Dancers in Mourning (Albert Campion Mystery #9)
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Dancers in Mourning (Albert Campion #9)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  476 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Jimmy Sutane, London's favorite song-and-dance man, headlines at the Argosy Theater, where someone plays increasingly nasty pranks. Albert Campion offers to poke around, but finds explosive egos, including a brooding musician and melodramatic young actress. Campion needs some fancy footwork of his own to evade danger.
Hardcover
Published July 1st 1990 by Yestermorrow (first published 1937)
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Claire
1920's British detective Albert Campion is my secret crush-of-all-crushes. If I could bring one fictional character to life so I could marry them, it would not be Indiana Jones or . . . okay, I don't really have a list, it's really just Albert Campion and Indiana Jones. But Campion wins in a landslide.

I think, in order to love and adore Albert Campion as I do, you have to read the following Margery Allingham books in the following order:

--"The Crime at Black Dudley," her first novel, where Camp...more
Surreysmum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Malcolmaffleck
This is another one of the 'odd' Allingham - it's not really as much about the murder as it is about the life of people within the dancehall entertainment industry. Unfortunately, Allingham isn't really a good enough writer to pull out the discord and disharmony between the actors in the profression. There just seems to be too many characters who are not differentiated enough to make them memorable - for an example, I still wasn't sure by the end of the book who Socks was!

On another note, there...more
Becky
I was disappointed with this vintage mystery. While I absolutely loved the opening pages, by the end I found the whole book to be a mess. I admit it could be a mood thing. As much as I wanted to like it, even love it, perhaps I didn't have the patience to remember the large cast of suspects. Or perhaps the problem is that the characters aren't well drawn enough, aren't unique enough, to distinguish between. There were three or four characters that I could remember. But for the others, it was who...more
Tony Renner
Dancers in Mourning (1937), Margery Allingham's 9th Albert Campion novel, is not, as described in the blurb in the Crime & Mr. Campion omnibus, a "novel about the world of the ballet."

The titular dancers, rather, are of the musical revue sort, and the first third of the novel functions as something of a satire of the genre, as well as providing the template for Simon Brett's Charles Paris series.

Dancers in Mourning loses narrative steam in the second half as a suicide becomes more and more o...more
Sorcha
Listened to as an audiobook from Audible. Not entirely convinced by the narrator (David Thorpe), who did a good enough job, but there was just *something* I couldnt put my finger on, especially at the beginning. Perhaps it's simply that I am now too used to James Saxon reading Ngaio Marsh books that I'm used to a certain timbre of voice doing a reading.

Anyway, onto the story. Campion gets involved with a theatre group, who believe themselves to be at the receiving end of more and more "pranks",...more
Jillian
I am not rereading the Campion books in any order - just grabbing one from the shelf. This one I really liked. I liked a number of things that annoyed other readers; the time it takes to set the scene and establish both the characters and, importantly,the value system; Campion's reticence; and the long sentences!

Allingham may sketch some characters and create caracatures, or types, but she also probes and captures human motivation and response in ways that resonate. She has the capacity to take...more
Deb
I was terribly bothered when one of the characters confessed at the end that he knew all along who the murderer was but he allowed him to kill 4 or 5 more people because his honor demanded he not peach on his friend!
Donna
Moves a little slow, but Allingham nicely shows all kinds of re-direction. Even Campion has the "wrong" suspect until the last two pages. Campion has emotions and Lugg is surprisingly nice.
Ed
#9 in the Albert Campion series. Listed in Barzun and Taylor's Fifty Classics of Crime Fiction, 1900-1950. This 1937 novel is the first book by Allingham that I have read. I found it a bit slow to get into and I'm not a great fan of British manor house mysteries - but as the tale proceeded, I became a convert. Unlike so many series authors, Allingham does not fill in the recurring characters' histories so I came late to the party with Albert Campion, his friend Uncle William, and his wonderfully...more
Bev Hankins
Dancers in Mourning is Margery Allingham at her best. This is classic Albert Campion at his most charming and his most fallible. Campion is called in by theatre giant and dazzling dancer, Jimmy Sutane to get to the bottom of a spate of cruel practical jokes which begin backstage at the Argosy Theatre and follow Sutane to his country estate. At first the pranks are merely annoying....garlic scented flowers, smashed glass on his photograph outside the theatre, and people wandering through his gard...more
Kerry
Song and dance man Jimmy Sutane should have no enemies. Popular and successful, he inspires affection rather than dislike. Except that there is someone out there who doesn't agree. Nasty little tricks are plaguing Sutane - a pin in a stick of greasepaint, a boquet of wild garlic tossed onto the stage. The petty incidents are getting him down, driving him into a state of nervousness that is starting to affect both his work and private life.

