; Lugg is cringeworthy; the secondary characters are as unlike real people as you'll ever see. It's horrendously badly written - good luck figuring out what's going on in the first three chapters - and there is no mystery.

Reviewers who think that the astonishing racism and misogyny that permeates this book is somehow historical need to think
Feb 06, 2012 Lilly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The sexism in this book was utterly appalling to me. It ruined a decent detective story. It's easy to say "oh, it was written in 1938, it's just of it's time", but that's a terrible argument considering that three years earlier Dorothy L. Sayers had written the intelligent, feminist detective story Gaudy Night.
This book could essentially be renamed "A Tale of Three Career Women". Written 'between the wars', you can almost see the author wrestling with old and new conceptions of what it is to be male and female - sometimes using statements which are teeth-grindingly appalling. Some of these statements come out of Campion's mouth (including the memorable suggestion that what his sister wanted to cheer her up was a "good cry or a nice rape" - there's a word used in a way we don't usually use it!).

The fir
Aug 18, 2008 Azar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing that really hurts this book is that you have to take it in the context of its time. There is blatant racist and sexist content, but it *was* written in 1938, when the world was still ignoring what Hitler was doing in Europe, so that's not really surprising. I'm not saying that should be ignored, but don't throw out the good with the bad because aside from that the book is *very* good (in fact, if not for that I would've given it five stars).

Now, I'll be honest, this is Albert's lo
Jill Hutchinson
I am usually an Albert Campion fan but this book just irritated me. The characters were so damn affected, hysterical, and just plain ridiculous that I had trouble getting through it. I hoped that every one of the group of suspects was guilty since I disliked them so much. Even Campion came across as a vacuous fool. Another complaint I have is that if you have not read Dancers in Mourning (which I have) you have no idea to what some of the characters are referring when they bring up, for no parti ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Bev rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-mystery
The Fashion in Shrouds (1938) is another entry in the annals of Margery Allingham's detective, Albert Campion. This time, as the back of the book tells us, we have homicide with style. Fashion is the by-word of the circle where murder strikes. Among these people, the suicide of Richard Portland-Smith [not George Wells as he is identified in the blurb] is old news. But Campion has refused to accept it as passe...and, in fact, has been asked by the man's father to get to the bottom of it. As Campi ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Maribeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, it is hard to know where to start with this. Have the previous books I've read by Margery Allingham been edited for racial slurs, homophobic remarks, and other offensive language? And don't tell me it was just normal for the 1930s because Dorothy L. Sayers was writing earlier with a far more enlightened mind and refined language. I really found a lot of things about this book appalling.

And then we have the most anti-feminist (and completely stupid) marriage proposal EVER; this man proposing
Karen Rye
May 25, 2014 Karen Rye rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, book-group-tue
I did not like this book. Things I did not like:
The writing style
The characters
The plot
The datedness (couldn't forgive the racism and misogyny no matter how contemporaneous they are)
The beginning
The end
The middle

Sep 28, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham was originally published in 1938 and it's the tenth novel in the Albert Campion series.

A brief summary: Albert Campion has found the skeleton of Richard Portland-Smith who disappeared without a trace three years ago. The investigation of his apparent suicide, which turns out to be murder, leads to Richard's former fiancée, the actress Georgia Wells, and also to a series of deaths, apparently caused by "the hand of fate". Albert Campion's involvement is
It is very interesting to see the mix of reviews on this book. Sadly, I am with the folks who did not like it as much as, well any of the other Campion books before it in the series. I can't comment on the ones after [yet]. I'll leave it to others to summarize the plot.
I like this series for the historical detail, the characters and the mystery in that order. I love Lugg. I was also looking forward to this installment because of the return of Amanda.
I found this book to be populated by way too m
Jan 13, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-a-z
Post Listen Review: I started listening to this with mild disinterest. There was a murder, some clues, a guy who was clearly going to solve the crime by the end but it degraded to outright dislike by the end of the book. I have never heard a more unlikeable, misogynistic protaganist in my life.

I understand it was written in the thirties and there were certainly worse things going on in the world at that time than a fictional character who hates women. I also understand that it was written by a
Apr 01, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Albert Campion’s sister, Val, is a fashion designer who finds herself mixed up in the unexplained death of film star, Georgia Wells’ husband. Georgia is a femme fatale who seems to attract just about every man she meets including Val’s friend Alan Dell, a plane designer. Coincidentally the body of Georgia’s former fiancé who disappeared some years ago has also been found. Could Georgia be more than just the selfish vamp she definitely is?

I enjoyed this complex mystery with its portrayal of ninet
Joshua Ian
Sep 27, 2011 Joshua Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most certainly one of the best written mystery novels I've ever encountered, both in style and form. I was writing down favorite bits of exposition the whole time I was reading. It can be a bit off-putting in its treatment of women. Ms Allingham seemed very conflicted over her ideas of how "modern" women should behave, and it came across as very angry and almost downright ugly a few times. Maybe it was her reactionary attitude to the times in which she wrote or maybe it was her self-consciously ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Malcolmaffleck rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another one of the Allingham books that seems to be more about the fashion industry rather than a detective novel - the only really interesting aspect is the appearance of Val, Campion's sister and the reappearance of Amanda who goes on to become Campion's fiancee. The twist at the end is so obvious that I don't even think it should be called a twist and there isn't really much of a denouement - it simply ends once the murderer is caught, without much of an explanation from the murderer.

