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Sweet Danger

(Albert Campion #5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,725 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Nestled along the Adriatic coastline, the kingdom of Averna has suddenly - and suspiciously - become the hottest property in Europe, and Albert Campion is given the task of recovering the long-missing proofs of ownership.

His mission takes him from the French Riviera to the sleepy village of Pontisbright, where he meets the flame-haired Amanda Fitton. Her family claim to
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 4th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1933)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  2,725 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery

Ms. Allingham, you can't just slap some Ruritanian Romance into your mystery. It does not work, just like the Holy Grail stand-in, tower-of-mystery trappings in Look to the Lady didn't work. And while I'm being blunt, the gritty crime action? You're not so hot at that, either. Stick to the standard parlor-mystery with clues 'n' stuff -- you do that so much better. There's not much mystery in this mystery: the good guys (representing the British government) race to get the Ruritarian McGuffins
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth Albert Campion novel, written in 1933. I have, slowly, been reading two of the Golden Age ‘Queens of Crime,’ this year – Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh. I have already read probably everything Agatha Christie has ever written, and certainly all of Dorothy L. Sayers. Without doubt, both Christie and Sayers remain my favourites. However, I was keen to read the two other giants and am, so far, really loving Ngaio Marsh, while Allingham is more difficult for me to define.

This is outright adventure, with discredited heirs, regal impersonations, postage-stamp kingdoms, international implications, and a whale of a treasure hunt.

The story itself is great fun, but Amanda Fitton makes it her own. Flame haired, talking a mile a minute, reviving ancient motor cars, turning an old mill house into a battery-charger, and knowing far more about what's going on than initially expected. She makes a fantastic 'Loot' to Campion's 'Orph', and thankfully reappears several books
Nancy Oakes
So far, this may be my favorite Campion in the series. I haven't read them all yet, but up to this point, definitely my favorite. I'm amazed that so many people here gave it such low ratings, but to each his own, I suppose. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure story, because it's not so much a mystery, but rather more of a suspense/adventure type thing. I would also say that if you've been following Campion up to this point, you're going to really enjoy this one.

In a
Jill Hutchinson
I never know if I am going to enjoy Allingham's Campion books since they are erratic. This one didn't make a whole lot of sense and I never knew exactly what was going one since there are so many holes in the plot that are never explained. This story is concerned with the restoration of a title, the hunt for the objects that will provide proof, witchcraft, and the secret machinations of big business to get their hands on land belonging to the putative Earl. It doesn't sound too confusing but ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Margery Allingham may just be my favourite out of the four "queens of crime," even ahead of Sayers. I just love her writing style, and the fact that so many of her books are set in my part of the world, amid the East Anglian countryside, is a definite bonus.

But the biggest attraction is the enigmatic figure of Albert Campion - the fact that he hides so much of his personality behind endless witty banter, especially in the early, more lighthearted books, only adds to the fascination. This book is
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a bit Raiders of the Lost Document/Ark in rural Suffolk. I found Campion's omnipotence a bit trying in this book and some of the escapes-from-death-and-injury caused me to roll my eyes. While Allingham maintains her skill with pace and description, this story would be more suited to a film genre where belief can be more easily suspended. As it is, this reader found it hard to maintain interest through the complexity and detail of the plot and sub-plots, finding some of it indulgence on ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Who is the heir to Averna? Are there any Pontisbrights left to claim this small estate that has suddenly become a much coveted prize property? The dispute over a small parcel of land that an earthquake has revealed to be valuable property will only be settled when proof of the inheritance is found.

"There's every evidence that on the land behind the castle there's an untapped oil field."

Albert Campion, (along with the help of three friends and the irrepressible Lugg), is assigned to the case.
Sam Reaves
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Margery Allingham is an old favorite, and every decade or two I go back and re-read the books. This is one I hadn't looked at in a long time; it was fun to rediscover it but just a bit of a disappointment, as I last read it in callow, wide-eyed wonderment. Allingham's books got more serious and credible as the years went by; this one is from her more whimsical early period. Albert Campion, her aristocratic sleuth with connections to the Powers-That-Be, is asked to lead the hunt for a trove of ...more
Abigail Bok
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A ripping yarn. Wildly improbable but totally satisfying nonetheless.

