A Writer Better Than Agatha Christie And Dorothy Sayers?


On Our Bookshelves…


BOOK: Hide My Eyes

AUTHOR: Margery Allingham



Hide My Eyes is the sixteenth in Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion series, and a bit of an atypical one, which makes a fine stand-alone novel. One of the “golden age” detective fiction writers, Allingham was very good at what she did. Her gentleman sleuth, Albert Campion, first introduced as a minor character in The Crime at Black Dudley, proved popular (particularly with her American publishers), and so she produced a whole series centered on him. I am not an enormous fan of Campion, perhaps because I do rather adore Lord Peter Wimsey and my heart is only large enough for one English upper-class, mysterious, affected, eccentric, amateur mystery investigator.   So, I rather most enjoy the novels in this series that focus more on the crimes and the victims and less on the detective. (That being said, if you have room in your heart for a gentleman sleuth, you are in for a treat, as Campion is featured in 19 novels and an assortment of short stories…enough to keep you busy for quite some time.)


But back to Hide My Eyes: this one isn’t centered on Campion (although he makes some appearances) and is, instead, almost another type of story altogether. It’s a portrait of a charming sociopath and the woman who loves and enables him (in denial regarding his true nature until the cognitive dissonance becomes too much to bear). The killer is cold, methodical, manipulative, and chillingly evil—it’s a rather amazing psychological portrait.


Allingham really was an excellent writer. Maggie Topkis, who recently published Allingham’s novels in the United States through Felony & Mayhem Press, rates her higher than Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, although she isn’t as well known. (Personally, I especially admire Allingham’s short stories, many of which have supernatural themes, as well as mysteries. The collections are out of print now, but it’s not too hard to find used copies. Seek them out–you’ll be glad you did.)


RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 1/2 Whistles




Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com


Lead-In Image Courtesy of ANTONIO SANCHEZ / Shutterstock.com



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