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Margery Allingham Biography

(1904–66), The Crime at Black Dudley, outré, Dancers in Mourning, The Fashion in Shrouds

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Agha Shahid Ali Biography to Ardoch Perth and Kinross

British detective story writer, born in London, educated at the Perse School for Girls, Cambridge. With The Crime at Black Dudley (1929) she began a series of nearly twenty novels and a number of short stories in which the detective is the languid, blond, and aristocratic Albert Campion, reputedly related to the royal family, a character very similar to Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey. Allingham writes with great verve and energy; she delights in creating odd, outré settings and peopling them with eccentric, but never unbelievable, characters, though she occasionally lapses into melodrama. Outstanding are Dancers in Mourning (1937) and The Fashion in Shrouds (1938), though the more serious Tiger in the Smoke (1952), the story of a hunt for a vicious yet not wholly unsympathetic murderer, is probably her masterpiece. After her death her husband, Philip Youngman Carter, completed an unfinished Campion novel and later added two more to the series.

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