........All are unabridged MP3 with three encoded at 48 kbps and five at 32 kbps. All are narrated by the wonderful Francis Matthews.
........Mostly from cassette tapes except for Mystery Mile and Sweet Danger which are from CDs. Some titles were difficult to find in audio format.
Margery Allingham is one of the grand dames of British mystery fiction, usually ranked with Sayers, Marsh and Christie. Pretty heady company! Allingham has, for the most part, a lighter style than the others.
Her hero, Campion has much in common with Lord Peter, but he lacks Wimsey's total perfection and flaunts his heritage (and education) a bit less. Initially cast as a 'zany', he has a great deal of fun in him.
In later novels he will gradually mature into a genuinely remarkable character - Marc Ruby
* The Crime At Black Dudley
. [7 hours 16 mins] 1929
The gaiety of a weekend party in rural Suffolk is shattered when the host's uncle is murdered and a document is taken from the body. The house guests are held hostage until the paper is found. Dr George Abbershaw uncovers the killer, but even he is nonplussed by the mysterious young man - friend or enemy? - who calls himself Albert Campion. 'The Crime at Black Dudley
' is not Allingham's best, but it foreshadows many of the novels to come. In her early work Allingham has a bright and distinctive approach to the problems and pleasures of the young men and women of post-war Britain. This gave her a tremendous and well deserved readership that grew up along with her and her erratic hero. She is still wonderful entertainment! (MR)
* Mystery Mile
. [8 hours 2 mins] 1930
With the Simister Gang out to get him, America is too hot for Judge Lobbett. He takes refuge on an island on the Suffolk coast, but even there life is far from peaceful. Blackmail, abduction and sudden death bring matters to a climax. It is Albert Campion, with the unorthodox help of his man Lugg, who masterminds the defence of Mystery Mile and uncovers the true face of Simister.
* Look to the Lady
. [8 hours 36 mins] 1931 - aka 'The Gyrth Chalice Mystery'
The Gyrth family have guarded the Chalice for centuries in their ancient house in Suffolk, but they have never had an opponent like the Daisy before. Mr Campion's services are needed to save the treasure from a desperate and determined thief. He can cope with witches, gypsies and a mysterious ceremony, but he has not reckoned with the true guardian of the chalice...
* Police at the Funeral
. [9 hours 48 mins] 1931
At her mausoleum of a house in Cambridge, Caroline Faraday rules her family with a firm hand - but then murder strikes, and strikes again . In such an eccentric household, with such a legacy of evil, Mr Campion must tread very carefully indeed...
* Sweet Danger
. [7 hours 32 mins] 1933 - Also known as 'Kingdom of Death' or 'The Fear Sign'
The tiny East European State of Averna - a dead duck since the days of the crusades - has suddenly become an attractive proposition, and the race is on to prove ownership. In a treasure hunt that takes him from the Cote d'Azure to the sun-soaked Suffolk idyll of Pontisbright, Mr Campion and his team of willing helpers do battle with a foe both intelligent and ruthless.
* Traitor's Purse
. [8 hours 6 mins] 1941
He awoke in hospital, with no memory of how he came there or of who he was. He overheard a nurse say, 'They'll hang him, I suppose,' and a policeman replied, 'Bound to, miss . . .'
He had to escape, though he didn't feel like a murderer, but freedom brought new problems and new dangers. He had a vital mission to accomplish in this strange wartime town, vital for himself and perhaps for the free world - but he had no idea what it was! Who was friend and who was enemy? And why did his own name mean nothing to him? Who was this Albert Campion ?
* The Tiger in the Smoke
. [9 hours 42 mins] 1952
Ranks as one of the great thrillers in English literature. And conveys an understanding of goodness and evil perhaps more assuredly than any of them. 'The Tiger' is the murderer known as Jack Havoc, out of jail and on the rampage. But what has he to do with Albert Campion's saintly uncle, Canon Avril? The old man's daughter Meg is happily engaged, so why is she afraid that her late husband has come back from the dead? And who has kidnapped her fiance? The tension is almost painful...
* The China Governess
. [10 hours 53 mins] 1962
Appearance and reality are not always the same. Timothy Kinnit is rich, handsome and well-bred. He seems to have everything. Then, on the eve of his elopement, he learns that he was adopted, and he is desperate to know who he really is. Someone seems no less keen to stop him finding out. Violence, deception and death bedevil the post-war housing estate that has grown from the ashes of the notorious Turk Street Mile, and the shadow of a long-forgotten murder hangs over it all - until Luke and Campion are finally able to dispel the darkness....
Philip Franks has narrated abridged CD versions of some Campion novels - 50% abridged, also many unabridged recordings read by David Thorpe have recently been released and are welcome, but I still prefer Francis Matthews' readings even though many are only available from cassette tapes.
His readings seem to be able to recreate the time period better and I prefer his characterizations. Let's hope the Francis Matthews' recordings all soon appear in CD quality format. The cassette recordings here are quite good though.
Note that in some of the recordings from cassette tapes the sound quality may not be pristine, but they are reasonably hiss free and clear considering their age.
Allingham has a rather different writing style to her contemporaries - Sayers, Christie and Marsh. I find her novels quite atmospheric and the dialogue realistic, but planted firmly in its time.
Remember these were written by an author who lived in the time period the novel takes place. You may indeed find the dialogue rather peculiar and a bit hard to follow at times, but persist, as it's most worthwhile.
"Look to the Lady" and "Traitor's Purse" are among my favorites in the above collection.
* My other audio book torrents are here: https://www.demonoid.is/files/?uid=38421&seeded=2