The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1)
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The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,866 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Prim Dr George Abbershaw weekends in musty mansion with secret passageways - only for beloved Meg. "Most dangerous and notorious criminal" holds peculiar household hostage for missing papers. In dark, guests pass dagger to re-enact ritual where dagger bleeds in hands of killer, chair-bound Colonel Coombes is stabbed dead. Vacuous Albert Campion babbles.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published 1973 by Penguin Books (first published 1929)
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Andrea
This is a mystery on the lines of Christie's Tommy and Tuppence stories - part thriller, part adventure, part espionage, which its overblown international criminal organisations, guns, and and secret passages. A slightly pompous settled in his ways young pathologist finds himself caught up in first murder and then the schemes of overblown criminals during a visit to the country mansion. Very English old-chaps and threatening foreigners, with women mostly there to be protected and adored.

This is...more
Mmyoung
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...more
Moira Fogarty
Alas, I did not enjoy this mystery. The pacing was awkward, the locale aggressively gothic, the romance element flat and stilted, and the setup for the crime absurdly over-the-top, with a level of emotional maturity and depth similar to what you'd find in a Scooby-Doo cartoon.

If you want to read The Crime at Black Dudley, please do so. Brace yourself for a story that feels remarkably like a transcription of the movie "Clue". Members of a random house party wander around a large isolated mansion...more
Carl
Apr 02, 2012 Carl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Sayers, Christie, Chesterton
"Happy Birthday, Albert Campion!" For those of you who enjoy those Golden Age of English mysteries of the likes of Sayers, Christie, and Chesterton, Margery Allingham, widely regarded as one of the three queens of British Golden Age detective fiction, is worth adding to your reading. In "The Crime of Black Dudley," Allingham gives birth to one of those early detectives: Albert Campion. Although "Black Dudley" is marketed today as the first of the Campion mysteries, in this novel, Campion was sim...more
Sharon
The Crime at Black Dudley is the first Allingham mystery to include her series detective, Albert Campion, though his role in this book is secondary. Allingham supposedly created Campion as a spoof of Lord Peter Wimsey, but the character took on a life of his own and became beloved in his own right. Her books are more dated than Dorothy Sayers', and the character development is not always as complex, but many of them are still enjoyable examples of the "Golden Age" of mystery-writing.

In The Crime...more
LJ
THE CRIME AT BLACK DUDLEY (aka The Black Dudley Murder) (Amateur Sleuth, Albert Campion, England, 1920s) – Good
Allingham, Margery – 1st in series (EBMRG Selection)
Penguin Books, 1929, US Paperback

First Sentence: The view from the narrow window was dreary and inexpressibly lonely.

What is supposed to be an entertaining weekend at a large country home in Suffolk, becomes the site of murder, kidnapping and suspense. Dr. George Abbershaw is forced to sign a death certificate, and foolish Albert Campi...more
Abbey
A nice middle-class doctor gets invited to an old school friend's family home for a weekend and finds an assorted guest list, including several very peculiar gentlemen. When the friend's ill uncle dies suddenly - and suspiciously - the doctor attempts to make sense out of the many plots and counter-plots that seem to be swirling below the genteel surface of the slightly odd gathering. And when a very important piece of paper goes missing, several people do quite unexpected - and deadly - things,...more
Gina
The first of the Albert Campion mysteries and a great introduction to the weird but wonderful fellow. This is cleverly written as there is such an early emphasis on the infamous Black Dudley Dagger Ritual, that you are lulled into a world of horrible history and superstition (thinking that this is going to be a bit of a fantasy novel), but are soon rudely awakened by a crime which is alot closer to home. Margery Allingham obviously had an open mind when she developed Campion's character, one doe...more
Carrie
This was my third try at reading an Allingham mystery - apparently the third time is the charm. I'm still not in love with her or her character of Campion, but he's much better as a side character than a main hero. His wit and humor really shine through in this first novel and he certainly brings in humor during very dark parts of the story. In many ways, this version of Campion reminded me a bit of Bertie Wooster. His less-than-serious take on life, his ability to get himself into (and out of)...more
Joy
Being a HUGE fan of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy L. Sayers I was naturally intrigued by Margery Allingham's take on the tow-headed aristocratic sleuth. Then I watched the BBC films from the early 90s and fell in love.

