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Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery #4)
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Police at the Funeral

(Albert Campion #4)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  5,848 ratings  ·  180 reviews
The tranquility of Cambridge is punctured when Cousin Andrew of the illustrious Faraday family disappears without a trace. No time is wasted in summoning Albert Campion and his sleuthing skills away from the bustle of Piccadilly to investigate – but little does he expect to be greeted by a band of eccentric relatives all at daggers with each other.

Soon there are as many d
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Vintage (first published 1931)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,848 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth Albert Campion novel, published in 1931. I have had mixed reactions to the series so far, but I have certainly enjoyed this one the most so far.

Campion is contacted by Joyce Blount, who is engaged to a friend of his. Joyce lives in Socrates Close, Cambridge, surrounded by the old, eccentric, Faraday family; headed by matriarch, Caroline Faraday, widow of a famous academic. However, Uncle Andrew has gone missing and all is not well within the household. Joyce is almost hysteri
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery

This is the first book in the series to not have organized crime as a plot element. Like all the other Campion books it is set an old family home with an upper-crust cast (Allingham comes near to breaking the fourth wall when she makes her police officer comment on the improbability of this given how few murders are actually committed in stately homes by rich families). In this case the dramatic personae are unusual primarily for their senescence: a tyrannical octogenarian widow keeps her elderl
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Much better than any of the Campion novels I've read to date. Our Albert actually does some hands-on detecting at the request of a friend of his grandmother's who knows his real name and identity, but divulges nothing. The autocratic old lady lives in Socrates House, Cambridge (not a college, just a mansion) ruling her family with an iron hand encased in a lace mitt. Murder, drink, tramps and remittence men combine to induce hysteria in the maiden aunts at every turn.

Allingham apparently had a p
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I’ve never read a Margey Allingham before, but having finally taken the plunge I have to say that I’m hugely impressed. She’s of course one of the Grande Dames of English detective fiction, but she is a much better writer than either Dorothy L. Sayers or Agatha Christie (though it wouldn’t be hard to be a more skilled prose stylist than Dame Agatha). Interestingly she seems to realise there’s something faintly absurd about the notion of an aristocratic detective (according to my good friend Wiki ...more
Jan C
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, mystery, 2019
Fourth in the series. From 1931. Enjoyable Golden Age mystery.

Albert Campion leaves Lugg behind in this one. He does a favor for a friend. There's been a death in his girlfriend's family and the victim's brother is the prime suspect and he doesn't know where he was. The brothers were walking home from church and another fight/dispute and split up. What happened? William doesn't know and Andrew is missing.

One of the quirks of fate that Allingham frequently employs determines that Little Albert (
My first foray into Margery Allingham's world of Mr. Campion and it was a rather delightful trip. I listened to the audio of this and the narrator was quite enthusiastic and I felt as if I was listening to a full ensemble of actors as he changed his voice for each character.

I would call this a good old fashioned mystery....murders, a mansion, minimal clues and suspects galore among these quirky, oddball characters. Mr. Campion, not a police detective but a rather over the top adventurist is ri
3* Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery #2)
2* Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery #6)
2* Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery #4)
TR The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1)
TR The Case of the Late Pig (Albert Campion Mystery #8)
1931, #4 Albert Campion, Adventurer, London and Cambridge; many secrets come to light when a cantankerous member of a socially prominent - but peculiar - Cambridge family goes missing. Both the book and the tv film are highly recommended for those who enjoy Golden Age puzzle plots. four-and-one-half stars.

The autocratic - and personally remarkable - Mrs. Caroline Farraday rules over her odd family with an iron grip - no soft edges for *this* late-Victorian matriarch, thank you very much! Althoug
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After three books, for the first time, Allingham takes Campion out of the thriller genre and into a much more traditional manor house murder mystery. And while she doesn't leave the solution as apparent as, say, Agatha Christie might, most of the major clues are on open display to the reader, and there is every possibility they will be able to guess at the solution before it is revealed. Allingham shows her skill at misdirection to the point where the solution, when it comes, feels almost obviou ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well, I fell in love with Albert Campion all over again. I hadn't read any Margery Allingham books for a good long while and pulled out Police at the Funeral as my final entry in the Out With a Bang Read-a-Thon. I got so wrapped up in Campion's world that I stayed up till midnight just so I could finish it ('cuz I had to know what happened) and claim the whole book for the challenge.

