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The White Cottage Mystery
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The White Cottage Mystery (Paperback)

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Synopsis

'One of Allingham's very best' Observer



Eric Crowther collected secrets and used them as weapons. Delighting in nothing more than torturing those around him with what he knew, there is no shortage of suspects when he is found dead in the White Cottage. Chief Inspector Challenor and his son Jerry will have to look deep into everyone's past - including the victim's - before they can be sure who has pulled the trigger. The fact that Jerry is in love with one of the suspects, however, might complicate things.



The White Cottage Mystery was Margery Allingham's first detective story, originally written as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927 and published as a book a year later.

Fiction & PoetryClassic fiction pre 1945Fiction & PoetryCrime & Thrillers Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 02/06/2016 ISBN-13: 9781408880203  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Margery Allingham is ranked among the most distinguished and beloved detective fiction writers of the 'Golden Age' alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh. Allingham is J.K. Rowling's favourite Golden Age author and Agatha Christie said of Allingham that out of all the detective stories she remembers, Margery Allingham 'stands out like a shining light'. Born in London in 1904, Allingham published her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, at the age of 19. The White Cottage Mystery was her first detective story, written as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927 and published as a book a year later.

More books by Margery Allingham

Customer Reviews

This book is the first story produced by Allingham featuring a detective, W.T. Challoner. It was actually compiled from a series which first appeared in the Daily Express in 1927. This is therefore not Allingham’s famous “sort of a detective”, Campion, but an older man, whose vast understanding of human nature means he can solve crimes that puzzle others. The original format of the serial means that the chapters of this novel are very short, and the murder mystery is not complex as each chapter was not meant to be read closely following on from the previous one. Despite this, the crime is still singular in its gory detail and domestic setting. The suspects are more or less ticked off, before a shift of scene means that foreign travel and a whole new set of suspicious circumstances must be delved into by the two sleuths. The fortuitous arrival of Challoner’s son Jerry at the murder scene means that Challoner has a Watson to explain his thinking to, as well as a younger man to do some of the running around. Jerry’s solving of the crime is compromised by his affection for a suspect (as announced on the back cover of this edition), but does give rise to an interesting question unusual in this sort of investigation novel, as to whether the crime can be justified when it soon emerges that the victim is a very nasty person. This level of complexity in an otherwise standard murder mystery makes for a more interesting read than some classic reprints of the era. Allingham’s later development of Campion and his associates is not the classic murder mystery duly solved and murderer punished, if only because Campion is only a well -connected, amateur detective. Her best known novel, Tiger in the Smoke, questions the nature of an evil person, and I think that this thinking is beginning to be seen in this early novel. Overall, this is not a complex subtle novel in many ways, but a satisfying short read. The characters are interesting and well developed in a very clever, brief manner. This is not a great murder mystery, but as an early example of Allingham’s writings I found it very interesting and a sign of great things to come. A good stand alone read.

- 02/05/2017
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