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review 2017-09-22 19:53
The Crime at the Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham

I read this one for Country House Murder, and it is a good example of that particular type of mystery. It would also work for Murder Most Foul and Amateur Sleuth

 

The Crime at the Black Dudley is designated as the first of the Albert Campion mysteries, but as others have noted, his appearance is pretty minimal. The main character is Dr. George Abbershaw, who seems to be at Black Dudley primarily to cement his relationship with the adorable Meggie. 

 

Shades of The Big Four, Abbershaw and his friends seem to have stumbled into some sort of an inexplicable criminal gang conspiracy involving a German man who is referred to as the Hun, who plans to set the place on fire and burn them up with it. The plot is bizarre, convoluted and somewhat incomprehensible. No one seems to be able to figure out why Campion is there or who invited him. 

 

I am going to reserve judgment on Allingham and her detective, since I don't think that this book is a particularly good example of her work. As a country house mystery, it was just all right, no where near as good as The Mysterious Affair at Styles or Peril at End House. As a detective, Campion isn't flattered by comparison to Poirot and his leetle grey cells or Peter Wimsey and the fabulous Bunter. 

 

The next book in the Campion series is Mystery Mile, but I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off digging deeper into the series. Martin Edwards mentioned Traitor's Purse & The Case of the Late Pig in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, and I've heard good things about The Tiger In The Smoke, so I'm thinking of trying one of those the next time I give Campion a try.

 

 

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review 2017-09-21 05:21
Murder Past Due
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

From the comments I've been getting, quite a few of you have read this book so I'll keep it brief. 

 

Murder Past Due follows library archivist/amateur sleuth Charlie Harris and his trusty sidekick Diesel as they try to solve the mystery of the murdered mystery writer. Trouble is, Godfrey Priest is disliked by the majority of people in town and the suspect list just seems to keep growing. Can he solve the crime before his young boarder, Justin, is wrongfully arrested? Will Diesel ever get the head pats he so desperately wants?!!!

 

Silliness aside, I really liked this one. It's probably the most solid cozy mystery I've read. The plot was focused and there were a lot of clues leading throughout the story. It was a lot of fun to read and see what surprising twist lay ahead. The who-done-it made sense and didn't feel cheap at all. Overall this is just a really nice, really solid mystery. 

 

Diesel is, of course, my favorite character. In my opinion he's the best character in the book. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, should a cat really be outshining all the other characters? On the other hand, is it possible for a cat NOT to outshine everyone else?

 

My biggest critique is sometimes the dialogue, specifically the character's speech patterns, drove me nuts sometimes. For example, the way Justin called his mom "Mama" every time. Just felt weird for an eighteen year old to do. I speed read through Peter's scenes because I just couldn't stand the way he talked. I give James credit for really giving her characters unique voices, I just wish she made it more realistic because it did get very obnoxious. 

 

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, amended from the 4 stars earlier. It's a great book, little cheesy, but it has a cat and is just really cute. 

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review 2017-09-21 01:24
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

At work so the review will have to wait. Overall though a very fun and enjoyable cozy mystery.

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review 2017-09-20 01:47
Murder at the Vicarage - Agatha Christie

I really enjoyed this! Miss Marple is so fun! 

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review 2017-09-19 21:41
Does what it does well
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

This is a book about books. Specifically, this is a book about a specific type of book written during a specific time period. I expect that I will refer to it, and have decided that I really need to buy in a physical book as well as have it on my kindle.

 

Themis-Athena did us all a solid by creating, at this point, two separate lists of the books that Edwards mentions in his book:

 

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (this list is 100 books long)

Books Mentioned - Chapters 1 through 5 (this list presently has 107 books on it)

 

This has been a huge undertaking, and I am so grateful that she has taken the time to do it! Now, to read!

 

 

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