Somewhat amusing but not much more. The mystery was hardly solvable for the reader, and the characters did not feel interesting.

There was quite a lot of prejudice expressed against other races and against women. How much should be credited to the author, or whether the reader is supposed to see through it can be debated, and it is of course a matter of taste whether the reader minds it. Personally I never like any hint of racism, and while I have no trouble with old-fashioned attitudes as such
Sep 14, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Lovely, mysterious, and peaceful ( for a murder mystery). That said, anyone whining about the cultural milieu needs to realize that time is linear and novels are pinned to when they are written. You don't like the characters, the language, or what the author says? Fine, stick to reading last week's NYT best sellers--they're obviously for you. Oh, and one more thing: it's FICTION folks-- not the flaming Constitution.

Whew. I didn't realize how annoyed I was at the reviewers with modern axes to gri
Aug 29, 2010 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 18, 2013 Asta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Well, at least Allingham succeeds in creating a group of thoroughly unsympathetic people. Unfortunately the casual racist and misogynistic comments spoil the story. I agree with another reviewer who writes that the book contains the worst marriage proposal ever. If you have never read any of Margery Allingham's mysteries, I recommend you start with something else.. I enjoyed the Coroner's Pidgin.
Lynsey Dalladay
Oct 29, 2015 Lynsey Dalladay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't praise this book highly enough. Utterly fabulous. My favourite detective in his most fiendish case yet. A perfect example of the golden age of detective fiction.
Mar 30, 2015 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely period piece, ruined by a heavy dose of disgusting period misogyny. Too bad.
Les Wilson
May 03, 2014 Les Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I found nothing offensive in this book. I feel that those who see it are the ones who create it.
Stephanie Jane
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Several hours after completing The Fashion In Shrouds I am still baffled by what I really think of the book. On the one hand it is a perfectly competent murder mystery set in in upper class 1930s London. Amateur sleuth Campion is suitably snobbish, the characters are all either High Society or Commoners and we can easily tell the difference by the cringe-worthy accents of the latter. With his discovery of a suspicious suicide on his mind, Cam
Merrilee Gibson
Jan 25, 2017 Merrilee Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am such a fan of Allingham’s books, and it is always a pleasure to read one. But it
is not so easy to write a review, as I find myself feeling inadequate to do her writing the justice it deserves. Once I’ve said her writing is masterful, what can I add?

This book is notable for the return of Amanda Fitton, previously met as a flame-haired teenager in Sweet Danger. It is six years later; she is now Lady Amanda, she has completed her education and she is an engineer at Alandel aeroplane company. Q
This is number 10 in the Albert Campion series, which I am reading in order, and I have downgraded it to three stars, although the others got four from me. I still like her way of writing and describing, but this one is marred by the racism and misogyny of the times. I can understand it is a reflection of the times it was written (late 1930s), but it is still uncomfortable to read (especially from a female author) that Campions sister just needs a rape, and later when her dream man proposes to h ...more
Morgan McGuire
Every Allingham book with Amanda Fitton in it is pretty good. But in this case, I had a hard time getting past a few lines such as:

"What you need, my girl, is a good cry or a nice rape -- either, I should think."
"But my niggers and I understand one another."

I can't excuse this based on "Allingham's time"...most of her contemporaries don't write like that. In Shrouds she manages to avoid her usual casual antisemitism, but the racism and sexism is painfully present in a few scenes. I also attribut
Christian M Long
Terrible editing

I've been working my way through all the Campion books and enjoying every one, including this one. However this particular version is riddled with errors, namely an egregious lack of attention to punctuation, to the point of being distracting. It's a shame, since the story and writing suffers from it.
Susan S Putney
Feb 23, 2017 Susan S Putney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting plot

Out of date language and references were quite jarring at times. The characters were sufficiently appealing and the plot interesting enough to override any awkwardness. I look forward to trying more of her works.
Beth Harbaugh
I've read two previous Albert Campion mysteries by Margery Allingham and they were clever and interesting. This one wasn't.
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Aka Maxwell March.

Margery 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. Margery's aunt, Maud Hughes, also ran a magazine. Margery earned her first fee at the age of eight, for a story printed in her aunt's magazine.

More about Margery Allingham...

Other Books in the Series

Albert Campion (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1)
  • Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery #2)
  • Look to the Lady (Albert Campion Mystery #3)
  • Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery #4)
  • Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mystery #5)
  • Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery #6)
  • Flowers for the Judge (Albert Campion #7)
  • The Case of the Late Pig (Albert Campion Mystery #8)
  • Dancers in Mourning (Albert Campion Mystery #9)
  • Traitor's Purse (Albert Campion Mystery #11)

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“Why it is that a garment which is honestly attractive in, say, 1910 should be honestly ridiculous a few years later and honestly charming again a few years later still is one of those things which are not satisfactorily to be explained and are therefore jolly and exciting and an addition to the perennial interest of life.” 2 likes
“Women are terribly shocking to men, my dear. Don't understand them. Like them. It saves such a lot of hurting one way and the other.” 1 likes
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