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Summary

Just returned from years overseas on a secret mission, Albert Campion is relaxing in his bath when his servant Lugg and a lady of unmistakably aristocratic bearing appear in his flat carrying the corpse of a woman.

At first Campion is unwilling to get involved, but he is forced to bring his powers of protection to bear on the case, and to solve not only the mystery of the murdered woman but also the alarming disappearance of some well-known art treasures.

©2013 Margery Allingham (P)2013 David Thorpe

Critic reviews

"Miss Allingham is one of the few writers who can deal with art. Both her passions and her patterns are beautiful, accurate and serene" ( Daily Telegraph)
"Margery Allingham has worked her way up to a worthy place among the tiny hierarchy of front-rankers in the detective world" ( Tatler)
"The real queen of crime" ( Guardian)

What listeners say about Coroner's Pidgin

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Excellent.

I only discovered Margery Allingham quite recently. Another favourite author, Christopher Fowler, mentioned her in his Book of Forgotten Authors and, stumbling across her again here, I thought I would dip in.
I feel like I've struck a diamond mine and the more I dig, the bigger the diamonds get!
These books do not feel their age at all. They are as fresh as if they were written yesterday. Her turn of phrase, her characters, are very real. So much more alive than any of Christie's. Campion and Lugg are wonderful and their relationship matures as they age through the books.
There is no formula to the writing, she seems to dip in and out of various kinds of crime fiction. Every book is a journey that we embark on with her characters.
Sometimes they feel so written for TV! I wasn't surprised to find TV had made a stab at them, pretty successfully, but sadly only eight of the books.
Here, we find Albert with constant background anxiety about the need to catch a train. We want him to sort out the mystery so he can get his train. We are anxious with him! And yet it's written so lightly, so beautifully.
Excellent book!
Each one becomes my new favourite!
I shall be so sad when they run out.
Much is said about the wrongness of the narrator. I was startled by him in the first book and preferred Frances Matthews' reading of the second, but, now I'm deep in, I find I much prefer David Thorpe. He does the prep work to get tones and voices perfectly as written. He gives comic turn where appropriate but still gives gravitas to the more sombre patches. I love him.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent book that keeps you guessing right to the end

The reader brings the characters alive. He is a pleasure to listen to. The story complexity ensures you are kept guessing until the very end.

4 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable read

Where does Coroner's Pidgin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top twenty but that top twenty changes all the time with the books I listen to AND still read.

What other book might you compare Coroner's Pidgin to, and why?

Probably a previous Campion novel

Which character – as performed by David Thorpe – was your favourite?

Lugg

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - too nuanced for that.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes Marjorie Allingham wraps the book up too quickly. Still not sure how it was done this time!

4 people found this helpful

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Narrator misses the mark

Such a wonderful story spoiled by the narrator’s voice for Campion that spills over into a parody of a between-the-war aristocratic accent: too squeaky, too high pitched.

2 people found this helpful

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fantastic campion

loved it all campion series is so good .brilliantly penned. golden age authors are great

2 people found this helpful

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Coroner's Pidgin

This mystery has you guessing who are friends and who are enemies. Read brilliantly again by David Thorpe.

1 person found this helpful

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Another delightful story

Having just rediscovered Margery Allingham, I find myself gripped by her excellent story telling. Plenty to keep you listening as the tale twist and turns. I have come to terms with the narration, not the best but, not enough to put me off downloading more of Albert Campion.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration not brilliant

At times I really had a hard time with the narrator and that made the story hard to follow.

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narrator spoiled it

The high falsetto voice chosen for Campion made me visualise him as a pantomime dame

1 person found this helpful

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Best yet!

Brilliantly narrated, this tale is thoroughly engrossing. Read in order, the Campion series is very addictive.

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  • Wadie
  • 28-04-13

An enjoyable entry in the series

I love the era just before WWI and between WWI and WWII. I had read most of the Albert Campion Books years ago but this was a new one for me. The narration was interesting....I'm still not sure about the "voice" used for Albert but it might have grown on me! The mix of characters was delightful. I did figure out who the baddie was early but it didn't take away my enjoyment of the book at all. The mindset is of the characters is old fashioned but not wrong. There was a big surprise at the end and I was delighted by it. I hope to see more Albert Campion books available.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sally Dobbs
  • 14-11-16

Wonderfully exciting

Such an exciting and unusual
story well told. The best of Margery Allingham's great books. A great treat.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Poppisima
  • 13-07-15

Best. Ending. Ever.

Strong story, great comedy, and the aforementioned ending add up to a fabulous entry in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ijw
  • 02-03-22

master

author is a master of keeping you guessing until the end. interesting window into the period of world war II. how life goes on with a sub current.

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  • Sharon
  • 21-06-21

boring detective and *meh* narration

Who is Albert Campion? Perhaps I should have started with book 1, but books 9 and 12 are the ones that are free included with membership, so those were my initiation into this series. I must say that after listening to both books, I have no idea who the main character is, what his personality is like, or what his motivations are for detecting. I can't even tell if he is particularly good at his job! He doesn't have any strong characteristics.

The narrator, David Thorpe, isn't bad exactly; he does a number of good voices and accents for other characters. However, the voice he uses for Albert Campion makes the detective seem like a silly idiot -- it is high, frivolous and inappropriately emotive in parts.

I'm not going to be spending any money or credits on other books in this series.

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  • peter
  • 16-03-19

Great story

Witty, fast paced, excellent and amusing characters, very well read and a good mystery. Recommended.

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  • Hope
  • 06-11-17

Overdone narration

I like the interesting plots in the Albert Campion series. I've read a lot of them before but coming back to them at this point in history I can't help but be sensitized to the racism in the books although it is not a major thing, it just is an underlying note.

The narrator is a competent narrator, but the choice was made to really overact. I belong to the camp that is not looking for a fully dramatized story. I do like to know who is speaking and to have it phrased well. David Thorpe takes the description of Albert Campion's voice in the text and goes to town with it and it is pretty awful to listen to. Some of the other characters are awfully voiced as well.

Given those two issues I have, I still listened to the whole book, taking breaks to listen to other books when I couldn't stand the squeaks and squeals.

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  • F Ellen McDaniel
  • 06-10-17

Terrible narrator!

Makes Campion sound like a shrill old woman. Reads too fast. So annoying that I abandoned the book mid way through.