The delightful and mysterious Albert Campion (not his real name) is tasked by the British government with finding the lost proofs of ownership of a minuscule eastern European duchy that has unexpectedly developed value. A criminal mastermind has also learned of that value and is sniffing around for clues. The mastermind and his henchmen are ruthless, but of course Campion and his pals are aristocrats of good education so
When you pick up a book by one of the Grand-Old-Dames of mystery you may have certain expectations - a fine country house bursting at the seams with family including an ingénue and the neer-do-well son just back from Australia or the continent, the faithful gossipy cook, an absent minded vicar and his bossy wife... If you're expecting that in this book you'll be disappointed.

From the opening scene I felt like I was reading a farce rather than a serious mystery, as Campion is posing as the ruler
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This book makes quite a lot more sense than the 1980s TV episode. Part of that may be that I saw it in Spanish, but more I think had to do with the changes the scriptwriters made.

Having said that, I much prefer Campion as a detective than as a James Bondy wannabe. This is more Bulldog Drummond than Holmes or Wimsey. The problem boils down to this: Allingham seems to be running two entirely different stories in tandem, one with a very unsuccessful woo-woo factor, and the other a race to get the
Ah, what fun Campion is. I think my enjoyment is heightened by viewing the BBC dramitization of many of Margery Allingham's Campion mysteries. The characters enacted by Peter Davison (the seemingly distracted sleuth) and Brian Glover (his willful manservant Lugg) are always in my mind as I read these stories. For anyone who has not seen these episodes, buy or rent the DVDs at once!
This book did not disappoint. The bad guys are almost characatures of villians and the good guys are pure and heroic
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This had some good characters, including one whom I hope becomes an eventual regular, and it wins big points for having a teenage girl who is an electricity geek, demonstrates tons of agency, and is shown to really brave without being stupid. But the overall plot is definitely more in the thriller category, and I was reading it hoping for detective fiction, so I was not as thrilled as I might otherwise be.
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, etc.
My absolute favorite Campion book thus far. Not only does it have all the elements that made Look to the Lady a favorite, but it also introduces Amanda Fitton, the woman who will eventually win Albert's heart, and you could not find a more perfect match for him--brilliant, stubborn, spirited, long-lost royalty, and best of all, a redhead! *g*

The first thing I thought when I began reading the book The Fear Sign was about the name. It says on the front of my copy "The Fear Sign" also titled "Sweet Danger". And of course instead of continuing on I began once again wondering why when it comes to mysteries, old ones anyway, so often the title in America is different than the title anywhere else. I don't understand it, it happens often with Agatha Christie novels and apparently it seemed to someone a good idea to do with Margery Allingham
Campion gets involved in a case of international diplomacy and crime, trying to prove ownership of the land of Averna. The trail leads him and his friends to Suffolk, and an eccentric impoverished family living in a water mill.

I read some of the Campion books many years ago, and it has been a real joy to rediscover them with a Goodreads group. The plots often seem outlandish, and they are definitely amusing to read, but there is a genuine undercurrent of danger that prevents them becoming
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sweet Danger”, the British title of the fifth Albert Campion, should be a quotation from somewhere but no-one can trace it. The novel was written partly in response to the poor reception in the USA of
“Police at the Funeral” and was begun after Allingham had embarked on “Death of a Ghost”.

It is much less obviously intellectual than its predecessor being a confection of thriller, crime novel, comedy, and romance with elements of witchcraft. Although mainly set in Suffolk, it sets off from the
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wildly improbable and melodramatic, with ruthless villains, black magic, a mad doctor, a secret marriage, an obscure prophecy, lost heirs, and an unexpectedly valuable inheritance.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Palfrey
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5star
This novel is not really a fantasy: there's nothing impossible in it. However, the whole story is so implausible that it may be best thought of as a fantasy, first published in 1933, but akin to one of Jasper Fforde's more modern stories.

