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The Crime at Black Dudley

(Albert Campion #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  5,125 ratings  ·  434 reviews
Publisher's Summary

When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, Geor
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published February 14th 2013 by Audible Studios (first published 1929)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,125 ratings  ·  434 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
”Up the well known creek.”

I first met Albert Campion when I stumbled across the BBC TV show called Campion, starring Peter Davison. I don’t know if there is a more bizarre detective in publishing history. Having a conversation with Campion is sort of like having a conversation with Robin Williams. His mind is so brilliant that he skips ahead of us mortals, making connections, assertions, and leaps of logic that are impossible to follow step by step. We have to hope to assemble enough of the piec
Hannah Greendale
First published in 1929, The Crime at Black Dudley is set in a gloomy manor where a social weekend goes awry when a person is murdered. Allingham introduces her leading detective, Albert Campion, the quirky yet affable gentleman who would later be featured in another twenty mystery novels. While the opening pages are atmospheric and the setting holds promise, the characters lack depth and nuance, and the narrative suffers from the same irritating flaws as Murder on the Orient Express: Albert Cam ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Golden Age mysteries
Poor Albert Campion gets no respect — nor does his author, Margery Allingham.

Ninety years after Hercule Poirot first exercised his little grey cells in The Mysterious Affair at Styles and Lord Peter Wimsey first pranced through Whose Body?, these redoubtable detectives and their brilliant authors are still household names. But Albert Campion? Like Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn, Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs. Bradley, or Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver — all of whom were quite popular in their day but h
Bill  Kerwin

The Crime at Black Dudley is the first in Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion series, but it is not exactly a novel featuring Albert Campion but instead a novel in which a minor character called Albert Campion appears and takes over the book.

I can see why Allingham refused to halt Campion in his coup, for he is an interesting character (certainly more interesting than the Scotland Yard pathologist George Abbershaw, whom Allingham chose for her hero). Campion appears—at first glance—to be nothing
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1929, this is the first Albert Campion mystery. My introduction to Campion came through a later book and, disliking reading books out of order, I found that a confusing and difficult read. However, as I enjoy Golden Age detective fiction, I determined to give Margery Allingham another try and to read the first in the series – even though I know that the book has mixed reactions. In a way, that is because this is not a traditional mystery; it has a story set in a traditional country ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an endearingly bonkers Golden Age mystery, more of a thriller than a whodunit. I have a very soft spot for The Crime at Black Dudley because it is the first appearance of Margery Allingham's beloved detective, silly ass Albert Campion. There's also endless 1920s slang to enjoy, sometimes reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse. Yet another pleasure is the fact that the book is set in the Suffolk countryside, an area Allingham knew well.

The book starts off as a house party mystery, where guests ras
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
WHOA! I had a long review for this, with a discussion thread, and now they are simply gone!

And no, I definitely wasn't talking about the author in the review, so it wouldn't have been deleted for that reason.
Moira Fogarty
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie fans perhaps

This one just isn't simple to rate. This rating reflects how much I personally liked it.

But then consider this was first published by a woman (in her 20's) in 1929. Also consider that this is definitely has slang from England at that time (thank goodness for my Kindle reader - I have only to highlight the word to see the slang definition) I have not read any Agatha Christie, but I have seen a few movie adaptations of her books. I would say this book definitely has that feel. Several
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Albert Campion gatecrashes a party at Black Dudley Manor in which Colonel Coombe dies in suspicious circumstances. It turns out the Colonel was supposed to give a package to Benjamin Dawlish and it is now lost. Dawlish and his criminal gang now hold the guests captive. It becomes clear that the Colonel has been murdered to Abbershaw and the medic. However, it the quirky and mercurial Albert Campion who is instrumental in getting to the bottom of the case. Even though this is a relatively old mys ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detection-club
After all the research I have been doing about the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, I was excited to curl up with a real, solidly British countryside whodunit. Unfortunately, The Crime at Black Dudley was only remarkable in how disappointing it was. Not nearly as satisfying as I'd hoped!
This book is supposedly the debut novel of Margery Allingham's detective Albert Campion. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the plot that. The book actually focuses on a boring, insufferable, "cherubic faced"
Bruce Beckham
This is the first of Margery Allingham’s 19-book Albert Campion collection – although I am rather relieved to say it is not the first I have read. Campion himself plays only a cameo role, and the plot is somewhat disjointed and implausible. I guess she was finding her feet, and think I may have been put off had this been my introduction to the series. (A salutary note, here, I think!)

That said, I have been staging a run off between Margery Allingham and her contemporary in Golden Age crime, Ngai
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audiobook, crime
Campion's first appearance...

Dr George Abbershaw has gone down to Black Dudley Manor to join a house party for the weekend. The house is owned by George's friend, Wyatt Petrie, but is occupied by Wyatt's uncle by marriage, Colonel Coombe. The elderly wheelchair-bound colonel likes the company of young people, so often asks Wyatt to bring a group of his friends down for the weekend. George, though, is there mainly because he's fallen in love with a girl who is also a guest, Meggie Oliphaunt, and
The Black Dudley Murder is the first Albert Campion mystery by Margery Allingham. It was originally published in 1929.

