The Beconing Lady

I love early Campion novels. They're filled with gansters, international cartels, secret societies of rich art thieves, etc. Albert Campion seems to know about all of them. He knows all about their secret communications, hidden identities, and peculiar morals. He gets in to their business and fixes them, all while standing around looking vacant and silly. What's not to like.

The Beckoning Lady is a late Campion novel. It is not as good. There are hints about some big important business that old Albert has going on. But only hints. And only two of them.

What we have instead is some friends of the family that are having a party, and a body shows up near their property. Did they do it? They might have. That would kinda suck because they're nice people. Let us spend some time with them to see how great they are. One might be the murderer. Or maybe not. Who knows?

You get the idea.

All the characters speak in slang and innuendo. The slang is largely unique; I think Allingham might have just made it all up. Everyone speaks of everyone and everything with pet names and references. The result is very realistic dialog, especially in the sense that it's nearly incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Unless you grew up in Pontisbright with these fictional characters, you might have a bit of trouble.

I enjoyed it because I know the characters, but I missed the excitement of the earlier ones. This is more like a reunion. It's good to see everyone, but you're just reminiscing about the good times, not having them.

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