MARGERY ALLINGHAM – Police at the Funeral. Albert Campion #4. William Heinemann, UK, hardcover, 1931. Doubleday, US, hardcover, 1932. Paperback reprints include Bantam, US, TV tie-in, 1989. TV adaptation: Mystery!: Campion “Police at the Funeral, Parts 1 and 2,” Season 1, Episodes 3 & 4, February 5 & 12, 1989.

   In the book immediately following The Gyrth Chalice Mystery (published in the UK as Look to the Lady), Mr. Campion has become, if not a full-fledged PI, at least in his own words, a “Deputy Adventurer.” Here he’s asked to help investigate a series of deaths befalling the Faraday family.

   All of whom are elderly and a bit more than eccentric in their behavior, and the murders are equally bizarre. If you completely ignore the role that coincidence plays in this one, you should have a good tie trying to match wits with Campion in this one.


FOOTNOTE:   As a bit of warning, however, I think the book is starting to show both its age and its trans-Atlantic origins. There were a couple od short passages that were so determinedly British that I could have used a footnote or two to help with a translation.

   But have you seen the TV version of Albert Campion on public TV? I can’t help but think that Peter Davison is nothing but perfect in the role. His blend of blank vacuousness with obvious underlying intelligence is absolutely unnerving.

–Reprinted in slightly revised form from Mystery*File #16, October 1989.