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Coroner's Pidgin (The Albert Campion Mysteries)
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Albert Campion group/buddy reads > Coroner's Pidgin aka Pearls Before Swine (1945)

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Susan | 9418 comments Mod
Welcome to our May/June 2020 buddy read of Coroner's Pidgin, the 12th Albert Campion novel, published in 1945 and also known by the alternative title of 'Pearls Before Swine.'

In the waning days of World War II Albert Campion has returned from Europe on leave. His intent is a quick stopover in his old London flat and then to take a train into the country to be with his wife Amanda and a child he only knows from letters. Unfortunately, he surprises Lugg and Lady Carados, the mother of his close friend Johnny, carrying a corpse into his rooms.

An unwilling Campion becomes involved in, not only solving the murder, but also the disappearance of some well-known art treasures.

Please do not post spoilers in this thread. Thank you.


message 2: by Judy (last edited May 15, 2020 11:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
Who is reading this one? I am really pleased to get back to Campion, as he is one of my favourite characters.

I am about halfway through this book, which is a reread for me but I don't remember much from my previous read - getting on a bit slowly because I'm listening to it on Audible, but I am really enjoying it. The wartime London setting is well done, I think, and there are some interesting characters.

The reader, David Thorpe, is great and enjoys doing different voices and accents for the characters - I have just discovered there is also another Audible version narrated by Philip Franks, who I'm sure is very good too. Oddly, if you go to the Audible site you get shown the Thorpe version, and if you go to Amazon you can get either one!


Susan | 9418 comments Mod
I like David Thorpe as a narrator. I still have very mixed feelings about Campion. I like him as a character, but I found this a fairly muddled, disorganised mystery. Allingham has a tendency, I feel, to introduce too many characters too quickly. This is, I will admit, more difficult if you are listening on Audible, rather than reading.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
Definitely quite a lot of characters to keep track of at the start, I do agree, Susan! I think I have just about got my head round who they all are now, but it took a while to do so.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 713 comments I started it a day or two ago and finished it this evening. Moving on over to the spoilers thread.


Frances (francesab) | 351 comments I've finished it as well-this series continues to improve and I like the development of characters as we go.


Sandy | 2554 comments Mod
I have this one on ebook and will be starting soon. If the characters are confusing I'm very glad I have a print version. I have a terrible time keeping people straight on audio. My ideal is to have both.


message 8: by Pamela (last edited May 17, 2020 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pamela (bibliohound) | 322 comments Just started this, I'm really enjoying it. I actually found it easier to pick up the characters this time, I think because we are told about them before we actually meet them all. They're an odd group for sure.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
I'm a bit further on in the book now and slightly disappointed not to have seen more of Lugg - hoping he will play a larger role in the rest of the story.


Susan | 9418 comments Mod
I thought that even Campion seemed confused for much of this book, but I did enjoy the setting and the characters were fun.


message 11: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
As soon as I lamented the lack of Lugg, he came back in! I do enjoy the glimpses of his pig-keeping.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 713 comments Both Lugg and Campion seem like changed men, and considering their war experiences that's not surprising. To me, the changes seem logical based on their previous natures. Lugg always had a streak of sentimentality and perverse conventionality, often deprecated by Campion. And Campion himself has always had more affection for old-fashioned aristocratic values than he cares to admit, for all his unconventional lifestyle. I see flashes of those old selves, transmuted through the traumas of war, during the course of this story.


Frances (francesab) | 351 comments Abigail wrote: "Both Lugg and Campion seem like changed men, and considering their war experiences that's not surprising. To me, the changes seem logical based on their previous natures. Lugg always had a streak o..."

Nicely put, Abigail, I hadn't appreciated those changes until you pointed them out, but they're definitely there.


message 14: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Lugg always had a streak of sentimentality and perverse conventionality, often deprecated by Campion...."

Very interesting, Abigail - a lot of food for thought there. I think Campion probably delights in these aspects of Lugg in a way at the same time as deprecating them, as you say.

I'm nearly 3/4 of the way through now and will revisit your comments once I get to the end, which I hope will be soon... looking forward to getting into the spoiler thread too.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 713 comments Agree about the delight behind the deprecation! It's part of their banter.

I hope my comments here weren't spoilerish. I tried to keep them very general.


message 16: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
Sorry, I didn't think they were spoilerish at all - I just thought I would like to read them again once I've finished, and can see how the characters develop throughout the book.


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8416 comments Mod
PS I think I've read them all before anyway, but was surprised how little I am remembering about this one.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 713 comments Whew!


Susan | 9418 comments Mod
I think the pig keeping came up in a later Wimsey (one of the additions written by Jill Paton Walsh). I did feel for Lugg - however, animals and vegetables were often kept/reared in very strange places in wartime.


Susan | 9418 comments Mod
Completely off track, but I was just browsing Jill Paton Walsh on Amazon and never realised she had a Booker shortlist novel, Knowledge of Angels and had almost forgotten her crime quartet, set in Cambridge, which I now want to re-read!


Sandy | 2554 comments Mod
I'm half way in and liking it a lot. Campion mentions how things are coming a bit clearer to him, but they aren't for me. I'm along for the story and the characters but will be no help in solving the mystery.


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