The blurb: 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 cosy mystery.
My review: It was undoubtedly time to broaden my classic crime horizons. After a five year love affair with Christie it was time to take a look at her contemporaries and see who else was a shining light in the world of detective fiction.
Margery Allingham was an English crime writer best known for her Albert Campion novels, but I chose to read this novel as it was her first work of detective fiction. I hope it’s given me an accurate flavour of her style and prowess because it won’t be the last Allingham I read, it was perfect cosy crime!
I’d say Chief Inspector Challenor lacks some of the style and personality that makes characters like Poirot leap off the page and stay with you long after you’ve finished a book. Perhaps that’s something Allingham masters with Campion. But the network of Police contacts he uses across Europe has the feel of the ‘old boy spy network’ in Bond. It’s classy stuff. Plus Jerry, Challenor’s son is a great foil for the mind at work in the Chief Inspector.
A great introduction to Allingham’s work, one to recommend!
7.5 out of 10 stars! *******.5
BUY ME! The White Cottage Mystery