I was given an advance review copy for free in exchange for an honest review.
BLURB FROM THE COVER
“The idyllic English village of Lindsay Carfax isn’t run by the parish council or the local cops as you might suppose. The real bosses are the Carders. They’re a syndicate who run this place – with their own rules.”
Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion returns to centre stage in this quintessentially British mystery, with appearances from all of Allingham’s regular characters.
A must for fans of Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.
‘I find it shocking,’ said Clarissa Webster. ‘Shocking, and, if you must know, rather frightening.’
She pushed back the papers on her roll-top desk, put down an empty glass and lit a cigarette. The back room of the shop called appropriately The Medley, once the kitchen of a Tudor cottage, was part office, part store. Canvases, framed and unframed, lined one wall; cardboard cartons of artists’ materials, convex mirrors, bookends and tourist souvenirs, were stacked in that curious disarray which suggests that it is part of a system understood only by its creator.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Campion’s Farewell. I’d never heard of Margery Allingham or the character before I agreed to review the book. It sounded like a good old mystery yarn and a pleasant change of pace from some of the books I’ve read recently. I loved Mr Campion’s Farewell. I just might have to read some of Margery Allingham’s work now because I liked the character so much.
Mr Campion’s Farewell is an old fashioned mystery novel. We have ageing sleuth, Albert Campion sent to the little village of Lindsay Fairfax to visit his niece. What could possibly go wrong? Strange disappearances. Vandalism. Accidents that may or may not be attempted murder. The tragic death of some students a year before that may or may not be linked to the current events. Oh and not forgetting the Carders, the secret society who rule the village and keep everything hush-hush.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Mr Campion’s Farewell is the sense of mystery that runs all the way through. These things keep happening and I was left wondering how they were connected. A school teacher goes missing and turns up after nine days. Campion learns of the local legend around ‘nine days wonder’. Odd things happen from time to time and the number nine is usually significant. A school teacher starts to mouth off about the Carders, vanishes and turns up nine days later. A group of students and hippie causing a ruckus are given nine days to clear out and on the ninth day they OD on drugs and two of them die. Campion’s niece takes a bad fall when someone intentionally lays a trp. How is this connected to the school teacher or Campion’s car being trashed? I constantly had all these questions running through my head and had to keep reading so where all the little threads joined in a big knot. I love it when writers do that and let you think for yourself instead of spelling it all out. I really liked all the references to the number nine and thought the idea of a secret sect in Suffolk was great.
I really liked the characters in Mr Campion’s Farewell. Campion was my favourite. He reminded me a bit of Sherlock Holmes, creeping about the woods and village at night, spying and trying to solve a mystery. There is a great scene where he gets shot in the arse while out hunting with some of the Carders that made me laugh so much I had tears in my eyes. I loved Campion’s wife as well. There are some great scenes between them when Campion is hospitalised after being shot in the arse. I like the other characters as well.
I thought the ending of Mr Campion’s Farewell was great and very original. I never saw it coming. I had no idea how everything connected and was pleasantly surprised. I love it when writers surprise me and Ripley pulls it off.