The first book features Campion not as the main character and sleuth, but as another house guest (albeit a gate crashing one) at a house where a murder occurs.

Albert does sound a lot like Peter when seen through the eyes of Dr. Abbershaw. I look forward to seeing how he...more
Lee Holz
The Crime at Black Dudley is supposed to be a classic of detective fiction. It introduces Allingham’s detective Albert Campion. However, Campion plays no part in the solution of the murder mystery. Rather, he, his facetious banter and daring-do are relegated to a fantastic and ludicrous secondary plot that takes up most of the book and features master criminals who threaten all and sundry. As for the murder, the killer is obvious from the beginning though the actual motive is revealed at the ver...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Two stars only for this series-beginner, because it was so awfully familiar. I realise it was a product of its time but the similarities with Ngaio Marsh's first Inspector Alleyn novel were startling. Country-house party with far too many people to keep them all straight, a dagger in the dark, and an obscure but powerful organisation of baddies. There are far too many baddies, as well--hard to keep them all straight. The arch-enemy is a stereotypical Hun, which probably played very well in post-...more
Karen
A weekend house party, a ritual involving an ancient dagger, a murder, stolen documents, house guests held hostage. Sounds like the perfect weekend. This is the first of Margery Allingham's novels to feature her amateur detective Albert Campion, but strangely he is only in a supporting role here. I found this book entertaining, especially when Campion was on the scene but I expect this series gets better as it goes along.
An Odd1
Strangely, whodunit waits until last pages. Main problem is nine hostages held miles from help by "Hun .. Eberhard von Faber .. controls organized gangs of crooks all over Europe and America .. utterly ruthless and diabolically clever .. most dangerous and notorious criminal of modern times" p 94, "not accustomed to any opposition" p 66. Suspense is for their fate. Will they escape? How? At what cost? Motives oddly twist love around international conspiracy.

"Dignity, Gentlemen, and British Boyh...more
Sharman
Intelligent "cozy" British murder mystery writer of the 1930's (ish). I love her quirky Albert Campion (Gentleman Sleuth), unusual plots and well-written characters. This book does not disappoint.
Sarah
George Abbershaw, who is really quite a bore despite occasionally consulting for Scotland Yard, only agreed to come to the creepy old Suffolk manor of Black Dudley because Meggie was going to be there. His relaxing romantic weekend turns to terror when an innocent after-dinner game of hide-and-seek with a dagger ends in death. On top of that, there is a dangerous gang of criminals about. Luckily, the inimitable Albert Campion is on the scene, ready to save the day while prattling like an idiot....more
Jean Hontz
Classic English Manor mystery, Albert Campion having only a bit part!
Rosemary
My first Albert Campion mystery. As a longtime Dorothy Sayers fan, Campion reads like a bit of a Peter Wimsey knockoff to me, but that's probably a gross generalization. An entertaining country-house whodunit, with a small side of romance. What's interesting about it is that the book really has two separate plots and two separate resolutions....when the house guests finally make it back to London! the real detecting begins. (Though Campion has nothing to do with it, which seems odd. Obviously I...more
D-day
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Helen
this is the first in a series of books featuring Albert Campion as detective. Only it's almost as if this wasn't written with him in mind as the detective. The crime is solved by the doctor, Abbotshaw, and not actually by Campion (although it's possible he knows more than he lets on, but he certainly doesn't do the unveiling)

Set in a Gothic pile in the country, it's a tale of a house party, a grisly ritual with a dagger and a den of thieves. the murder is committed, covered up and then the hous...more
Lori Henrich
This is the first book in the Albert Campion series. Although he doesn't play a big part in the story it is a good introduction to the character.

