Flowers for the Judge by Margery Allingham Flowers for the Judge by Margery Allingham
Narrator: David Thorpe
Series: Albert Campion #7
Published by Audible Studios on February 8, 2013 (first published 1936)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 14 mins
Pages: 256
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

Scandal hits the prestigious publishing house of Barnabas when one of the directors is found dead in a locked cellar.

All eyes are on the other partners at the firm – cousins of the dead man with much to gain from his demise – and all rumours hint at a connection to the disappearance of another director decades earlier.

Desperate to salvage their reputation, the cousins turn to Albert Campion – but will his investigations clear the Barnabas family name, or besmirch it forever?

On a beautiful morning in 1911, Tom Barnabas, a director of the publishing firm Barnabas and Company, left his London house and walked down the street. Somewhere along that street, before he reached the tobacconist’s shop on the corner, he disappeared. His disappearance was never explained – or solved. Twenty years later, another director of the firm disappears. His family turns to Albert Campion for help, but before he can get far on the case the man turns up dead. A great deal of circumstantial evidence points at the victim’s cousin, a young man who is clearly in love with the victim’s widow. The cousin, Mike Wedgwood, is arrested, and the police are quite satisfied.

Flowers for the Judge is a true mystery. Mr. Campion here is clever and follows the clues. He allows his intelligence to show throughout. He believes Mike is innocent, as do other members of the family, including Gina, the victim’s widow. And so Mr. Campion must try to figure out what really happened: how was the victim, Paul Brande, murdered – and why? Campion also suspects, without much evidence, that there must be some link to that unsolved disappearance of Tom Barnabas twenty years earlier.

Allingham does a great job creating and presenting her characters, the settings, and the situations. She is sharp and biting, but also warm and compassionate, particularly in dealing with one of the love stories in this book.

There is are several court scenes in this one. I personally like a good court drama, so I didn’t mind the addition, others might find those sections a little boring.

Flowers for the Judge is a well-written novel, in addition to being a fine mystery. The reader is presented with the occasional clue – sometimes it may appear to be an irrelevant character detail, but there is little irrelevant in this book.

And I loved the ending. It was charming.

About Margery Allingham

Margery Allingham

Margery Louise Allingham (May 20, 1904 – June 30, 1966) was born in Ealing, London to a family of writers. Her father, Herbert John Allingham, was editor of The Christian Globe and The New London Journal, while her mother wrote stories for women’s magazines. Margery’s aunt, Maud Hughes, also ran a magazine. Margery earned her first fee at the age of eight, for a story printed in her aunt’s magazine.

Soon after Margery’s birth, the family left London for Essex. She returned to London in 1920 to attend the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster) and met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter. They married in 1928. He was her collaborator and designed the cover jackets for many of her books.

Margery’s breakthrough came 1929 with the publication of her second novel, The Crime at Black Dudley. The novel introduced Albert Campion, although only as a minor character. After pressure from her American publishers, Margery brought Campion back for Mystery Mile and continued to use Campion as a character throughout her career.

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2 Comments

  1. Felicity Grace terry

    A title and indeed cover that gives very little away, I don’t know what I was expecting but it probably wasn’t this.

    A fan of a good court room procedure as well but only if its done well. Done poorly and yes it can come as boring.

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