Narrator: David Thorpe
Series: Albert Campion #4
Published by Audible Studios on February 28, 2013 (first published 1931)
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 42 mins
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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.
Soon there are as many dead bodies as there are red herrings, and Campion must uncover the secrets of the Faraday dynasty before another victim falls...
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. The matriarch of the family is Caroline Faraday, widow of a famous academic. However, Uncle Andrew has gone missing and all is not well within the household. As a favor to his friend, Marcus, Campion goes to the house and helps with the investigation. Upper-class families are always at least a bit more open to others like themselves than to detectives.
It turns out Uncle Andrew is dead, just the first of the murders. The family members don’t get along well, but they all rely on Mrs. Faraday, since none have money of their own. To be honest, I really enjoyed them. One Aunt was a bit of a religious fanatic, an uncle is a closet drinker who wants to be braver than he is, Joyce is just sweet, Carolin is as tough as nails. None of them are likeable, but they’re fun to read about.
Campion is smart and funny, but hides this behind a deceptively blank and unintelligent expression. He seems affable, inoffensive and bland, but at heart he’s a man of action. I do love gentleman detectives.
The mystery was well-done and I admit to being surprised by the solution. It was convoluted but memorable. Allingham is not my favorite Queen of Crime, but still enjoyable.
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