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'My very favourite of the four Queens of Crime is Allingham' - J.K. Rowling The slashing of a valuable painting at the renowned Ivory Gallery in London, one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world - followed by the murder of the proprietor's son-in-law, Robert, sets the stage for another finely tuned Allingham mystery. The proprietor's mother, 90-year-old Gabrielle Ivory, holds the key to the web of intrigue and danger that permeates the gallery. Gabrielle Ivory was once a society beauty. But now, nearing 90, she's largely disregarded by the younger members of the Ivory clan, who like to imagine Granny as rather a relic of a dead era. That's a mistake, and it's not their only one. A series of malicious attacks is threatening the Ivory Gallery in London. Robert Ivory and his high-strung wife, frantic to preserve the status-quo, want to chalk it all up to practical jokes gone wrong. But Gabrielle is not inclined to collude in this delusion. A brilliant standalone mystery from the author of the beloved Campion books. Golden Age Crime at its intriguing best. Reviews 'The best of mystery writers' - The New Yorker 'Margery Allingham stands out like a shining light. And she has another quality, not usually associated with crime stories, elegance' - Agatha Christie 'Margery Allingham has precious few peers and no superiors' - The Sunday Times 'Allingham's work is always of the first rank' - New York Times 'Unforgettable.' - A.S. Byatt 'Margery Allingham deserves to be rediscovered' - P.D. James 'The real queen of crime' - Guardian 'As addictive as cocaine' - Independent 'Allingham has that rare gift in a novelist, the creation of characters so rich and so real that they stay with the reader forever' - Sara Paretsky 'Allingham's characters are three-dimensional flesh and blood, especially her villains' - Times Literary Supplement 'Always of the elect, Margery Allingham now towers above them' - Observer 'Spending an evening with Campion is one of life's pure pleasures' - Saturday Review 'The Dickens of detective writing' - The Telegraph 'Allingham captures her quintessential quiet detective Albert Campion to perfection... For those who relish classic crime fiction' - Daily Express
Margery Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family immersed in literature. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was 19. Her first work of detective fiction was a serialized story published by the Daily Express in 1927. Entitled The White Cottage Mystery, it contained atypical themes for a woman writer of the era. Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, albeit originally as a minor character. He returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, much taken with the character. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s.
"Margery Allingham stands out like a shining light. And she has another quality, not usually associated with crime stories, elegance" Agatha Christie
"My very favourite of the four Queens of Crime is Allingham" J. K. Rowling
"Always of the elect, Margery Allingham now towers above them" - The Observer