The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham
Narrator: David Thorpe
Series: Albert Campion #8
Published by Audible Studios on March 11, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 4 hrs 12 mins
Pages: 128
Format: Audiobook
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three-stars

Private detective Albert Campion is summoned to the village of Kepesake to investigate a particularly distasteful death. The body turns out to be that of Pig Peters, freshly killed five months after his own funeral. Soon other corpses start to turn up, just as Peter's body goes missing. It takes all Campion's coolly incisive powers of detection to unravel the crime.

The Case of the Late Pig is, uniquely, narrated by Campion himself. In Allingham's inimitable style, high drama sits neatly beside pitch perfect black comedy. A heady mix of murder, romance, and the urbane detective's own unglamorous past make this an unmissable Allingham mystery.

“The main thing to remember in autobiography, I have always thought, is not to let any damned modesty creep in to spoil the story. This adventure is mine, Albert Campion’s, and I am fairly certain that I was pretty nearly brilliant in it in spite of the fact that I so nearly got myself and old Lugg killed that I hear a harp quintet whenever I consider it. It begins with me eating in bed.”

The Case of the Late Pig is narrated by Albert Campion himself, which takes away a bit of the charm of the characters for me. Part of the fun is how he lets others see him as silly and perhaps not too bright, but with him telling the story we don’t get that full effect. Also, even though he’s telling us what he did and what he thought, he leaves his conclusions until the end. He has to, it’s a mystery novel, but would you really if you were telling the story? I did enjoy the glimpse into Campion’s younger years, when he and Pig were in school together, and I do love Campion’s sense of humor.

This is a short read but there’s a lot going on, mistaken identities, a missing corpse, odd villagers, and a former love interest (how many of them does Campion have?). Entertaining enough, but not my favorite of the series.

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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