Campion is amongst a number of guests invited to a weekend party at Black Dudley Manor, located outside of London. The host, Colonel C0ombe, confined to a wheel chair, dies during a game played one evening. It is a supposed Black Dudley tradition, the passing along of an old dagger, while the house lights are turned down.

Two of the guests are doctors. At separate times they are a
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.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is normally listed as the first of the Albert Campion mystery series, but really that's a bit of a misnomer. In this novel he's not the detective: he's a peripheral figure of enigmatic function. Moreover, while the later versions of Campion show us a highly intelligent detective lurking behind a vacuous mask, in The Crime at Black Dudley he's portrayed as a not necessarily too bright individual (although indubitably a resourceful one) whose outward appearance is that of a blithering idiot, ...more
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
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this fast paced Golden Age mystery.
We are introduced to the character Albert Campion.
A suspicious death, a family heirloom, all is not what it seems at Black Dudley.
Had me guessing right up to the end.
The first in a series and will be looking out for more.
Thank you to Sarah for sending it to me.
I've been engrossed the past few days, beautifully written and so of its time!
Fiona MacDonald
After a bit of a wobbly start, I found that Allingham's writing was actually rather suited to me. I loved Campion and think he's going to become one of my favourite characters in classic crime, and the story of a country house dinner murder is always right up my street. Maybe not the best book I've ever read but I'm going to try another of her works shortly and see what it's like...
I think I have finally decided that Margery Allingham's Albert Campion books are not for me. I have read several and can appreciate that they are well written but they just don't grab me and I always find it something of a chore to finish them.

In this book Albert is part of a very strange house party at a house called Black Dudley in the Suffolk countryside. It is clear from the start that there is something odd about the house party and a haunted dagger is the least of the strange things encoun
2 1/2 stars

Even though this was the first book in the Albert Campion series, he only played a very minor role. Yet that was enough of an introduction to convince me that I do not want to meet him again.

Campion's total sangfroid in the presence of extreme peril, and his constant snappy one-liners at the most inappropriate of times, really started to grate on my nerves. I considered him to be completely over-the-top, and he quickly became mostly just a tiresome buffoon. His few moments of lucidit
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
Moonlight Reader
I read this one for Country House Murder, and it is a good example of that particular type of mystery. It would also work for Murder Most Foul and Amateur Sleuth.

The Crime at the Black Dudley is designated as the first of the Albert Campion mysteries, but as others have noted, his appearance is pretty minimal. The main character is Dr. George Abbershaw, who seems to be at Black Dudley primarily to cement his relationship with the adorable Meggie.

Shades of The Big Four, Abbershaw and his friend
Not really what most readers would expect from a Golden Age mystery. There is a murder to be solved, but the mystery 'top and tails' a thriller, where a group of young people find themselves trapped in an old house with a gang of sinister individuals. Most of the narrative hinges on their attempts to escape or to uncover what these criminals are planning.

Having said that, this is still an enjoyable read and the mystery element is nicely done. The book of course introduces us to Allingham's prota
Kirsten "Ghost Deserved Better"
I expected a lot more from this novel, knowing the reputation of the author. But, for some reason, this book disappointed.

I loved the set up. The traditional English country house murder. A house party and a murder! What larks! An evil criminal syndicate. A single pathologist who meets his one true love at the party and then has to solve a murder and endure a kidnapping of the entire party.

Plus there was Albert Campion who almost seemed like a member of the supporting cast in this one. Almost l
Hardly a literary masterpiece ---just an entertaining bit of fluff. The story was pretty unbelievable and filled with cliched characters, but still fun as a change from reading about fascism. racism, and Trumpism.
3.5 STARS | "The Tiger in the Smoke" was my first encounter with Margery Allingham's mysteries. I was in my twenties then and didn't much care for it, found it dated, and so avoided Allingham for decades. But in immersing myself in Golden Age mysteries recently, I decided to give her books another shot. I'm glad I did. Maturity has its benefits. Very much enjoyed this one and found it to be even a page-turner, though it's more thriller than mystery and the solution is probably impossible to gues ...more
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book kind of tries to be two things at once—first, suspenseful escapades in an Old Dark Mansion with a Sinister Master Criminal in pursuit; and secondly, a traditional murder-mystery with a small circle of suspects which just happens to occur at the same time. The escapades-in-the-mansion part is very entertainingly done, but I think the book's weakness is that it doesn't give nearly enough attention to the murder mystery itself, which had a terrific initial set-up that I would have loved t ...more
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Meh. Dated and dull. None of the characters was interesting enough for me to care one way or another whether they met with a Dire Fate. The question of “who done it,” pursued through the book, failed to compel the slightest interest in me, since it really didn't matter at all. Campion, who might be expected to be the main character, given that the series is named for him, appears only sporadically, but this is rather a blessing since Allingham, failing to make him charmingly enigmatic, which I s ...more
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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.


Other books in the series

Albert Campion (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • 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)
  • The Fashion in Shrouds (Albert Campion Mystery #10)
  • Traitor's Purse (Albert Campion Mystery #11)
“as might have been expected, in the dinner-jacket he had worn on the previous evening. His explanation was characteristic. ‘Most extraordinary,’ he said, in his slightly high-pitched voice.” 0 likes
“George Abbershaw's prosaic mind quivered on the verge of poetry when he looked at her.” 0 likes
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