Sutane's latest hit is based on the (invented) memoirs o...more
Jill Hutchinson
Campion is one of the premier sleuths of the 1930s and he is so likable and self-effacing that he sometimes seems to fade into the woodwork while he cogitates on his latest mystery.

This story, one of my favorites of the series, involves some dirty tricks being played upon a dancing star of a popular British revue and Campion is called in to investigate. The tricks escalate into more than one murder and, to complicate the situation, Campion falls in love with the star's wife (although this issue...more
Linda Gillard
I loved this. I've read a few Margery Allinghams now and thought this one the best so far. I enjoyed the theatrical milieu and the sub-plot of Campion falling in love with a married woman added a moral dimension to what was already an engrossing mystery.

There was the usual fascinating collection of characters, but Allingham managed to explore them in depth within the confines of the detective genre. The denouement was tense & unexpected and I was turning the pages very fast. The way she han...more
Julia
I'm (re)reading Margery Allingham's books in order and this one didn't draw me in as much as many of the others. It suffered from "tell, rather than show".

Albert Campion is Allingham's detective. In this book his attraction to Linda Sutane causes him to question his role in investigating the murder. Unfortunately, I didn't *feel* that attraction. In contrast, when Campion is dithering about involving Biddy in the earlier book Mystery Mile I could feel his emotional involvement even as he tried...more
Stven
Jul 25, 2009 Stven rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every British mystery fan
Recommended to Stven by: TV show
What a terrific writer! This is the first book by Margery Allingham I've read, and it is exceptional. Characters, motivation, setting, mystery, everything first-rate. (Her protagonist, Albert Campion, was familiar to me from the British adaptations of her novels; the TV actor, Peter Davison, fits nicely into the text as my mental image of Campion. I may have to adjust my mental image of his valet and sidekick Lugg.) Here we find ourselves among the theatrical people of London circa 1935, and as...more
Nicole
I fell in love with the show on PBS, and so decided to try the books. Very reminiscent of Conan Doyle for the language. Took a while to get into it, but it was enjoyable.
Kirsten
This is an excellent mystery featuring Albert Campion. Campion is asked to investigate a series of nasty practical jokes that have plagued Jimmy Sutane, a dancer and the star of many popular musicals. The more Campion becomes involved, however, the less he wants to know what's going on, particularly when he finds himself falling in love with someone utterly inappropriate, and particularly when dead bodies start cropping up.

Now that I've run out of Dorothy Sayers mysteries, I've turned to Margery...more
Scoats
This book was a tough read. The story kept my interest but the writing could have been done with a lighter touch. Nobody wants to read a book filled with simple sentences, but conversely trudging through paragraph length sentence after paragraph length sentence is a slog. You need to mix it up a little. Based on just this novel which isn't fair, Allingham was a good writer but no Steinbeck or Hemingway.

