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The Allingham Minibus

(Albert Campion Mysteries #short stories)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  337 ratings  ·  50 reviews
“How many of the detective stories you read do you remember?”
Not very many. And there Margery Allingham stands out like a shining light.

In this collection of eighteen short stories, Queen of Crime Margery Allingham dabbles in the occult, the mysterious, and the murderous. Always the perceptive observer, Allingham fills these stories with astute characterisations, brilliant
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published October 10th 2019 by Agora Books (first published 1973)
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Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Did I enjoy all eighteen short stories equally? Of course not. There is, however, plenty to like in this collection as the author had many different talents. I had not read any of her "ghostly" tales previously and there are some good ones in this book. Albert Campion wins the prize for one of my favorite stories of the bunch.
The "Minibus" consists of a wide variety of story types with characters that are truly rich in detail and thus easily envisioned. This book can provide hours of enjoyable r
Judy Lesley
The Allingham Minibus was first published in 1973 and is about to be re-released. This eighteen story collection begins with a tribute to Margery Allingham contributed by Agatha Christie. There are only three Albert Campion stories among this collection which, I must admit, was a bit of a disappointment to me. Those stories are: Mr. Campion's Lucky Day, The Unseen Door and The Man With the Sack. Of the remaining stories, many of them have supernatural or paranormal elements. I have noticed in th ...more
An excellent collection of short stories from Margery Allingham. I expected them all to feature her favourite detective, Albert Campion, but, in fact, only two of them did. Both of them were excellent, demonstrating Campion's ability to grasp the salient clues to quickly solve both mysteries. I enjoyed them very much. I was surprised, pleasantly it turned out, that there were 3 or 4 ghostish stories contained in the book. I can't say the endings totally surprised me, but I enjoyed them very much ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Varied and intriguing, these 18 tales, mainly dating from the 1920s 30s and 40s,display different aspects of Allingham’s not inconsiderable talent to amuse, bemuse, and feed the soul of the reader.
Resurrection, immortality, life after death, in their various forms and meanings, are found here. Marriage is looked at obliquely in a few of the tales, most wonderfully in “The Pioneers”.

Campion crops up in three, but there is not much by way of conventional detection, except in the over-long “A Quart
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Allingham Minibus by Margery Allingham is a collection of short stories from a writer of the Agatha Christie ilk. Although a renowned mystery writer, these stories are not entirely mystery: they verge on the Twilight Zone. Many of them are, or appear to be ghost stories. Some are mysteries. All are delightful. These are the type of short stories I would read my tenth grade English class. They make you think, "Oh, I get it!"

There are only three Campion stories in the minibus. Campion was lea
Sue F
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read and enjoyed many/most of Margery Allingham’s golden age Albert Campion mystery books. So I was happy to get a chance to read an advance copy of a collection of Allingham’s short stories, The Allingham Minibus, in exchange for an honest review.

First off, potential readers should note that only a few (three if I counted right) of the short stories in this book feature Campion, and only a few more are really mysteries. I was surprised to find that most of the rest of the stories are more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually rush through a Margery Allingham book, following the narrative to its conclusion yet it took me a couple of weeks to read this collection of stories. I found myself needing to savour each one, absorbing its perfection. Most of the stories have a ghostly element. I avoid supernatural mysteries but these stories are of a different ilk. They extend life beyond the grave for very specific purpose - for revenge, or justice or protection. The short story form accepts this device readily, bec ...more
Kelly-Jo Sweeney
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't actually read any of Margery Allingham's book before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'm not sure why I haven't read any before, I've always been a fan of detective novels from the golden age and I have even come across Campion, the detective she is most known for on TV. Although Campion does appear in a couple of the short stories in this book, the collection isn't all about mysteries. In fact, my favourite stories in the collection were those with a bit of a spooky feel. The ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could find a copy of this book readily available - only read it years ago through a library that has since culled it from their collection. These were definitely a different kind of tale than what I had become accustomed to with Allingham's Campion series. Made me think of some of the Hitchcock compilations, with tales of mystery, horror, and the bizarre. Allingham's sense of humor can be seen in most of the stories, and all in all, it's a nice little collection of short stories. I wish ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Allingham Minibus is a collection of short stories by Margery Allingham, best known for mysteries featuring detective adventurer Albert Campion. Campion appears in only a few stories, while the rest are stand alone - some narrated in first person, others not. There's a theme of the supernatural in many of stories, character studies of situations sometimes left unresolved (many only allude to crimes committed in the past).

Geraldine Sidoli
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unfairly overlooked

It seems fitting to me that the foreword to this collection of short stories by Margery Allingham is written by the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. Her books are what gave me my love of crime fiction and in Allingham there can be few better exponents. Her descriptions are spare yet vivid. I’m glad she eschews the endless paragraphs others use to set the tone, describe the scenery or the protagonists. It’s a refreshing change to have a story unfold without repetition,
This is an excellent compilation of Allingham's short stories. As well as three Campion stories - always a pleasure to discover more about that enigmatic man, and to see Stanislaus Oates again! - there are a number of supernatural stories, which I particularly enjoyed.

