The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham
Published by Carroll & Graf Publishers on October 1, 1990 (first published 1927)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Pages: 139
Format: Paperback
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three-half-stars

Eric Crowther knew everybody's secrets, so there was no shortage of suspects when he was found shot at the White Cottage. Chief Inspector Challenor and his son Jerry had to look deep into everyone's past - including the dead man's - before they could be sure who had pulled the trigger.

With a country house, blackmail, and murder, "The White Cottage Mystery" has all the making for a classic cozy mystery.

The plot is simple: Jerry finds a lovely girl and drives her home. Just as they arrive, a shot is heard. The dead man is a neighbor, who is hated by everyone around him. It just so happens that Jerry’s father is the famous Detective Chief Inspector Challenor, and aided by his son, he will do everything in his power to solve the mystery.

We’ve got plenty of suspects. Everyone really did hate the man, although no one wants to tell Challenor why. We’ve got a nice batch of secrets, a few red herrings, and a bit of travel. There’s even a little romance because of course, Jerry falls in love with the girl.

The White Cottage mystery is an enjoyable read, but I found I didn’t really care about any of the characters, maybe because the novel was so short. The final solution was well-done. All the clues added up, but I wouldn’t have guessed who the killer was. I will probably stick with Allingham’s Campion stories though.

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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One Comment

  1. Felicity Grace terry

    This sounds like the ‘old fashioned’ type of mystery that I’m finding myself drawn to lately though as someone who tends to find themselves disappointed by short stories I’m not too sure if this is one for me.

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