Along with being fantastic, it's also an exciting, charming, and romantic adventure story, set mostly in darkest Suffolk, although it begins with an unlikely encounter on the Mediterranean coast of France: starting as it means to go on.

Although the story is
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
A little off the beaten path for a Campion novel, though one that worked quite well in the BBC adaptation. We've got secret-agenty hijinks, MacGuffins big enough to drive a Rolls-Royce through, and a sweet English country girl with moxie enough to tempt a stout-hearted fellow to cradle-robbing. The usual subtlety of Allingham's text is a bit less striking than usual, but the broad strokes of the plot make up any deficiency in fun.

Rereading April 2017: Picked this off the library shelf without
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: detective, adventure
Contrary to the blurbs on the cover ,Sweet danger is actually an Adventure not a thriller or a whodunnit.It seems to me that many people have rated it 2 stars because they expected a cozy mystery and this is not one of those.
In my own mother tongue(Bengali),Hemendra Kumar Roy used to write these kinds of adventures where a treasure was unearthed by solving a riddle or a doggerel.Even Satyajit roy wrote a Feluda mystery like this.I am not sure whether I have read anything like that in english
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I think this is one of the rare books in which I liked the screen dramatization better than the book. BBC produced a series called Campion based on these books which I really like. The Fear Sign happened to be the only one of the Albert Campion books that my library had. The book was overall okay with a few scattered laugh out loud lines mixed in. Maybe it was this particular plot line that I didn't particularly enjoy or maybe because I kept comparing it to the show. But I think it would be ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have definitely decided to skip the rest of this series. I dislike the premise to start with; a man living over a police station under an assumed name? There seem to be a number of people who know Campion's real name, but are discrete about it. Is he protecting his family by engaging in police work under another name? He is patronising to "lower" class people, he makes unnecessary mysteries. No, I don't like Mr. Campion and the stories all seem to be about plots with some Mr. Big in charge. ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I read the entire Allingham series earlier, and liked them all. This one is one of my favorites. I like the ones that feature Amanda Fitton.

The series was written from the late 1920's through the 1960's, and the tone and style is not the same in all of the books. Some were humorous, witty whodunits, some were more serious novels.
Lynsey Dalladay
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolute corker, one of my favourite Campions to date!
Yet another Campion book that leaves me divided because Goodreads doesn't do half stars. This is definitely better than 3 stars, but there is a very annoying section in it that deserves less than four. Oh well, the exciting ending makes up for it, I guess.

This is not my preferred kind of story. It just seems a bit silly. The plot this time is that Campion is on a treasure hunt to find various artefacts that prove Britain owns an inconsequential country someplace that due to an earthquake is
Robbie Leslie
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my third outing into Allingham's oeuvre and my second into the world of Albert Campion. I had been underwhelmed by 'The Crime at Black Dudley' - a bit of a pot-boiler of a thriller. It kept me turning the pages and was good fun but was not what I expected from an author described as the 'true queen of crime'.
'Sweet Danger' is similar in tone to 'Black Dudley' - more a ripping yarn than classic crime. It's very much in the mode of John Buchan. A band of well-born, well-connected young
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allingham's books are among my favorite classic crime novels. This is no exception.

Guffy is arriving at his hotel when he sees someone exiting the window with a suitcase and a revolver. He goes and asks to speak with the manager who he knows. The manager says there are three Londoners, Mr. Jones, Robinson, and Brown along with the manservant Mr. Smith who have ransacked another room. Guffy goes where he can see these three and immediately recognizes them as Mr. Campion and two others he knows.
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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)
  • Police at the Funeral (Albert Campion Mystery, #4)
  • Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery, #6)
  • Flowers for the Judge (Albert Campion Mystery, #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)