Allingham's stories are well-constructed and she gives as much care to her characterisation as she does in her books. The tale of the birdcage reminded me of Saki. I know I'll be returning to these stories again and again - I have
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
These shorts are a mixture of mysteries and ghost stories. Albert Campion fans may be disappointed that there isn't more of him - the longest story is crime but doesn't feature him.

I haven't read much Margery Allingham because what I did read when I was younger never impressed me. I tried this collection thinking perhaps that would have changed, or I didn't give her a fair trial. But no, her writing somehow leaves me cold. Nothing comes to life for me. Others appreciate her more, so I expect it'
Amanda Jane
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it

.. left feeling dissatisfied with all but one.

I didn't really get a sense of the authors alleged ability from these. Rather too often there was a ghostly solution which frankly I don't consider to be a resolution to the supposed crime or happening.

All a bit frustrating. I might try a full length novel to try and establish why people seem to believe that she's on a par with Christie but I just can't see how she can be compared to the Queen of detective fiction at all based on these.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before I picked up this iteration of The Allingham Minibus – a work that's been around in varying versions since the 1970s – I'd never read any of Margery Allingham's work. I knew little of her, save that she was considered one of the Queens of Crime, alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. I expected, given her contemporaries, that I'd have a quaint read ahead, of clockwork mysteries and tea and crumpets before bedtime.

Thankfully, that presumption was false. The 18 tales
Randy Money
Very enjoyable story collection split almost evenly between Allingham's more expected mystery/crime stories (including three with her recurring character, Albert Campion) and ghost stories, all of which I found entertaining, with "The Sexton's Wife" particularly effective. There's not a great deal of thematic depth to these, but I put the book down with the sense of stories well-told by a good professional writer.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: compilations
Campion appears only in 3 not so remarkable but enjoyable stories but there are a few very good short stories in the mix. The Perfect Buttler, He preferred them sad and the sextons wife stands out .There are a few weak ones also but the prose style is captivating as usual and all in all this is a good enough book to merit 3.5 stars .
This is not my favorite Allingham but I am prejudiced toward Campion stories and not a huge fan of short stories. There are a couple of Campions. There are some "ghost stories." There are a number of "twists" or "surprise endings." Allingham is a fairly impeccable writer. These are what I'd call mostly period pieces. Still worth a read on a dark and stormy night....
Jeff Hobbs
Read so far:

He was asking after you--
The perfect butler--
The barbarian--
Mr. Campion's lucky day--
'Tis not hereafter--
The correspondents--
He preferred them sad--
The unseen door--3
Bird thou never wert--
The same to us--3
She heard it on the radio--
The man with the sack--3
The secret--
A quarter of a million--
The pioneers--
The sexton's wife--
The wink--
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of Margery Allingham's novels recently - and I got a surprise when I read her short stories for the first time. I thought they were even better than her full length work. Check them out.
Richard Thomas
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good read.

The collection of short stories is a mixture of detection, mystery and the supernatural. The stories are as you would expect from Margery Allingham. They are well written with the characters carefully drawn and the interest does not fail. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 00woohoo
As an introduction to Margery Allingham's work I found this interesting. I only read a couple of the short stories but it was enough to encourage me to read more from her. There was nothing special about the stories themselves but I did like her writing style which i found engaging.
Katie Hilton
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice selection of short stories by Margery Allingham, creator of sleuth Albert Campion and a very fine writer. Some of these are crime stories; some are suspenseful. All are engaging.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good bed time reading, short stories, sometimes predictable, fairly gentle, perhaps a bit dated now
Colored Ink
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only know Margery Allingham from her mystery novels, and am usually not much of a short story reader anyway, so was surprised (and more than a little disconcerted) by these often otherworldly short stories. A little spooky, a little shivery, and often both surprising and clever. Even a couple for Campion lovers. A great read for this (or any) time of year.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good selection of Allingham writing. Enjoyed some better than others, but they are all good. I received an advance reader copy from Crime Classics Review Club. Opinions are my own.
Clive Willcocks
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of short stories. I really love to read books by Margery and would not hesitate to recommend this book.
susan muratoglu
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this book lots of great short stories. Margery Allingham is a great story teller and this book has every kind of story, some lovely twists and interesting stories. Read them.
Mandy Beecher
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the various different stories, great introduction
To margery allingham and the way she writes
Recommend especially if you want short stories
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was a delightful read. I enjoyed every story in the mini bus. Albert Campion is yet another amazing creation of a sleuth. Margery Allingham is a great author and I loved this book.
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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 as Emmie Allingham. 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

Other books in the series

Albert Campion Mysteries (1 - 10 of 21 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)
  • Sweet Danger (Albert Campion Mystery, #5)
  • 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)

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