In this novel, Campion is called upon by the fiancée of an old friend to investigate the mysterious disappearance
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, fiction
A time capsule of a book. a family under the thumb of a formidable matriarch starts to die in unexpected ways. Campion the gentlemen detetctive saunters out of a PG wodehouse novel to solve the crime. Now ussually the combination of anything even the slightest bit Bertram Wossterish and a crime thriller would be to put it mildly my gingerbread. In this case though it failed to grip, the humour wasnt funnz enough and the crimes were not thrilling enough. I did enjoy the trip in the time machine b ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Margery Allingham is one of the golden age mystery writers, right up there with Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, and I have read several of her mysteries and enjoyed every one. "Police at the Funeral" just didn't have the same appeal for me. For some reason, this one at times seemed a little flat and slow-moving. However, I stuck with it, knowing this author's skill with providing the reader with interesting characters and intriguing plots.

Albert Campion, our hero detective, has had to come to t
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2004, 7, mystery, reread
On a Margery Allingham list I'm on, someone accidently posted a message that was meant to go to a different Allingham list - one for group reads of the Campion books. This seemed like an excellent idea and I nipped over and joined. They are still early in the series (this is the fourth book) so I jumped in with glee. I've read Police at the Funeral before, but on starting it, I couldn't remember exactly what happened or who "dunnit". In fact, as I kept reading, I still couldn't remember. While m ...more
Mar 02, 2016 added it
Quite an enjoyable mystery. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, all I'll say is that the characters were rather interesting if rather broadly painted in some instances. The main character, Albert Campion, comes off much better here than in the previous books in the series, and now I'm glad to have given this character another chance. There's an undercurrent of sadness in his behaviour, and Allingham does an excellent job of portraying him as a likable yet slightly awkward soul. He never seems sur ...more
Brian Clegg
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Allingham's Campion books, particularly the early ones, so I was delighted when Goodreads alerted me to one I'd missed over the years, particularly one set in Cambridge, a city I'm very fond of. But it was a significant disappointment.

Cambridge is wasted as a locale - it could have been set anywhere. But the problem I have with the book is that it has none of the charm of the other early Campions. It's partly because the way the mystery unfolds lacks something - but it's mostly
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Police at the funeral by Margery Allingham is the 4th book featuring Albert Campion. Campion is asked to look into the disappearance of Andrew Faraday by an old friend. This soon becomes a murder case when Andrew's body is discovered shot and bound and then another member of the family is poisoned. A classic detective story with plenty of clues and red herring, competently solved by Campion leading to a satisfying and surprising conclusion. I enjoyed this book very much and will look for his oth ...more
Moving out of the rarefied atmosphere of international crime rings, this is a English house mystery with a twist, chock-full of excessive characters. A couple of uncomfortable moments on the racism front, and quite a puzzler of a mystery.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
I like the Albert Campion character, a lot. Unfortunately I didn't like ANY of the other characters in this book and a few of them I actively hated. It's hard to enjoy a book under those circumstances.
Sam Reaves
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Margery Allingham is one of my favorite writers, and this is, I think, one of her best books. A haunting theme running through many of her books is nostalgia for the vanished Victorian world, which when Allingham was writing in the thirties had been obliterated by the First World War. Several of her stories feature old families in decline and ancient matriarchs clinging to the strictures of a bygone time.
In this one, Albert Campion is called in by a friend from his Cambridge undergraduate days t
Albert Campion is asked to come to Cambridge by Joyce Blount, fiancée of his old University friend, as she is worried about the disappearance of her uncle Andrew. When he arrives at the old house in Socrates Close, he finds a family with hidden secrets and resentment towards each other, all ruled with a rod of iron by the matriarch Caroline Faraday. Uncle Andrew's body is found in a nearby stream, and before long another murder shows that the whole family may be in danger.

