The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery AllinghamThe Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham
Series: Albert Campion #10
Published by Agora Books on October 23, 2017 (first published 1938)
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
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First, there is a skeleton in a dinner jacket. Then a corpse in a golden aeroplane. After another body, private detective Albert Campion nearly makes a fourth...

Both the skeleton and the corpse have died with suspicious convenience for Georgia Wells, a monstrous but charming actress with a raffish entourage. Georgia's best friend just happens to be Valentine, a top couturière and Campion's sister. In order to protect Valentine, Campion must unravel a story of blackmail and ruthless murder.

This mystery sees Albert Campion visiting his sister, Val, who is the top designer at a fashion house. Their family approves of neither of them, but the way. Val has been working on dresses for the actress Georgia Wells. Campion has found the skeleton of Georgia’s former fiance in a garden, apparently suicide, and that story hits the news. Another death follows, another man connected to Georgia, and Val may be in trouble, dragged into the scandal. Campion must unravel the clues to get to the root of the mystery.

My favorite part of this book is the return of Amanda Fitton. She is a joy and a wonderful crime-solving companion for Campion.

The mystery is well-done and fair. I like the fashion/entertainment industry setting and the characters were an interesting mix.

I wish the women had been dealt with a bit better. Val and Georgia are both independent women at the top of the careers. I wish they would spend less time mooning over men and more time looking out for their own interests. Yes, it’s the 1930s, but still.

Campion is enjoyable in this one. He fits in well with everyone, from the “fabulous” crowd to Amanda to Lugg. He’s intelligent, though he often hides it, and witty.

I’ve been basically reading these in order, but there’s no real need to. Each stands on its own well, and even if it brings in characters from previous entries, like Amanda, we get enough introduction to understand who they are.

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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