Arriving at seems to be around the middle of the Campion books, I have some curiosity regardi...more
Nikki
If you like Lord Peter Wimsey and other classic mystery detectives of the 1930s, you'll probably enjoy Albert Campion, Margery Allingham's detective, as well. In this book, Campion investigates a series of mysterious accidents and dirty tricks that are plaguing a well-known revue dancer, falls in love with the dancer's wife, and then murders ensue. The incomparable Lugg (Campion's ex-con manservant) appears less than in some of the books, but the scenes where he interacts with the dancer's 6-yea...more
Sara
I LOVE Albert Campion! This character is smooth, unassuming, a little bit of a geek, but surprisingly tough and doesn't mind getting his feet wet when it comes to saving the day. While Campion himself is not particularly funny, there is comic relief in Campion's "sidekick" Lugg. While I don't remember the exact plot of this story, the mysteries themselves are intelligent and generally difficult to figure out until the end when you say, "of course!" Allingham has created a really great detective...more
Deborah
Jan 20, 2012 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie
I love this series and I loved this book.
I, too, like some other reviewers have a little crush on Albert Campion. He is very smart but he seems human while still being mysterious in some ways if that is possible.
Lugg is hysterically funny, in this book more than usual, when he takes the daughter of one of the suspects under his wing. Their interactions are priceless.
I don't really read these for the mystery, per se, but for the atmosphere and the characters. I almost never guess the murderer, ei...more
Cindy
Sep 05, 2007 Cindy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: mysteries
Campion is asked by an old acquaintance (from Police at the Funeral) to find out who's at the bottom of a series of nasty practical jokes aimed at the principal figure in a London theatrical production. Just as he begins his inquiry, a woman is murdered and things take a darker turn. Campion soon finds himself taking a very personal interest in the case, which might just cloud his judgement.

I really love Campion. Not crazy about the lurid cover on my copy, but there you are!

CMB
Miriam
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Ange
Pretty sure I've read it before. How many crazy ladies throw themselves in front of a car. Don't know if this was a re-read or not. Was a good story.
Vance Woods
This is my first foray into Allingham's fiction, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Campion as a character is infinitely more satisfying than Marple or Poirot. And just when you think it's spiraling into utter predictability, the story twists and drags you full-speed into the final page like a runner into a brick wall.

Quite recommended!
Rupert Fawdry
Few things in life can give as much pleasure at low cost as a good crime novel from Oxfam and I have just thoroughly enjoyed this Albert Campion book. Such good writing and tension increasing steadily right up to the last page. Brilliant stuff. Now need to go back to other classics in this wonderful and newly discovered list of the best
Ann
I will definitely read more books by Marjorie Allingham. This one had lots of interesting characters and multiple plot lines. I especially like the way it just flowed along so smoothly, but you didn't know the "truth" until the last page or two. I certainly understand why it's on one of those "best of..." lists.
Lynn
Ultimately this seems like a study in loyalties: when faced with conflicting loyalties, whom would you betray? Your spouse? Child? Best friend? Your best talents and abilities? Campion has a wonderful outing here and shows himself to be more human than in some of his earlier outings. And Lugg is wonderful as usual...
Patricia
This mystery deserves its good reputation for being one of richer Campions. Campion's struggles with his conscience give it a special depth, and I love the way the surprise twist at the end plays on his temporarily cloudy judgment. I can't put my finger on why it was heavy going for me at times.
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30748
Aka Maxwell March.

Margery 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.

Soon after...more
More about Margery Allingham...
Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery #4) The Tiger in the Smoke (Albert Campion Mystery #14) The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1) Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery #2) Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mystery #5)

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“But there are roughly two sorts of informed people, aren't there? People who start off right by observing the pitfalls and mistakes and going round them, and the people who fall into them and get out and know they're there because of that. They both come to the same conclusions but they don't have quite the same point of view.” 3 likes
“When Mr. William Faraday sat down to write his memoirs after fifty-eight years of blameless inactivity he found the work of inscribing the history of his life almost as tedious as living it had been, and so, possessing a natural invention coupled with a gift for locating the easier path, he began to prevaricate a little upon the second page, working his way up to downright lying on the sixth and subsequent folios.” 2 likes
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