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Police at the Funeral

(Albert Campion Mysteries #4)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,320 ratings  ·  228 reviews
The imperious Caroline Faraday runs her house like a Victorian fiefdom, unconcerned with the fact that it's 1931. Furniture and meals are heavy and elaborate, both motorcars and morning tea are forbidden on account of vulgarity. The Faraday children - now well into middle age -- chafe at the restrictions, but with no money of their own, they respond primarily by quarreling ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Felony & Mayhem (first published 1931)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  6,320 ratings  ·  228 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  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce Beckham
I’m just finding my feet with these inter-war Margery Allingham mysteries – this is number four (1931) in the ‘Albert Campion’ series, of 18 novels in all.

Police at the Funeral is largely set in a substantial Victorian villa in the university town of Cambridge, where elderly members of a dysfunctional family appear systematically to be murdering one another.

For the most part it is a tedious narrative – indeed, at one point the hero himself makes the observation that he is losing the will to live
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one. It's a superb mystery and is the best of the 4 Campion books I've read so far. In my humble opinion, each novel has been progressively better than the last and I am very much in favour of that. This is the first plot that doesn't involve some type of criminal gang. Rather, the mystery centres on an imposing house where an elderly matriarch rules her ageing (and essentially hopeless) offspring with an iron fist. The house is occupied by some less than appealing relatives, and Camp ...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 (
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
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
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'I was looking for some suitable spot to interview a young lady who has been so grossly misinformed that she believes I'm a private detective.'
The Inspector knocked out his pipe against the boiler.'Funny how these ideas get about,' he said. 'What do you call yourself these days?'
Campion looked at him reprovingly. 'Deputy Adventurer,' he said. 'I thought of that the other day. I think it sums me up perfectly.'
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far enjoying this one more than the previous 3. Reminds me a little of A Series of Unfortunate Events with the dysfunctional family and happenings.
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7, mystery, reread, 2004
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
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
"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
Brian Clegg
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Sam Reaves
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019, mystery, 4-stars, p
Title: Police at the Funeral
Author: Margery Allingham
Series: Albert Campion, 4
Format: mass market paperback
Length: 227 pages
Rating: 4 stars

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.
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
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Much like the last Allingham mystery I read (The Case of the Late Pig), I didn't really have any criticisms to make about the complexity of the plot or the author's writing skills, but I failed to really enjoy it simply because most of the characters, and the overall tone of the book, were so unpleasant. Even though there are a few decent people involved, they aren't very well-developed and seem overshadowed by the general nastiness. After all, a murder mystery can be properly serious and yet al ...more
Adam Carson
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in record time and think it is one of my favourite of the Allingham books I’ve read so far. I was certainly gripped!

Multiple murder in an esteemed Cambridge family - a big country house, some very unloveable characters that you rather warm to and a really cunning mystery! As a character, Campion has really grown on me, and I enjoyed him in this book immensely. Although not entirely in the author’s voice, there’s a little bit of pretty awful casual racism at the end of the book
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. ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun old time mystery. Who is Campion really? I get the impression he may be royalty incognito, just by subtle hints. Wonder if we'll ever find out. ...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 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)
  • 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)
  • Traitor's Purse (Albert Campion Mystery, #11)

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