The main character of this tale is Dr.George Abbershaw, who is also a consultant for Scotland Yard. He is invited to Black Dudley for a house party, along with several others. The house belongs to Wyatt, an inheritance from his Aunt. His uncle by marraige actually lived in the home and enjoyed it when Wyatt invited friends for weekend visits.

During thi...more
Lady Aeval
Apr 25, 2013 Lady Aeval rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Albert Campion fans
Shelves: classic-crime
The sound quality of this recording was superb.

The narrator left a lot to be desired in my opinion. I will not be purchasing more books by this narrator if it can be avoided. Some of his voice work was fabulous, but a lot of it was less than appealing. His tone was often wrong in terms of matching what was happening in the story and many of his character voices were so annoying I lost track of what he was actually saying. Ironically there were moments when his character voices were also extremel...more
Nancy Oakes
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 ni...more
Sue Smith
Well, if you're looking for a quintessential murder mystery to read - look no further. A weekend gathering of people not known to each other in a dismal English castle/manor, an invalid uncle that wears a partial face mask (think phantom here), a very shady German patron (come on..this was written in 1929..in England...those damn Huns!) and his equally shady cronies, a bevy of half witted locals that serve - all playing a ritual ancestral family game of 'pass the dagger'.....last one holding it...more
Denise
This was the first Albert Campion novel by Margery Allingham, and also the first that I have read. I vaguely remembered having seen a series on TV years ago, but I mistakenly thought that Campion worked for Scotland Yard. Instead, in this novel he is a mysterious character, obviously not connected to the law. He generally acts like a lunatic, but is really quite intelligent. He is not actually the main character here; that is Dr. George Abbershaw, a pathologist who has been invited to a house pa...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Golden Summer (May-September 2013).

George Abbershaw is indebted to his friend Wyatt Petrie. Wyatt is having a large house party at his remote ancestral pile Black Dudley and to help out George he has invited Meggie Oliphant. George is a man of science, being a pathologist, and he has decided that his new feelings that have arisen for Meggie must be tested out at close quarters to determine if it is infatuation or love. Infa...more
Samantha
Summary from Goodreads:

"Murder turns a weekend house party at Black Dudley Manor into a deadly affair when the host is discovered brutally slain. Nor do gruesome rituals, callous interrogations, and perilous traps add to the fun. Fatal mystification might win the day, if Albert Campion were not there to sift through the motives and clues as with brilliant detection and his signature charm he penetrates the heart of the crime."

My Thoughts:

This book was an absolute delight to read!! Reminiscent a...more
Becky
I'm so glad that The Black Dudley Murder was not my first introduction to Margery Allingham or Albert Campion. (The Case of the Late Pig was a fantastic introduction.)

George Abbershaw, our narrator, is a house-guest at a weekend party in a country house. (The "country house" is quite gothic in nature.) He accepted the invitation because he's madly in love with a young woman, Margaret Oliphant, and he'd heard that she was to be in attendance. A whole weekend with her, he might even work up the n...more
Lora
Enjoyable mystery/adventure from the early 20th century. I was a bit annoyed that the character of Albert Campion, the reason I started this book, kind of fades out part way through the book. I also find the 20s and 30s slang a strain on my patience. Over all, the action and some surprises were pleasant, and I even decided I liked having such heavy handed bad guys. They felt more like something from a superhero story, but hey, I went along with it.
I will add that the protagonists almost didn't s...more
Jason
The very first of the Mr. Campion mysteries, it is for me a return to a series I had read briefly in high school and then mostly forgotten. I am enjoying getting to know Margery Allingham's unusual sleuth from the very beginning and for the second time. A quirky aristocrat who works under an assumed name, Mr. campion is more than what he seems in this mystery set and written in the English countryside circa 1929.
In this first introductory book Mr. Campion is actually a supporting character and a...more
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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...
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