This is a lively and ap
S Dizzy
"There's rank evil there," he went on unexpectedly fixing his bright eyes on the others face and speaking with an intense sincerity which finally removed any trace of his former frigidity. "There they are, a family forty years out of date, all vigorous energetic people by temperament, all, save for the old lady, without their fair share of brains, and herded together in that great mausoleum of a house, tyrannised over by one of the most astounding personalities I've ever encountered. Imagine it, ...more
A very good example of the country house murder, where clearly a member of the family is killing everyone else off. I loved all of it until the very end, where incredulous was the only word I could think of. It's very clever, but I can't be happy with such an unlikely series of events, especially the ease with which Campion broke the suspect down. Much too convenient for my taste. Still, 95% of the story was excellent.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been said that the Campion novels are usually "adventures" rather than true mysteries, but this one I'd say is clearly a mystery, the story of murder and progress to identification of the criminal. The real fun of the books for me consists in following the personalities, and there is not enough of that here. An enjoyable read but not up to the full magic of Campion.
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love old vintage mysteries – I rarely read modern crime fiction – and if I do its historical or a bit cosy. I adore all those gentlemen sleuths and big houses full of odd crusty characters and convoluted mysteries. But aside from all that which is all pretty great anyway – these old vintage mysteries from that period called the Golden Age of Crime, were proper well written novels, with interesting characters fully explored, they are wonderful period pieces. It is years since I read any Margery ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is this Allingham’s take on a classic murder mystery? Perhaps…..

There is a Cambridge setting, although, curiously, no great sense of place apart from in the wonderful opening chapter in London.There is a horrendous Victorian mansion set in aspic.There is a dysfunctional family providing a limited cast from which to choose a murderer. There is a domineering matriarch. There are policemen, competent and incompetent.And there is Campion, gloriously whimsical but not Wimsey or Poirot or Marple, not
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book taught me some new words:

whizz-boy: pickpocket

tantalus: a liquor cabinet that displays its contents even when it's locked

fruit salts: an antacid

Entertaining and ultra-British mystery first published in 1931. Ridiculous but entertaining plot and characters. There are some fun turns of phrase, too. A terrified woman is described as making a noise like "a small train." I also liked this line: "It's one of those cluttered-up rooms--even the bed wears petticoats."

Unfortunately this book al
Elizabeth K.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008-new-reads
Another in the Albert Campion mystery series -- it's in that comfortable genre place where everything is somewhat predictable but still enjoyable. Unfortunately Allingham has a knack for picking quickie plot points that are insanely dated now -- it's almost uncanny. You'd figure at least some of the time she'd hit upon things that don't jump off the page at you, but no. In this one, Albert goes to investigate a series of murders taking place in Cambridge, all within an old and established family ...more
A much better story lies beneath the surface of the book I just read. The flaw is that Allingham needed to bring Campion onto the scene--which distracts from a rather chilling and compelling story of the ways in which the "staid" constrictions of Edwardian life could result in an entire generation of profoundly psychologically damaged people. The book is, of course, shot through with classism and racism that makes it difficult to stomach and suffers from not being willing to let the core story s ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
Excellent story. Never would have guessed how it ended and who the culprit actually turned out to be. Well written although the middle section seemed to drag a bit and I was kind of getting bored then it turned really good and I couldn't wait to finish. Some of the old-fashioned ways of speaking were kind of hard for me to follow at times but I seemed to have gotten the gist.
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margery Allingham, I love you. This is my favorite Campion book so far. It has a distinct flavour of 1930s Georgette Heyer - her contemporary mysteries that have since become delightfully historical.
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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)
  • The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1)
  • Mystery Mile (Albert Campion Mystery #2)
  • Look to the Lady (Albert Campion Mystery, #3)
  • 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)
“He used to be a burglar, you know. It’s the old story – lost his figure. As he says himself, it cramps your style when your only means of exit are the double doors in the front hall.” 4 likes
“Mr. Campion felt that among the ordeals by fire and by water there should now be numbered the ordeal by dinner at Socrates Close.” 3 likes
More quotes…